Stimulation of Heterotrophic Microplankton Production by Resuspended Marine Sediments

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Science  18 Dec 1987:
Vol. 238, Issue 4834, pp. 1710-1712
DOI: 10.1126/science.238.4834.1710

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Resuspended material experimentally derived from natural marine sediments and added to dark microcosms containing natural seawater stimulated the suspended microheterotrophs (bacteria and protozoa) to attain 2.6 times the biovolume of controls after 32 hours. Free bacteria benefited most from the stimulus, both numerically and volumetrically. Attached suspended bacteria also increased in number during the first 64 hours of the experiment; particles remaining in suspension became more densely packed with bacteria. This increased microbial production may be an important source of high-quality biomass for consumers in the nearshore zone, depending on the frequency, duration, and intensity of resuspension events in a given region.