Series: Biosystematics and Ecology Volume: 30
By: Erna Aescht(Author), Reinhart Schuster(Editor)
The number of ciliate records increased from about 3500 included in the "Catalogus Faunae Austriae Ic" of Wilhelm Foissner and Ilse Foissner in 1988 to actually 74 000, mainly due to huge saprobiological monitoring programs of rivers in Upper Austria from 1992 to 2006. 1033 valid taxa classified at present in 388 genera and 181 families were originally described – 239 of them have been discovered and 138 redescribed with type localities in Austria, which are highlighted for the respective federal state – or reliably recorded corresponding to about 14 %, 26 % and 60 % of the worldwide known species, genera and families, respectively. This corresponds to an increase of valid taxa by about 50 % within 25 years.
The overwhelming proportion of ciliate (sub)species belongs to two families, the Oxytrichidae (60) und Vorticellidae (54), however about 48 % of the families are only represented by one or two taxa. According to the updated number of taxa the nine federal states of Austria are ranked as follows: Salzburg (624), Upper Austria (569), Lower Austria (387), Carinthia (231), Tyrol (215), Burgenland (194), Vienna (159) and Styria (140). No record is known for Vorarlberg. Taxonomic, bibliographic, classificatory and faunistic informations are published in the journal "Beiträge zur Naturkunde Oberösterreichs" 2012 as well as stored and interlinked in the Database of Austrian Ciliates of the Biology Centre Linz. However, the new scenarios are far from approaching completeness as indicated by the 15 species recorded for the first time in Austria since 2012, since in most administrative units the majority of ciliate diversity is still undiscovered.
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