Summary: Within the anaerobic hypolimnion of a small eutrophic lake, a well defined and stable community of large ciliates was present throughout the period of summer stratification. Peak ciliate densities occurred at the oxic/anoxic interface; ciliate numbers then declined in an approximately exponential manner with increasing depth. Two thermally stratified 2 m high artificial lake ecosystems were constructed in which an anaerobic hypolimnion developed. Within these model lakes, populations of hypolimnetic ciliates were maintained for many months. Community structure, growth characteristics and spatial distribution of the ciliates were similar to those in the natural environment.


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