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A note on species lists and ecosystem shifts: Black Sea Tintinnids, Ciliates of the microzooplankton
Gavrilova, N.; Dolan, J.R. (2007). A note on species lists and ecosystem shifts: Black Sea Tintinnids, Ciliates of the microzooplankton. Acta Protozool. 46: 279-288
In: Acta Protozoologica. Instytut Biologii Doswiadczalnej im. M. Nenckiego: Warszawa. ISSN 0065-1583
Peer reviewed article  

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Keywords
    Check lists; Introduced species; Plankton; Zooplankton; Marine

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Abstract
    We investigated tintinnid (planktonic ciliate protists) in the Black Sea, a system which has undergone marked changes. Obvious shifts in the Black Sea began with eutrophication from the 1960’s to the 1980’s, followed by blooms of the carnivorous comb jelly Mnemiopsis in the late 1980’s-early 1990’s and fi nally de-eutrophication and the decline of the comb jelly since the mid-1990’s. Here we document historical changes in apparent species inventories which correspond with ecosystem changes. Tintinnid ciliates have been studied in the Black Sea for over 130 years. Records were assembled by year of publication, ignoring all variability in sampling methods, geographic location and extent of sampling, season of collection, etc. Time lines were constructed for each species. The number of species reported increased steadily from the 1870’s to the mid-1960’s. With eutrophication and the damming of the Danube River, the frequency of new species records declined from the 1960’s to the 1990’s but with no apparent species losses. The 1990’s to the present corresponds with rise and fall of blooms of the comb jelly and the collapse and recovery of the anchovy fi shery. For this last period, we found an increase in the numbers of both new species records and ‘apparent’ losses of tintinnid species. Our analysis suggests that abrupt changes in planktonic ecosystems may be detectable with a very crude metric of plankton community composition - lists of apparent species.

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