The aims of this study were to identify the taxonomic diversity and abundance of psammonic ciliate communities in mesotrophic and eutrophic lakes (Łęczna-Włodawa Lakeland, eastern Poland). The effect of selected physical and chemical water parameters on ciliates community was also analysed. Psammon samples were collected during three seasons: spring, summer and autumn of 2010. In each lake, in the psammolittoral, samples were collected in the euarenal, higroarenal, and hydroarenal zones. A total of 53 ciliate taxa were recorded. The highest value of the Shannon-Weaver index was recorded in summer in eutrophic lake (2.79). At the same time in mesotrophic lake, a lower value of the index was determined (0.79). The mean numbers of ciliates ranged from 516 ind.cm-3 in the eutrophic lake to 191 ind. cm-3 in the mesotrophic lake. In eutrophic lake, the highest number of ciliates was recorded in the euarenal (649 ind. cm-3), and the lowest in the higroarenal (425 ind. cm-3). In the mesotrophic lake, the highest average numbers were determined in the higroarenal (235 ind. cm-3), and the lowest in the hydroarenal (155 ind. cm-3). Irrespective of the lake trophy, Hymenostomata (Paramecium sp., Glaucoma sp., Uronema nigricans) occurred in the highest numbers (from 13 to 95%). The results demonstrated that N-NH4, P-PO4 and TOC can strongly regulate the abundance and taxonomic composition of ciliates. The strongest correlations between numbers of ciliates and physical and chemical water parameters were observed in the higro- and hydroarenal zones of the eutrophic lake.
There are hardly any data concerning the vertical micro−distribution of protozoa in water column in cryoconite holes on the glacier surface. Such comparisons can provide insights into the ecology of protozoa. The present research was made on Ecology Glacier (South Shetland Islands, Antarctic); vertical microzonation of c iliates in relation to physical and chemical parameters in cryoconite holes was studied. The density and biomass of protozoans significantly differed between the studied stations (cryoconite holes), with the lowest numbers in the surface water and the highest in the bottom water. The surface waters were dominated by mixotrophic and omnivorous taxa, whe reas the deepest sampling level has shown the increase of the proportion of bacterivore species . Ordination analysis indicated that TN and P−PO 4 can strongly regulate the abundance and species composition of protozoa. The redundancy analyses (RDA) showed that the ciliate communities can be separated into two groups. The first group included species associated with surface water: Halteria grandinella and Codonella sp. The second group included species that are associated with bottom water: Prorodon sp. , Holosticha pullaster , Stylonychia mytilus −complex and small scuticociliates.
Hornsund, an Arctic fjord in the west coast of Spitsbergen (Svalbard), was selected as All Taxa Biodiversity Inventory (ATBI) site under EU 5th Framework Concerted Action BIOMARE (2000–2002), especially due to its pristine, undisturbed natural character. On the base of large material (89 stations located throughout the fjord and 129 Van Veen grab samples) collected during cruises of RV Oceania in July in 2002, 2003, 2005 and 2007 and literature search a comprehensive list of species recorded within Hornsund area, on the soft bottom with depth range of 30–250 m is provided. Over 220 species were identified including 93 species of Polychaeta, 62 species of Mollusca and 58 species of Crustacea. Species list is supported by information on the zoogeographical status, body length and biological traits of dominant species. Need for further research on Hornsund soft bottom fauna with more sampling effort is highlighted.
This paper presents a complex study on ciliates from the different species of mosses of King George Island, South Shetland Islands, Antarctic. Samples of ciliates were collected from Polytrichastrum alpinum , Sanionia georgico−uncinata , Sanionia uncinata and Brachythecium austrosalebrosum . The highest species richness (19 taxa) occurred in habitats from Brachythecium austrosalebrosum . The lowest number of taxa (5) was observed in Polytrichastrum alpinum . The greatest abundance of ciliates was found in samples from Brachythecium austrosalebrosum (25–30 ind. g −1 ), while the lowest was found in samples from Polytrichastrum (4–6 ind. g −1 ). In each species of mosses, vertical differentiation of these protozoa assemblages was found. The number of species and abundance significantly increased in the lower samples. The upper samples of mosses were dominated by mixotrophic taxa, whereas samples from the lower part the proportions of bacterivore species increases. The RDA performed to specify the direct relationships between the abundance of ciliate taxa and environmental variables showed obvious differences between habitats studied. However, variables that significantly explained the variance in ciliate communities were: dissolved oxygen, pH, and nutrients.
Biodiversity conservation cannot operate in Central Eastern European countries without a well-established monitoring system, that is dependent on the citizen scientists input. Here we analyse, based on a Polish case: (1) The contribution of NGOs to the national nature monitoring scheme and their collaboration with governmental and scientific institutions and (2) the motivation of citizen scientists to volunteer for NGOs’ monitoring activities. The study comprises a focus group interview, 30 in-depth interviews with coordinators, citizen scientists, experts and a 23 days long participant observation of a model NGO. We have assessed the monitoring input of NGOs as being a contributory factor influencing the biodiversity conservation effectiveness. The cooperation between governmental, scientific institutions and NGOs exists, but is dependent on national funding. Although NGOs highlight the lack of coherence in monitoring methodology, they are willing to join the biodiversity monitoring, especially at the European Ecological Network – Natura 2000 sites. On the other hand the trust concerning cooperation with citizen scientists is limited. However, despite this, they still turned out to be trustworthy partners. The most effective way to maintain cooperation with citizen scientists is to create a bond in a group and to provide them with the opportunity to develop their passion for nature. Our findings have shed light on the growing importance of citizen scientists in biodiversity governance, providing recommendations for development of the effective monitoring schemes based on the volunteer work of citizen scientists.
In Tanaidacea morphological identification of male individuals to the species level is complicated by two factors: the presence of multiple male stages/instars confuse the assessment of sexual stage while strong sexual dimorphism within several families obscures the morphological affinities of undescribed males to described females. Males of Paratanaoidea are often morphologically quite different from females and have not been discovered for most genera so far, which has led to the assumption that some tanaidaceans might have parthenogenetic reproduction or simply have undeveloped secondary sex traits. As a part of the IceAGE project (Icelandic marine Animals: Genetics and Ecology), with the support of molecular methods, the first evidence for the existence of highly dimorphic (swimming) males in four families of the superfamily Paratanaoidea (Agathotanaidae, Cryptocopidae, Akanthophoreidae, and Typhlotanaidae) is presented. This study suggests that these males might be the next instars after juvenile or preparatory males, which are morphologically similar to females. It has been assumed that “juvenile” males with a restricted ability for swimming ( e.g. , undeveloped pleopods) have matured testes, are capable of reproduction, and mate with females nearby, while swimming males can mate with distant females. Our explanation of the dimorphism in Tanaidomorpha lies in the fact that males of some species ( e.g. , Nototanais ) retain the same lifestyle or niche as the females, so secondary traits improve their ability to guard females and successfully mate. Males of other species that have moved into a regime (niche) different than that of the female have acquired complex morphological changes ( e.g. , Typhlotanais ).
Admiralty Bay (King George Island) is an Antarctic Specially Managed Area and one the most thoroughly studied small-scale marine basins in the Southern Ocean. Our study provides new data on the isopod fauna in this glacially affected fjord. Twelve species of isopods were recorded in this basin for the first time. Six of them were found for the first time in the region of the South Shetland Islands. The highest number of species new for Admiralty Bay were found in the families Munnopsidae (4 species) and Munnidae (3 species).
Morphological description of seeds is a required step for analysis of biodiversity in natural populations and may give clues to adaptive strategies in species evolution. A cardioid is the curve described by a point of one circumference rolling around another circumference of equal radius. Models based on adjustment of seed shape with cardioid curves have been described for Arabidopsis thaliana and the model legumes Lotus japonicus and Medicago truncatula. In this work the model is applied to analyze seed morphology in populations of two subspecies of Capparis spinosa growing in Tunisia. Adjustment of seed images to cardioid curves, followed by statistical analysis of similarity in the complete images as well as in each of four quadrants, allows an accurate description of seed shape. The results show differences in morphology between subspecies. Seeds of subsp. rupestris present higher diversity of shape than seeds of subsp. spinosa. This may indicate primitiveness of C. subsp. rupestris seeds, associated with nonspecialization. The results are discussed in relation to the ecological strategies of both subspecies in their evolution.
The presented paper reports data from malacological and pedological studies carried out at sites representing diverse biotopes (beech wood, coniferous forest, and meadow) located 2 km away from the Dyckerhoff Cement Plant in Sitkówka-Nowiny in 1992 and in 2008–2009. The studies aimed to determine physicochemical properties of soils exposed to cement and limestone dust emission and to identify composition of snail communities inhabiting three different biotopes in relation to physicochemical properties of soils, and to grasp the dynamics of the alkalization-dependent changes in physicochemical properties of soils and their impact on the composition and ecological structure of malacofauna.
Nature reserves are one of the most important measures in saving biodiversity, however, during the climate change, a real danger arises, that these territories would not be able to fulfill the objectives. In order to mitigate negative effects of climate change in protected areas it is necessary to create and apply management programs, based on future ecosystems needs. The main aim of presented study was to evaluate sensitivity of rare and vulnerable species to climate change in order to suggest measures for better management of nature reserves in the future. According to scientific literature, 12 biological and ecological plant characteristics determining sensitivity of species (limiting factors) have been detected. 73 plant species that are protected in Lithuanian reserves were evaluated qualitatively according to limiting factors of climate change. As the result, it was offered to apply additional protection measures to 47 species in the light of climate change. Groups of plant species that should be affected highly negatively or highly positively were identified. 16% of plant species protected in nature reserves were evaluated as very sensitive to climate change and the condition of these plants may worsen. On the other hand, 14 plant species were given as least sensitive to negative effects and future climate is more favorable to species growth and spread than the existing. The highest danger is predicted for Silene chlorantha (Willd.) Ehrh., and the best condition is predicted for Mentha longifolia (L.) Huds. Dactylorhiza incarnata (L.) Soó. The study also gives recommendations for the protection of rare plants in the future. Different management measures are taken into account: mitigation of the direct effect of climate change (I), improvement of an existing level of rareness (II), respecting the relation to physical and biological environment (III), consideration of spread and geographical limits (IV). Three management intensity levels were suggested according to species sensitivity.