This study shows the results of a rotifer faunistic survey in thalassic waters from 26 sites located in northeastern U.S. states and one in California. A total of 44 taxa belonging to 21 genera and 14 families were identified, in addition to a group of unidentifiable bdelloids. Of the fully identified species, 17 are the first thalassic records for the U.S., including Encentrum melonei
sp. nov. and Synchaeta grossa
sp. nov., which are new to science, and Colurella unicauda
Eriksen, 1968, which is new to the Nearctic region. Moreover, a refined description of Encentrum rousseleti
(Lie-Pettersen, 1905) is presented. During the survey, we characterized samples by different salinity values and ecosystems and compared species composition across communities to test for possible ecological correlations. Results indicate that both salinities and ecosystems are a significant predictor of rotifer diversity, supporting that biodiversity estimates of small species provide fundamental information for biomonitoring. Finally, we provide a comprehensive review of the diversity and distribution of thalassic rotifers in the United States. The results of the present study increase the thalassic rotifer record for the U.S. from about 105 (87 at species level) to 124 (106 at species level) taxa.
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License
which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited