The aim of this study was to present quantitative data on the population dynamics of Chlorella-bearing ciliates (Stentor, Ophrydium) compared to the total zooplankton community in a deep, oligotrophic North Patagonian lake. Mixotrophic and heterotrophic ciliates, rotifers and microcrustaceans, and important ecological parameters were sampled during a 1-year study. The results showed a low biodiversity with only a few dominant species in every zooplankton group. Three mixotrophic ciliates - Stentor araucanus, S. amethystinus and Ophrydium naumanni - were found. They peaked in summer and autumn with maximum values of 152-313 Ind L-1 (Stentor) and 1880 Ind L-1 (Ophrydium). Their contribution to the total ciliate abundance was 16±17% (annual average). Both Stentor species displayed a distinct vertical zonation during the stratification period with peak depth between 10 and 15 m (metalimnion). The contribution to total zooplankton biomass was 59.4% on an annual average (Stentor: 41%, O. naumanni: 18.4%) and 83% during the stratification period. Both abundance and biomass of mixotrophic ciliates correlated strongly with temperature and to a lesser degree with copepods, rotifers and small cladocerans. According to this study mixotrophic ciliates were by far the dominant zooplankton group in Lake Caburgua. We report for the first time the importance of O. naumanni in a deep Chilean North Patagonian lake. © 2009 Elsevier GmbH. All rights reserved.
Woelfl, S., Garcia, P., & Duarte, C. (2010). Chlorella-bearing ciliates (Stentor, Ophrydium) dominate in an oligotrophic, deep North Patagonian lake (Lake Caburgua, Chile). Limnologica, 40(2), 134–139. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.limno.2009.11.008