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Ecological studies on the planktonic protozoa of a small artificial pond

Ecological studies on the planktonic protozoa of a small artificial pond

Limnol And Oceanogr 3(4): 398-412

DOI: 10.2307/2832639

A 1-year survey was conducted on a small artificial pond to determine environmental relationships of planktonic protozoa to physical and inorganic chemical factors. Collections were made at 9:00 A.M., Eastern Standard Time, every other day. Planktonic samples were taken from the surface and bottom, and sunlight intensity and temperature were measured. Chemical analyses included alkalinity, CO2, Cl, dissolved O2, NO3, PO4, pH, hardness, and turbidity. Bacteria counts were made microscopically, and protozoa were handled by the Sedgwick-Rafter method. The order of appearance of phytoplankton may have been influenced by the abundance of growth factors coupled with varying amounts of dissolved substances: Cryptomonas appeared in autumn and early summer; chry-somonads and Chlamydomonas in winter; Glenodinium, Pyramimonas, and diatoms in spring; and euglenoids in summer. The amount of PO4 seemed to influence which phytoplankters appeared: chrysomonads were not found when the water contained more than 0.02 ppm of PO4 whereas cryptomonads and diatoms increased at this concentration, and euglenoids were abundant at several times this concentration. Within each PO4 range other factors, such as N sources and growth factors, exercised more immediate effects. Supply of organic nutrients appeared to influence euglenoid numbers. Increases in sunlight and temperature were favorable for diatoms but unfavorable for Glenodinium cinctum and Trachelomonas hispida. The nature and amount of food appeared to be the controlling factor for ciliates. Many plankters live perilously close to minimum survival conditions, and slight environmental changes can promote rapid growth, reduction, or subsidence of a population. This survey shows that detailed studies are necessary to ascertain ecological relationships of microorganisms, and that protozoan habitats must be defined more precisely.

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Accession: 024524828

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