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Sediment penetration depths of epi- and infaunal ostracods from Lake Geneva (Switzerland)
Many (palaeo-)environmental parameters can be deduced from ecological and chemical analyses of ostracods. However, the specific ecology of each taxon has a great impact on its reaction to changing environmental conditions. As a consequence, each taxon records these changes differently. The mean penetration depth (MPD) and relative individual abundances have been documented along sediment depth profiles for the dominant sub-littoral to profundal species of ostracods in western Lake Geneva, Switzerland, and this data can be used to estimate their preferential habitat in terms of sediment depths. Isocypris beauchampi, Limnocytherina sanctipatricii, Cypria ophtalmica forma lacustris at 13-m water depths, Limnocythere inopinata, and a winter generation of Herpetocypris reptans have the shallowest habitat preferences at the study sites (MPDs of 0.45, 0.48, 0.49, 0.60, and 0.81 cm, respectively). These results suggest that these populations may be regarded as being preferentially epifaunal forms. Populations of Cytherissa lacustris (MPDs of 0.61, 0.73, and 0.82 cm at 13-, 33-, and 70-m water depths, respectively), Cypria ophtalmica forma lacustris at 70 m (MPD = 0.96 cm), Fabaeformiscandona caudata (MPD = 0.99 cm), and a summer generation of Herpetocypris reptans (MPD = 1.03 cm) were identified as being infaunal. Candona neglecta is the species that was found the deepest in the sediment of Lake Geneva, with MPDs of 0.65, 1.22, and 1.30 cm at 13-, 33-, and 70-m water depths, respectively. Information on the sediment texture and oxygen concentrations inferred from the analyses of sediment pore water suggest that the oxygen content of the sediment pore water is not the only dominant parameter controlling the differences in ostracod sediment penetration depths observed among the different sites, but that they might also be influenced by the sediment 'softness,' which itself depends on grain size, water content, and the abundance of organic matter in sediment.
Ostracod sediment penetration depth, Infaunal, Epifaunal, Lake Geneva
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