Author(s): Jiang Y, Xu H, Zhang W, Zhu M, AlRasheid KA
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Abstract INTRODUCTION: In order to reveal the potential relationships between body-size patterns of microzooplankton and environmental status, the spatial patterns in body-size spectra of ciliated zooplanktons were studied based on an annual dataset in a bay of the Yellow Sea, northern China. MATERIALS AND METHODS: A total of 120 samples were collected at a depth of 1 m from each of five sampling sites with a spatial gradient of environmental stress from June 2007 to May 2008. A range of physico-chemical variables were measured synchronously for comparison with biotic parameters. RESULTS: The spatial body-size patterns of ciliated zooplankton represented significant differences among the five sites, and were significantly correlated with the changes of physico-chemical parameters, especially salinity, dissolved oxygen and nutrients. Two paired indices, the average body-size distinctness (AvBSD) and the variation in body-size distinctness (VarBSD), were proposed based on the trait resemblances among ciliate species in body-size pattern. The paired measures showed a clear decreasing trend of departure from the expected body-size spectra in response to water quality status. CONCLUSION: These results suggest that the body-size pattern of ciliated zooplankton might be used as a potential indicator of marine water quality.
This article was published in Environ Sci Pollut Res Int
and referenced in Journal of Oceanography and Marine Research