Declines in both redundant and trace species characterize the latitudinal diversity gradient in tintinnid ciliates
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- Declines in both redundant and trace species characterize the latitudinal diversity gradient in tintinnid ciliates
- Dolan, John R.
Yang, Eun Jin
Rhee, Tae Siek
- Environmental Sciences & Ecology; Microbiology
- Issue Date
- Dolan, John R., et al. 2016. Declines in both redundant and trace species characterize the latitudinal diversity gradient in tintinnid ciliates. The ISME Journal, 10: 2174-2183.
- The latitudinal diversity gradient is a well-known biogeographic pattern. However, rarely considered
is how a cline in species richness may be reflected in the characteristics of species assemblages.
Fewer species may equal fewer distinct ecological types, or declines in redundancy (species
functionally similar to one another) or fewer trace species, those occurring in very low
concentrations. We focused on tintinnid ciliates of the microzooplankton in which the ciliate cell is
housed inside a species-specific lorica or shell. The size of lorica oral aperture, the lorica oral
diameter (LOD), is correlated with a preferred prey size and maximum growth rate. Consequently,
species of a distinct LOD are distinct in key ecologic characteristics, whereas those of a similar LOD
are functionally similar or redundant species. We sampled from East Sea/Sea of Japan to the High
Arctic Sea. We determined abundance distributions of biological species and also ecological types by
grouping species in LOD size-classes, sets of ecologically similar species. In lower latitudes there are
more trace species, more size-classes and the dominant species are accompanied by many
apparently ecologically similar species, presumably able to replace the dominant species, at least
with regard to the size of prey exploited. Such redundancy appears to decline markedly with latitude
in assemblages of tintinnid ciliates. Furthermore, the relatively small species pools of the northern
high latitude assemblages suggest a low capacity to adapt to changing conditions.
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