Microbial Ecology

, Volume 21, Issue 1, pp 211–226 | Cite as

Short-term variations in specific biovolumes of different bacterial forms in aquatic ecosystems

  • Télesphore Sime-Ngande
  • Gilles Bourdier
  • Christian Amblard
  • Bernadette Pinel-Alloul


Short-term and spatial fluctuations in specific biovolumes (volume x cell−1) of different morphological categories of planktonic bacteria were estimated microscopically. Samples were taken from two lakes occurring in two different climatic systems: Lake Aydat (France) and Lake Cromwell (Canada). The study was done in summer, using 24-hour cycles of sampling.

Due to their large size, the specific volume of filamentous bacteria constituted, on average, the major part (>70%) of the total specific volume of all bacterial forms considered. Greatest variations in specific biovolumes were recorded for filamentous bacteria (coefficients of variation ranged from 16 to 109%). These variations were more pronounced in the oxygenated and microaerophilic strata (DOC ≈1.5 mg liter−1). Fluctuations in cell volume were high (coefficients of variation =12–80%) for coccal bacteria, whereas no marked fluctuations were found for the rod and vibrio bacteria (coefficients of variation =4–10%).

Evidence of diel patterns of cell volume of filamentous bacteria is provided. These cells displayed their maximum size during the day until early night, indicating cell division was occurring at night. Homogeneous circadian patterns were not provided by specific volume variations of coccal, rod, and vibrio bacteria.

Statistical relationships between bacterial specific biovolumes and the biotic and abiotic parameters considered are discussed.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 1.
    Albright LJ, McCrae SK (1987) Annual cycle of bacterial specific biovolumes in Howe Sound, a Canadian West Coast Fjord Sound. Appl Environ Microbiol 53:2739–2744PubMedGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Aleya L, Devaux J, Magouri HE, Marvalin O, Amblard C (1988) Usefulness of simultaneous use of several methods for estimation of phytoplanktonic biomass. Europ J Protistol 23:334–342Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Amblard C, Bourdier G (1988) Evidence of diel changes in adenine nucleotides, fatty acids content and primary productivity in lacustrine phytoplankton. Arch Hydrobiol 113:1–14Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Amy PS, Pauling C, Morita RY (1983) Recovery from starvation by a marineVibrio sp. Appl Environ Microbiol 45:1685–1690PubMedGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Andersson A, Larsson U, Hagstrom A (1986) Size-selective grazing by microflagellate on pelagic bacteria, Mar Ecol Prog Ser 33:51–57Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Bjøersen PK, Riemann B, Pock-Steen J, Nielsen TG, Horsted SJ (1989) Regulation of bacterioplankton production and cell volume in a eutrophic estuary. Appl Environ Microbiol 55:1512–1518Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Bourdier G (1989) Composition biochimique du matériel particulaire lacustre: Intérêt pour l'étude de l'activité métabolique des microorganismes, de la dynamique des populations phytoplanctoniques, et des relations trophiques phyto-zooplancton. Ph.D. Thesis, Univ. Blaise Pascal, Clermont-Ferrand II (France)Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Bowden WB (1977) Comparison of two direct-count techniques for enumerating aquatic bacteria. Appl Environ Microbiol 33:1229–1232PubMedGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Boyde A, Williams RAD (1971) Estimation of the volumes of bacterial cells by scanning electron microscopy. Arch Oral Biol 16:259–267CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Cammen LM, Walker JA (1982) Distribution and activity of attached and free-living suspended bacteria in the Bay of Fundy. Can J Fish Aquat Sci 39:1115–1163CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Finlay BJ (1990) Physiological ecology of free-living protozoa. Adv Microbial Ecol 2:1–35Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    Frempong E (1982) The space-time resolution of phased cell division in natural populations of the freshwater dinoflagellateCeratium hirundinella. Int Revue Ges Hydrobiol 67:323–339Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    Ganf GG, Stone SJL, Oliver RL (1986) Use of protein to carbohydrate ratio to analyse for nutrient deficiency in phytoplankton. Aust J Mar Fresh Res 37:183–197CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Gonzalez JM, Sherr EB, Sherr BF (1990) Size-selective grazing on bacteria by natural assemblages of estuarine flagellates and ciliates. Appl Environ Microbiol 56:583–589PubMedGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    Hagström A, Larsson V, Hörstedt P, Normark S (1979) Frequency of dividing cells, a new approach to the determination of bacterial growth rates in aquatic environments. Appl Environ Microbiol 37:805–812PubMedGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    Heller MD (1977) The phased division of the freshwater dinoflagellateCeratium hirundinella and its use as a method of assessing growth in natural populations. Freshwater Biol 7:527–533CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. 17.
    Hobbie JE, Daley RJ, Jasper S (1977) Use of Nuclepore filters for counting bacteria by fluorescence microscopy, Appl Environ Microbiol 33:1225–1228PubMedGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    Jassby AD (1975) The ecological significance of sinking to planktonic bacteria. Can J Microbiol 21:270–274PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. 19.
    Jordan MJ, Likens GE (1980) Measurement of planktonic bacterial production in an oligotrophic lake. Limnol Oceanogr 25:719–732Google Scholar
  20. 20.
    Krambeck C (1984) Diurnal responses of microbial activity and biomass in aquatic ecosystems. Current Perspectives in Microbial Ecology. In: Klug, Reddy (eds) Current perspectives in microbial ecology. ASM, Washington, pp 502–508Google Scholar
  21. 21.
    Krambeck C, Krambeck HJ (1984) Morphometric analysis of cell-cycle responses in bacterioplankton. Arch Hydrobiol Beih Ergebn Limnol 19:111–118Google Scholar
  22. 22.
    Krambeck C, Krambeck HJ, Overbeck J (1981) Micro-computer-assisted biomass determination of plankton bacteria on scanning electron micrographs. Appl Environ Microbiol 42:142–149PubMedGoogle Scholar
  23. 23.
    Marvalin O, Aleya L, Hartmann HJ (1989) Coupling of the seasonal patterns of bacterioplankton and phytoplankton in a eutrophic lake. Can J Microbiol 35:706–712CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. 24.
    Montesinos E, Esteve I, Guerrero R (1983) Comparison between direct methods for determining of microbial cell volume: Electron microscopy and electronic particle sizing. Appl Environ Microbiol 45:1651–1658PubMedGoogle Scholar
  25. 25.
    Morris I, Glover HE (1981) Physiology of photosynthesis by marine coccoid cyanobacteria. Some ecological implications. Limnol Oceanogr 26:957–961Google Scholar
  26. 26.
    Novitsky JA, Morita RY (1976) Morphological characterization of small cells resulting from nutrient starvation of a psychorophilic marine vibrio. Appl Environ Microbiol 32:617–662PubMedGoogle Scholar
  27. 27.
    Overbeck J (1979) Studies on heterotrophic functions and glucose metabolism of microplankton in Plussee. Arch Hydrobiol Beith Ergbn Limnol 13:56–76Google Scholar
  28. 28.
    Parsons TR, Strickland JDN (1963) Discussion of spectrophotometric determination of marine-plant pigments, with revised equation for ascertaining chlorophylls and carotenoids. J Mar Res 21:155–163Google Scholar
  29. 29.
    Pinel-Alloul B, Devaux J, Amblard C, Bourdier G, Marvalin O, Angeli N, Gawler M, Pont D (1989) Short-term variations of the plankton compartments in a humic Canadian Shield lake. Rev Sciences Eau 2:755–775Google Scholar
  30. 30.
    Pollingher U, Serruya C (1976) Phased division ofPeridinium cintum f.westii and the development of the bloom in Lake Kinneret (Israel). J Phycol 12:162–170CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. 31.
    Porter KG, Feig YS (1980) The use of DAPI for identifying and counting aquatic microflora. Limnol Oceanogr 25:943–948Google Scholar
  32. 32.
    Riemann B, Søndergaard M (1984) Measurements of diet rates of bacterial secondary production in aquatic environments. Appl Environ Microbiol 47:632–638PubMedGoogle Scholar
  33. 33.
    Rublee PA (1982) Seasonal distribution in salt marsh sediments in North Carolina. Estuarine Coastal Shelf Sci 15:67–74CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. 34.
    Servais P (1989) Bacterioplanktonic biomass and production in the River Meuse (Belgium). Hydrobiologia 174:99–110Google Scholar
  35. 35.
    Sieburth JM, Smetacek V, Lenz J (1978) Pelagic ecosystem structure: Heterotrophic compartments of the plankton and their relationships to plankton size fractions. Limnol Oceanogr 23:1256–1263Google Scholar
  36. 36.
    Sime-Ngando T, Hartmann HJ, Grolère CA (1990) Rapid quantification of planktonic ciliates: Comparison of improved live counting with other methods. Appl Environ Microbiol 56:2234–2242PubMedGoogle Scholar
  37. 37.
    Sime-Ngando T, Hartmann HJ (1991) Short-term variations of the abundance and biomass of planktonic ciliates in an eutrophic lake. Europ J Protistol (in press)Google Scholar
  38. 38.
    Simon M, Azam F (1989) Protein content and protein synthesis rates of planktonic marine bacteria. Mar Ecol Prog Ser 51:201–213Google Scholar
  39. 39.
    Sournia A (1974) Circadian periodicities in natural populations of marine phytoplankton. Adv Mar Biol 12:325–389CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. 40.
    Steemann-Nielsen E (1952) The use of radio-active carbon (14C) for measuring organic production in sea. Journ Cons Explor Mer 18:117–140Google Scholar
  41. 41.
    Steenbergen CLM, Korthals HJ (1982) Distribution of phototrophic microorganisms in the anaerobic and microaerophilic strata of lake Vechten (The Netherlands). Pigments analysis and role in primary production. Limnol Oceanogr 27:883–895Google Scholar
  42. 42.
    Straskrabova V, Fuksa J (1982) Diel changes in number and activities of bacterioplankton in a reservoir in relation to algal production. Limnol Oceanogr 27:660–672Google Scholar
  43. 43.
    Straskrabova V, Komarkova J (1979) Seasonal changes of bacterioplankton in a reservoir related to algae. I. Numbers and biomass. Int Rev Gesamten Hydrobiol 64:285–302Google Scholar
  44. 44.
    Taylor FJR (1980) Basic biological features of phytoplankton cells. In: Morris I (ed) The physiological ecology of phytoplankton (Studies in Ecology, Blackwell Scientific Publications, Oxford, Vol. 7) pp 3–55Google Scholar
  45. 45.
    Turley CM, Newell RC, Robin DB (1986) Survival strategies of two small marine ciliates and their role in regulating bacterial community structure under experimental conditions. Mar Ecol Prog Ser 33:59–70Google Scholar
  46. 46.
    Van Es FB, Meyer-Reil LA (1982) Biomass and metabolic activity of heterotrophic marine bacteria. In: Marshall KC (ed) Advances in microbial ecology, vol. 6. Plenum Publishing Corp, New York, pp 111–170Google Scholar
  47. 47.
    Yentsch CM, Horan PK, Muirhead K, Dortch Q, Haugen E, Legendre L, Murphy LS, Perry MJ, Phinney DA, Pomponi SA, Spinrad RW, Wood M, Yentsch CS, Zahuranec BJ (1983) Flow cytometry and cell sorting: A technique for analysis and sorting of aquatic particles. Limnol Oceanogr 28:1275–1280CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. 48.
    Young LY (1978) Bacterioneuston examined with critical point drying and transmission electron microscopy. Microb Ecol 4:267–277CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag New York Inc. 1991

Authors and Affiliations

  • Télesphore Sime-Ngande
    • 1
  • Gilles Bourdier
    • 1
  • Christian Amblard
    • 1
  • Bernadette Pinel-Alloul
    • 2
  1. 1.Laboratoire de Zoologie et Protistologie, Université Blaise Pascal de Clermont-Ferrand IIU. A. CNRS 138Aubière CedexFrance
  2. 2.Départment Sciences BiologiquesUniversité de MontréalMontrealCanada

Personalised recommendations