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Applied and Environmental Soil Science
Volume 2010, Article ID 103819, 8 pages
Research Article

Community Structure and Biodiversity of Soil Ciliates at Dongzhaigang Mangrove Forest in Hainan Island, China

1School of Life Sciences, Sun Yat-Sen University, Guangzhou 510275, China
2Research Center of Ecology and Environment, Guangzhou Research Institute of Environment Protection, Guangzhou 510620, China
3The Research Institute of Tropical Forestry, The Chinese Academy of Forestry, Guangzhou 510520, China
4Department of Biology and Chemistry, City University of Hong Kong, Kowloon, Hong Kong

Received 18 November 2009; Revised 7 March 2010; Accepted 30 March 2010

Academic Editor: Yongchao Liang

Copyright © 2010 Jing Li et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The distribution of soil ciliates in three different habitats within a typical mangrove forest in Dongzhaigang, Hainan, China was investigated. The abundance, biodiversity, and community similarity of ciliates in fresh and air-dried soil with different, physical/chemical properties were analyzed. Three Classes, 11 Orders, 34 Genera, and 70 species of ciliates were found with the first dominant group being Hypotrichida. Ciliate biodiversities followed Site B < Site A < Site C in both fresh and dried samples. Ciliate abundance was positively correlated with soil moisture, salinity, organic matter (OM), total nitrogen (TN), total phosphorus (TP), and sulfate (), but negatively with pH and total potassium (TK). Site A and Site B and Site B and Site C showed the highest similarity in fresh and dried samples, respectively. The ubiquitous characteristics of ciliate distribution suggested their important role in food webs and nutrient cycling. The presence of Colpodida was linked with mangrove plants.