Seasonal occurrence of Loricate Choanoflagellates in Danish inner waters

Helge Abildhauge Thomsen, Frank Nitsche, Daniel J. Richter

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It is a trend in loricate choanoflagellate research that our knowledge of species diversity is insufficient in terms of understanding annual successional changes at any specific locality, whereas there is a fairly decent coverage worldwide − at least in more coastal realms − in terms of biodiversity within more narrowly defined time windows. To help address this knowledge gap, we have compiled all available loricate choanoflagellate occurrence data from Danish sampling sites covering an overall time span of close to four decades. The close to 100 samples analysed have a good annual coverage and they encompass in total more than 50 species. We demonstrate clear successional trends among well-defined clusters of species. A large contingent of ‘non-native’ species, which are in a global context largely considered part of the loricate choanoflagellate warm water community, occurred in September 2014 samples from the Baltic Sea entrance, i.e. the Sound between Denmark and Sweden. While the occurrence of these species is likely due to a large inflow of southern Atlantic water, we also discuss whether the findings may instead reflect recent and more permanent climate change-induced alterations to choanoflagellate biodiversity in inner Danish waters
Original languageEnglish
Issue number6
Pages (from-to)622-638
Publication statusPublished - 2016

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