Original paper

Seasonal and annual population dynamics of ciliates in a shallow eutrophic lake

Zingel, Priit; Nõges, Tiina


Seasonal population dynamics and community composition of planktonic ciliates were studied for over a decade in a naturally eutrophic shallow lake, Lake Võrtsjärv, which has a large open surface area (270 km2 on average) and highly turbid water (Secchi depth 300 μm) gymnostomes. There was a positive correlation between ciliates and phyto- and bacterioplankton, implying that the ciliates were clearly bottom-up or food-controlled. This was further confirmed by the positive correlation between ciliates and metazooplankton. As both bacteria and phytoplankton are coupled with resuspension of lake sediments, the large fluctuations in water level influenced the ciliate community biomass annually.


phytoplanktonbacterioplanktonturbid waterlake sedimentsciliate seasonal dynamics