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J Environ Biol ; 2011 July; 32(4): 497-503
Article in English | IMSEAR | ID: sea-146607


Taxonomical composition and abundance of the planktonic ciliate assemblage in a Lake Tezozomoc, a hypertrophic pond located into an urban park in Mexico City, was investigated along the rainy season (May to October). The aims of the study were to know the main trophic roles and ecological significance of ciliates in a highly productive environment. A low number of taxa (27) and a wide abundance fluctuation (104-387 cil ml-1) were found. The most abundant species (up to 162 cil ml-1) was Halteria grandinella, an oligotrich ciliate that graze on bacteria and picoplankton, but also several big body sized species that feed on pico and nanoplankton were abundant. Sudden temporal changes in species dominance occurred. Ciliate biomass was very high and fluctuated widely (1.6-88 106 ?m3 ml-1) being dominated by the >50 ?m size fraction that mainly included the pico and nanoplankton feeders. Ciliates are a very important component in the plankton of hypertrophic lakes and their main control factor seems to be the grazing by big-body size Daphnia species.