Microbial Ecology

, Volume 21, Issue 1, pp 119–138 | Cite as

Seasonal succession of ciliates in lake constance

  • H. Müller
  • A. Schöne
  • R. M. Pinto-Coelho
  • A. Schweizer
  • T. Weisse


We found a recurrent seasonal pattern in abundance and composition of planktonic ciliates in Lake Constance, FRG, over a three-year period. Abundance peaks occurred in early spring and summer/autumn, while ciliate numbers were low in late spring (clear-water phase) and winter. Prostomatida and Oligotrichida dominated in early spring. They responded immediately to the phytoplankton spring bloom, while Haptorida, Peritrichida, and large Scuticociliatida (Histiobalantium) were delayed by 1 to 2 weeks. The spring community broke down at the onset of the clear-water phase.Pelagohalteria viridis containing symbiontic algae appeared shortly after this event. A highly diverse community was recorded in summer/autumn. Peritrichida, small Oligotrichida, and large Scuticociliatida reached their maxima during this season. Small Scuticociliatida were rare throughout the year and contributed moderately to total ciliate numbers only during the cold season. The observed seasonal sequence of pelagic ciliates in Lake Constance is discussed in relation to simultaneously collected data on potential food organisms and grazers.


Phytoplankton Seasonal Succession Phytoplankton Spring Bloom Ciliate Community Symbiontic Alga 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag New York Inc. 1991

Authors and Affiliations

  • H. Müller
    • 1
  • A. Schöne
    • 1
  • R. M. Pinto-Coelho
    • 1
  • A. Schweizer
    • 1
  • T. Weisse
    • 1
  1. 1.Limnological InstituteUniversity of KonstanzKonstanzFederal Republic of Germany

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