Tintinnid ciliates (marine microzooplankton) of the Ross Sea

  • John R. Dolan Laboratoire d’Océanographie de Villefranche-sur-Mer, Villefranche-sur-Mer, France
  • Wuju Son Division of Ocean Science, Korea Polar Research Institute, Incheon, Korea
  • Hyoung Sul La Division of Ocean Science, Korea Polar Research Institute, Incheon, Korea
  • Jisoo Park Division of Ocean Science, Korea Polar Research Institute, Incheon, Korea
  • Eun Jin Yang Division of Ocean Science, Korea Polar Research Institute, Incheon, Korea
Keywords: Ross Sea Marine Protected Area, Antarctica, plankton, biodiversity


For the Ross Sea, the only Marine Protected Area in Antarctica, available data on the tintinnid ciliates of the marine microzooplankton are mostly limited to nearshore waters near Terra Nova Bay or the vicinity of the McMurdo Sound. Here, we report results from a geographically extensive sampling across the Ross Sea conducted in December 2020. Material from plankton net tows (20 µm mesh), made at 38 stations spanning over 30° of latitude, was examined. We found 11 tintinnid species of varying commonality or rarity, many showing considerable morphological variability that is here documented. We found four forms that had not been previously reported from the Ross Sea. Based on our findings and previous reports, we assembled a species accumulation curve showing the growth in the inventory of tintinnid species recorded from the Ross Sea as a function of sampling effort and time since 1983. Extrapolation of the species accumulation curve, derived from sampling over the last 37 years, indicates that continued sampling will likely provide new species records, suggesting that the Ross Sea is under-sampled at present. This complicates efforts to detect temporal changes in species compositions, at least with regard to tintinnid ciliates. Comparing species accumulation curves for the Ross Sea and the relatively well-studied Weddell Sea, it appears that the Ross Sea may be more species-rich.


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While in press, a new paper (Wang et al. 2022), including data on Ross Sea tintinnids, appeared. Data from 13 stations sampled in January 2020 are reported. No new tintinnid species records for the Ross Sea were documented. Six species, previously noted, were found (with occupied lorica): Condonellopsis gaussi, Condonellopsis glacialis, Cymatocylis convallaria, Cymatocylis cristallina, Cymatocylis drygalskii, Cymatocylis vanhoeffeni and Laackmanniella prolongata. Inclusion of the new data would only slightly alter Fig. 11. The cumulative number of Ross Sea sites sampled would increase from 140 to 153 sites.
How to Cite
Dolan J. R., Son W., La H. S., Park J., & Yang E. J. (2022). Tintinnid ciliates (marine microzooplankton) of the Ross Sea. Polar Research, 41. https://doi.org/10.33265/polar.v41.8382
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