, Volume 39, Issue 3, pp 405–427 | Cite as

A test of the cosmopolitan distribution of fresh-water protozoans

  • John CairnsJr.
  • Jeanne A. Ruthven


The cosmopolitan distribution and invasion of fresh-water protozoans were examined on Abaco Island, Bahamas by comparing: (1) samples from surface waters; (2) containers of sterile water exposed to colonization; and (3) cultured soil samples. The distributional pattern of protozoans in the various surface waters was not uniform; the number of species found varied widely (from 1–32 sp.). Out of 74 species from surface waters and 119 species from the soil cultures, 20 species were common to both studies. Other species common only to soil samples may act as a reservoir group which furnishes colonizing species should a suitable aquatic habitat be present. Very few species (range of 0–6 per container) were collected from jars of exposed sterile water. The variation in numbers and kinds of species found in surface waters may be due to variations in water quality or variation of invaders, while differences in number of species found in the containers may indicate some variation in air-borne invasion rate since water quality was essentially the same.


Water Quality Surface Water Soil Sample Distributional Pattern Sterile Water 
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Copyright information

© Dr. W. Junk b. v. Publishers 1972

Authors and Affiliations

  • John CairnsJr.
    • 1
  • Jeanne A. Ruthven
    • 1
  1. 1.Biology Department and Center for Environmental StudiesVirginia Polytechnic Institute and State UniversityBlacksburgU.S.A.

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