Do Bacteria-Sized Marine Eukaryotes Consume Significant Bacterial Production?

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Science  15 Jun 1984:
Vol. 224, Issue 4654, pp. 1257-1260
DOI: 10.1126/science.224.4654.1257


Up to 60 percent of the total marine primary production (or about one-fourth of the total global carbon dioxide fixation) passes through the free-living bacterioplankton. Grazing by bacteriovores is probably the predominant fate of the bacteria, although data are scarce. Evidence is presented that previously uncharacterized, small eukaryotes that are able to pass even 0.6-micrometer filters may be responsible for a large fraction (more than 50 percent) of the total grazing in coastal waters. These organisms have not yet been observed microscopically.