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Tintinnid Ciliate Communities in Pre- and Post-Winter Conditions in the Southern Adriatic Sea (NE Mediterranean)

1
Institute for Marine and Coastal Research, University of Dubrovnik, Kneza Damjana Jude 12, 20000 Dubrovnik, Croatia
2
Istituto Nazionale di Oceanografia e di Geofisica Sperimentale, Borgo Grotta Gigante 42-C, I-34010 Trieste, Italy
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Water 2019, 11(11), 2329; https://doi.org/10.3390/w11112329
Received: 21 August 2019 / Revised: 28 October 2019 / Accepted: 3 November 2019 / Published: 7 November 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Microbial Communities in Water Environments: Dynamics and Interaction)
The Southern Adriatic Sea is a dynamic region under the influence of diverse physical forces that modify sea water properties as well as plankton dynamics, abundance, and distribution in an intricate way. The most pronounced being: winter vertical convection, lateral exchanges between coastal and open sea waters, and the ingression of water masses of different properties into the Adriatic. We investigated the distribution and abundance of tintinnid species in this dynamic environment in pre- and post-winter conditions in 2015/2016. A strong ingression of the saline Levantine Intermediate Water, supported by the cyclonic mode of the North Ionian Gyre in 2015 and 2016, in December was associated with a high diversity of oceanic species. An unusual spatial distribution of neritic-estuarine species Codonellopsis schabi was observed in deeper layers along the analyzed transect, which emphasizes the strong influence of physical processes on deep water biology in the South Adriatic. A shift of population toward greater depths (mesopelagic) and modification of deep sea community structure was recorded in April as a consequence of the winter convection-driven sinking of tintinnids. Our findings indicate that tintinnid abundance and composition is heavily influenced by physical conditions and they are good indicators of the impact of physical forces, including climate changes, on marine environment. View Full-Text
Keywords: microzooplankton; tintinnids; winter convection; water masses distribution; Adriatic Sea; Mediterranean Sea microzooplankton; tintinnids; winter convection; water masses distribution; Adriatic Sea; Mediterranean Sea
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Njire, J.; Batistić, M.; Kovačević, V.; Garić, R.; Bensi, M. Tintinnid Ciliate Communities in Pre- and Post-Winter Conditions in the Southern Adriatic Sea (NE Mediterranean). Water 2019, 11, 2329.

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