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.
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