Particle-associated Planktonic Naked Amoebae in the Hudson Estuary: Size-fraction Related Densities, Cell Sizes and Estimated Carbon Content

O. Roger Anderson


Naked amoeba densities, sizes, biodiversity and carbon content were examined in relation to two particle size fractions (< 200 μm and > 200 μm) of suspended matter in the water column of the Hudson Estuary at a near-shore location south of the Tappan Zee, Palisades, New York. The densities varied markedly among the two particle fractions, and therefore the mean densities were not significantly different between the larger and smaller particle fractions. In contrast, the mean sizes and mean carbon content were statistically greater on larger size suspended particles compared to smaller size particles. There was a broader size range of amoebae on the larger particles, including very large Cochliopodium, Vannella, Mayorella, and Hartmannella species suggesting a larger biodiversity, also indicated by a larger diversity coefficient for the > 200-μm-particle fraction compared to the < 200-μm-particle fraction, 4.51 and 4.18, respectively. In conclusion, the size of suspended particulates in the water column of near-shore, estuarine habitats may have a significant influence on the composition of naked amoebae communities and their ecological roles, especially the organization of particle-associated microbial food webs.

Słowa kluczowe: Aquatic food webs, carbon budgets, microbial ecology, micro-habitats, protists

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