Krzysztof Rychert, Justyna Kozłowska, Kamila Krawiec, Natalia Czychewicz, Michalina Pączkowska, Magdalena Wielgat-Rychert
September 22, 2016
In aquatic environments, ciliates integrate the energy flowing through bacteria, smaller protozoa, and the prevailing fraction of algae and are further grazed upon by metazooplankton. Ciliates are incorporated into budgets and models describing ecosystem functioning. However, data for the parameterization and validation of models remain insufficient. In this study, annual production to biomass (P/B) ratios of pelagic ciliates were estimated in four lakes of different trophic status and at two sites located in the coastal zone of the Baltic Sea. All study sites were located in the temperate zone. The calculations were based on bulk data reflecting seasonal changes in ciliate production, which was estimated using an allometric equation. The annual ciliate P/B ratio for surface waters was 308 ± 81 yr -1 (mean ± standard deviation). There was no statistically significant relationship between the mean annual ciliate biomass in particular water bodies and the annual P/B ratio. In the near-bottom waters, the annual P/B ratio was 78 ± 39 yr -1 . Because of the possible food limitation of ciliate growth and reconstructions of the community due to changes in environmental conditions, the ciliate P/B ratio applied in models of temperate waters should range from 50% to 100% of the P/B ratios estimated in this study.