Dynamics of Pools of Dissolved Organic Carbon

  • Richard T. Wright
Part of the NATO Conference Series book series (NATOCS, volume 15)


Bacteria living and growing in the plankton of marine waters are clearly doing so at the expense of organic matter in the dissolved state. In recent years our understanding of this process has improved greatly. This paper will explore the interaction of bacteria and dissolved organic matter from an ecological viewpoint. In energy flow terms, the DOM (dissolved organic matter) of natural waters can be construed as a trophic level, the base of a food chain involving only heterotrophs. The next (higher) trophic level is occupied by the heterotrophic microorganisms dependent on DOM, and there is good evidence now that in planktonic ecosystems the bacteria uniquely occupy this trophic level. They in turn contribute energy to higher trophic levels when they are fed on by planktonic and benthic animals. From this point the energy flow joins that of the food chain based on particulate matter such as algae and detritus.


Coastal Water Dissolve Organic Matter Organic Solute Turnover Time Kinetic Approach 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1984

Authors and Affiliations

  • Richard T. Wright
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of BiologyGordon CollegeWenhamUSA

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