Influence of Emergent and Submerged Macrophytes on the Structure of Planktonic Ciliate Communities in Shallow Freshwater Lakes (Eastern Poland)



Data from two shallow macrophyte-dominated lakes (Eastern Poland) sampled with standardized methods, were evaluated in order to examine the effects of various stands of macrophytes in predicting protozooplankton community structure. Differences in macrophyte structure led to two distinct groups of habitats having different patterns of ciliate distribution. The first group consists of two vegetated habitats of sparse stem density and of the open water zone, and the second of submerged macrophyte species, which were more dense and complex. The number of significant correlations was different in the studied habitats. In central zones of macrophyte habitats the number of ciliates had the strongest correlation with concentrations of total organic carbon and Ptot. On the other side in the border zone a significant correlation between the number of ciliates and the chlorophyll a concentration was found. (© 2008 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim)