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Mar Pollut Bull. 2018 Feb;127:726-732. doi: 10.1016/j.marpolbul.2017.12.068. Epub 2018 Jan 5.

Functional diversity of benthic ciliate communities in response to environmental gradients in a wetland of Yangtze Estuary, China.

Author information

1
State Key Laboratory of Estuarine and Coastal Research, East China Normal University, Shanghai 200062, China.
2
School of Life Sciences, East China Normal University, Shanghai 200241, China.
3
Department of Life Sciences, Natural History Museum, Cromwell Road, London SW7 5BD, UK.
4
State Key Laboratory of Estuarine and Coastal Research, East China Normal University, Shanghai 200062, China. Electronic address: lqzhang@sklec.ecnu.edu.cn.
5
College of Marine Life Science, Ocean University of China, Qingdao 266003, China.

Abstract

Researches on the functional diversity of benthic ecosystems have mainly focused on macrofauna, and studies on functional structure of ciliate communities have been based only on trophic- or size-groups. Current research was carried out on the changing patterns of classical and functional diversity of benthic ciliates in response to environmental gradients at three sites in a wetland in Yangtze Estuary. The results showed that changes of environmental factors (e.g. salinity, sediment grain size and hydrodynamic conditions) in the Yangtze Estuary induce variability in species composition and functional trait distribution. Furthermore, increased species richness and diversity did not lead to significant changes in functional diversity due to functional redundancy. However, salt water intrusion of Yangtze Estuary during the dry season could cause reduced functional diversity of ciliate communities. Current study provides the first insight into the functional diversity of ciliate communities in response to environmental gradients.

KEYWORDS:

Ecosystem function; Estuarine wetland; Functional traits; Marine protozoans

PMID:
29475716
DOI:
10.1016/j.marpolbul.2017.12.068
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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