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Microzooplankton diversity: relationships of tintinnid ciliates with resources, competitors and predators from the Atlantic Coast of Morocco to the Eastern Mediterranean
Dolan, J.R.; Claustre, H.; Carlotti, F.; Plounevez, S.; Moutin, T. (2002). Microzooplankton diversity: relationships of tintinnid ciliates with resources, competitors and predators from the Atlantic Coast of Morocco to the Eastern Mediterranean. Deep-Sea Res., Part 1, Oceanogr. Res. Pap. 49(7): 1217-1232
In: Deep-Sea Research, Part I. Oceanographic Research Papers. Elsevier: Oxford. ISSN 0967-0637, more
Peer reviewed article  

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Keyword
    Marine

Authors  Top 
  • Dolan, J.R., more
  • Claustre, H.
  • Carlotti, F.
  • Plounevez, S.
  • Moutin, T.

Abstract
    We examined tintinnid (loricate ciliate microzooplankton) diversity using data from 11 stations between theMoroccan upwelling system and the oligotrophic Eastern Mediterranean. Taxonomic and morphological diversity oftintinnids was compared to phytoplankton distribution and size-structure, to the abundance of competitors in the formof oligotrich ciliates, and predators as copepods. Tintinnid taxonomic diversity was estimated as numbers of species andthe Shannon Index, H'; morphological diversity was quantified by substituting size classes of lorica dimensions forspecies. Total chlorophyll was partitioned into micro-, nano- and pico-fractions using pigment data and a size-diversitywas estimated by considering the 3 size classes as 3 species. Along a west-to-east gradient, average water columnconcentrations of most organism groups declined approximately an order of magnitude yielding tight correlations.However, tintinnid diversity, both taxonomic and morphological, increased from the Atlantic upwelling station into thewestern basin of the Mediterranean, and declined slightly towards the Eastern Mediterranean, paralleling shifts in thechlorophyll size-diversity estimate. Diversity varied with absolute or relative abundance of oligotrich or copepods, butdifferent diversity metrics were significantly correlated only with phytoplankton size-diversity. We conclude thattintinnid diversity more closely reflects resource diversity than competitive interactions or predation.

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