Occurrence of bacterivory in Cryptomonas, a common freshwater phytoplankter
- Cite this article as:
- Tranvik, L.J., Porter, K.G. & Sieburth, J.M. Oecologia (1989) 78: 473. doi:10.1007/BF00378736
Bacterivory was detected by incorporation of 0.57 μm diameter, fluorescent polystyrene beads and fluorescently labeled bacteria (FLB) in two cultured species of Cryptomonas (C. ovata and C. erosa), and a population of Cryptomonas sp in a humic, mesotrophic lake. Rates of ingestion and clearance were very low, and similar for the cultures and the in situ population. The in situ population incorporated 0.7–1.7 bacteria cell-1 h-1, thereby ingesting 0.3%–2.0% of the total bacterial numbers present in the water per day, and receiving less than 2% of its carbon content per day through bacterivory. Thus, bacterivory by Cryptomonas was quantitatively important neither as a sink for bacterial biomass, nor as a carbon source for the algal cells. Possibly, it served in the uptake of essential nutrients.