Nutrient Interactions and Microbes

  • Francis A. Richards
Part of the NATO Conference Series book series (NATOCS, volume 15)


This paper is concerned with microbial processes that alter the composition of seawater; the alterations represent modifications of the environment that in turn can be expected to influence microbial activity. Such processes can be examined with a view to many of the chemical elements, which may be involved because they are essential to the growth and metabolism of plants and animals, which may be concentrated in or on the bodies of organisms either biochemically or physico-chemically, or which may have special stimulating or toxic effects. As suggested by the organizing committee, most of the presentation will deal with the elements considered in the “Redfield ratios”, carbon, nitrogen, phosphorus, and dissolved oxygen. The discussion will, however, be extended to the consideration of oxygen-deficient and anoxic waters, in which the role of sulfur compounds becomes important, and some speculation as to the possible role of phosphate as a free energy source will be included. It will be important to review the assumptions implicit in the Redfield ratios and the departures in nature from the ratios and assumptions. The departures may sometimes be more interesting than the ratios themselves, because they may indicate significant peculiarities in the populations or in the environment.


Sulfate Reduction Nitrate Reduction Oxygen Consumption Rate Nitrate Reductase Activity Redfield Ratio 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1984

Authors and Affiliations

  • Francis A. Richards
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of the NavyOffice of Naval Research, Branch OfficeFPO New YorkUSA

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