Spatial and temporal variations of tintinnids (Ciliata: Protozoa) in the Bay of Mersin, Northeastern Mediterranean Sea

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MEDITERRANEAN MARINE SCIENCE, vol.20, no.2, pp.342-356, 2019 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 20 Issue: 2
  • Publication Date: 2019
  • Doi Number: 10.12681/mms.18074
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.342-356
  • Keywords: Tintinnid, Ciliata, protozooplankton, species composition, Bay of Mersin, northeastern Mediterranean, NORTHERN LEVANTINE BASIN, COMMUNITY STRUCTURE, WATERS, ABUNDANCE, PRODUCTIVITY, CILIOPHORA, DIVERSITY, INDICATOR, DYNAMICS, BIOMASS
  • Middle East Technical University Affiliated: Yes


Seasonal variations in species composition and abundance of tintinnids were investigated in the eutrophic coastal and offshore waters of Mersin Bay. Twelve sampling cruises were performed from September 2008 to February 2011. A total of 85 tintinnid taxa were identified. Among the recorded genera, agglutinated Tintinnopsis had the largest number of species (12 species), followed by hyaline loricated Eutintinnius (9 species), and Proplectella (7 species). Stenosemella ventricosa, Tintinnopsis beroidea, T. compressa. Favella azorica. and Helicostemella subulata were the dominant species during the study period. There were clear seasonal variations in species composition and abundance of tintinnids. The highest number of tintinnid species occurred in January 2009 and November 2010 in the entire study area, while the lowest species number occurred in March 2009. Morever, species numbers were higher in offshore stations than coastal stations. Some species were present in the coastal area of the bay, and other species were present offshore. The highest tintinnid abundance values were found in September 2008 (820 ind l(-1)) and August 2009 (749 ind l(-1)) at coastal stations. The high abundance values in the coastal stations indicate that an increase of tintinnids is closely related to trophic status of the marine environment. In connection with these results, correlation analysis revealed that chlorophyll-a had an important effect on tintinnid abundance. Tintinnid communities may be used as a potential bio-indicator for assessing the trophic state of the coastal seas and bays.