Microbial Ecology

, Volume 46, Issue 3, pp 337–347

Viriobenthos Production and Virioplankton Sorptive Scavenging by Suspended Sediment Particles in Coastal and Pelagic Waters



Virus production in oxic surface sediments and virioplankton sorption to suspended particles was estimated across three stations in the Southern California region (33.4°N, 118.6°W). Viriobenthos production was estimated using a sterile sediment and filtered porewater dilution technique that targeted production from both attached bacteria and bacteria living free in the porewater, and attached bacteria alone. Potential virus production rates by bacteria free in the porewater ranged from 1.7 to 4.6 × 108 VLP cm−3 h−1, while attached bacteria had slower potential production rates of between 0.4 and 1.1 × 108 VLP cm−3 h−1, suggesting turnover rates of viruses in sediments (1–5 h) which are significantly higher than those of virioplankton (~24–48 h). Virioplankton adsorbed to small (<150 µm) suspended sediments at stations with high ambient suspended solid concentrations. Virioplankton scavenging rates combined with published sedimentation rates demonstrate that this mechanism of virus arrival could only account for 0.01% of daily benthic virus production. Calculated mortality rates of benthic bacteria (4–14% h−1) suggest viruses may play an important role in sediment carbon cycling.

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Biological SciencesUniversity of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA 90089-0371USA

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