Protozoan Bacterivory in Pelagic Marine Waters

  • John McN. Sieburth
Part of the NATO Conference Series book series (NATOCS, volume 15)


The significance of bacteria and bacterial-grazing protozoa in the decomposition of detritus and mineral cycling in the benthic environment has been excellently reviewed by Fenchel and Harrison (1976) and Fenchel and Jørgensen (1977) and demonstrated in a series of experiments by Fenchel (1977). In reviewing the role of protozoa in nutrient cycling and energy flow, Stout (1980) correctly states that there is little information on the nutrients and the nutrient cycling of planktonic protozoa in pelagic waters. Although the role in the pelagic food chain of the protozooplankton and their grazing of bacteria was recognized by Lohmann (1911), only recently is it receiving renewed attention (Pomeroy 1974; Sieburth 1976; 1979; Sieburth et al. 1978; Williams 1981). Such studies require a sound taxonomie basis. Contemporary studies still rely heavily upon late 19th century (e.g., Kent 1880-81; Stokes 1888) and early 20th century (e.g.. Calkins 1901; Griessman 1914) monographs, although this area of enquiry has recently been reopened (Fenchel 1982a; Davis and Sieburth, unpublished). Before discussing the recent developments, it is first necessary to draw upon the older literature and build a foundation of what is known about the grazing of bacteria by rhizopods, flagellates and ciliates in general, before looking at the nature of in situ pelagic populations of bacterial prey and their protozoan predators.


Planktonic Bacterium Heterotrophic Flagellate Marine Snow Paramecium Caudatum Organotrophic Bacterium 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1984

Authors and Affiliations

  • John McN. Sieburth
    • 1
  1. 1.Graduate School of OceanographyUniversity of Rhode IslandNarragansettUSA

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