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Climate scaling behaviour in the dynamics of the marine interstitial ciliate community

Varotsos, Costas A., Mazei, Yuri A., Burkovsky, Igor, Efstathiou, Maria N., Tzanis, Chris G.
Theoretical and applied climatology 2016 v.125 no.3-4 pp. 439-447
Ciliophora, biological models, climate, climate change, field experimentation, littoral zone, time series analysis
The present paper uses characteristics of the marine interstitial ciliate community in the White Sea intertidal sandflat during the period of 1991–2011, in order to study its long-term dynamics, investigating in particular whether it exhibits scaling behaviour into its fluctuations, which is a characteristic feature of the climate system. To this aim, a recently proposed version of the detrended fluctuation analysis is herewith employed which has been successfully applied to a wide range of simulated and physiologic time series in recent years. In case that the fluctuations of the ciliate community present self-similarity processes, an ideal field test for the currently proposed biological models will be established, allowing to evaluate their reliability. Indeed, we show for the first time that different ciliate species exhibit long-range power-law persistent correlations. This means that ciliate fluctuations in different intervals are positively correlated, obeying a power-law behaviour. Although the origin of power-law temporal evolution of ciliates should be further investigated, this finding is probably associated with the self-organized criticality of ciliates. It should be noted that the long-range correlations obtained do not imply the presence of specific cycles but rather the existence of dynamic links between long-term and short-term temporal evolution. The scaling behaviour found in marine interstitial ciliate community should be taken into account in the investigation of their response to the present or future climate change.