The pelagic ciliate communities from 58 north German lakes differing in their origin (natural lakes and artificial ponds), morphology (from shallow ponds with a maximum depth of below 0.5 m to relatively deep lakes with a maximum depth of more than 10 m, surface areas from below 10 ha to more than 100 ha), trophic state (from mesotrophic to hypertrophic) and salinity (freshwater lakes and brackish water lakes) are described and compared at species level. Each lake was comprehensively sampled quarterly in the years 1996 and 1997, respectively. Applying a quantitative protargol stain, about 140 ciliate species could be identified and quantified in all investigated lakes. 35 species, mainly members of the Prostomatida and Oligotrichida, were found commonly in all types of lakes at all seasons and dominated the pelagic ciliate communities. 3 species were common in freshwaters, but never occurred in brackish lakes. In the brackish waters a mixture of common freshwater species and marine species was found with 13 species exclusively occuring in brackish waters. Lowest ciliate cell numbers were observed for deep freshwater lakes, highest cell numbers were determined for brackish waters. Highest species richness was found in artificial peat ponds with an average of 24 pelagic ciliate species in spring samples. The range of occurrence for the identified species was wide for most common species. However, the influence of some environmental factors could be enlightened.
Pfister, G., Auer, B., & Arndt, H. (2002). Pelagic ciliates (Protozoa, Ciliophora) of different brackish and freshwater lakes - A community analysis at the species level. Limnologica, 32(2), 147–168. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0075-9511(02)80005-6