Effect of Grazing: Metazoan Suspension Feeders
Suspension feeding is primarily an adaptation to utilize the primary production in aquatic habitats, which is predominantly in the form of phytoplankton, particularly in the sea. The microscopic phytoplankton algae are present in dilute suspensions in the water masses. Utilization of the phytoplankton therefore involves processing large volumes of the surrounding water which, besides the algal cells, also contains other types of suspended matter, including bacteria and other heterotrophs, as well as dissolved organic molecules. Metazoan suspension feeders may therefore exert an effect by directly grazing upon the bacterioplankton or by acting as competitors for the dissolved organic molecules that constitute bacterial food.
KeywordsBiomass Porosity Migration Phosphorus Filtration
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