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Regional Studies in Marine Science
Vol 38 2020, 101366

Vertical variability in taxonomic breadth of biofilm-dwelling ciliates in marine bioassessment surveys

Syed Shabi Ul Hassan Kazmia, Tang Xuexib, Guangjian Xua, Mohammad Nurul Azim Sikdera, Henglong Xua

Laboratory of Microbial Ecology, Ocean University of China, Qingdao 266003, PR China.


To determine the effects of water depths on taxonomic breadth of biofilm-dwelling ciliates in marine ecosystems, (1-month) baseline survey was conducted in coastal waters of the Yellow Sea, northern China. Utilizing glass slides as artificial substrates, samples were collected at four depths of 1, 2, 3.5 and 5 m after a 14-day exposure period. Taxonomic patterns and taxonomic distinctness measures showed a significant difference among four water depths. Ellipse tests on the pairs of average taxonomic distinctness () and variation in taxonomic distinctness () demonstrated a vertical variability in taxonomic structure of the ciliate communities from 1 m to 5 m, with high levels at 1 and 2 m compared to those at the other two depths. These results suggest that water depth may significantly shape the taxonomic breadth of biofilm-dwelling ciliates, and that an optimal sampling strategy should be determined before monitoring surveys in marine ecosystems.

Keywords :Bioassessment; Biofilm-dwelling ciliates; Taxonomic breadth; Sampling strategy; Taxonomic distinctness.

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