Alternate Title

Ciliated Protozoan Colonization of Substrates From Weeks Bay, Alabama


Ciliated protozoan colonization of artificial substrates was examined during a 12-mo period from Jan. to Dec. 2001 in Weeks Bay, Alabama. Artificial substrates (glass slides) were suspended in the water at three locations in the Bay for a period of I wk/mo, and the population density of the stalked peritrich Vorticella was determined. Environmental data collected during the colonization period were compared with the population results. There was a positive correlation between colonization and water temperature at two sites and between phosphate and colonization at one site. Additionally, a negative correlation was determined between colonization and dissolved oxygen at two sites, between colonization and nitrate at one site, and between colonization and pH at one site. The protozoan assemblage varied from month to month, although the overall dominance of Vorticella was maintained. Although the size of the population of Vorticella is likely influenced by a number of different variables, we believe that temperature and bacterial abundance are the likely controlling factors.