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Transfer of bacterial production based on labile carbon to higher trophic levels in an oligotrophic pelagic system

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Additions of labile organic carbon (C) enhanced bacterial production (BP) and were associated with increases in crustacean zooplankton and planktivorous fish biomasses. This was shown in a mesocosm experiment where we traced the contribution of BP to zooplankton and fish using stable isotopes and labile glucose-C as a biomarker. BP increased with glucose-C addition, and all zooplankton and fish incorporated some glucose-C. However, the effect of labile-C addition on zooplankton was taxa-dependant, as although cladocerans incorporated the most labile-C, increased BP did not affect cladoceran biomass. Instead, calanoid copepod biomass increased with glucose addition. This suggests that the ability to selectively graze on high quality food, such as bacterial grazing protists capable of trophic upgrading, had a stronger positive effect on calanoid copepods biomass than unselective grazing on bacteria and protists had on cladoceran biomass. Higher BP was associated with increased survival and population growth of young-of-the-year perch (Perca fluviatilis) when stocked at high densities, which suggested that BP had a density-dependant positive effect on fish growth.

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: Department of Ecology and Environmental Science, Linnaeus väg 6, SE-90187, Umeå University, Sweden. 2: Climate Impacts Research Centre (CIRC), Department of Ecology and Environmental Science, Umeå University, Box 62, 981 07 Abisko, Sweden

Publication date: January 16, 2012

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  • Published continuously since 1901 (under various titles), this monthly journal is the primary publishing vehicle for the multidisciplinary field of aquatic sciences. It publishes perspectives (syntheses, critiques, and re-evaluations), discussions (comments and replies), articles, and rapid communications, relating to current research on cells, organisms, populations, ecosystems, or processes that affect aquatic systems. The journal seeks to amplify, modify, question, or redirect accumulated knowledge in the field of fisheries and aquatic science. Occasional supplements are dedicated to single topics or to proceedings of international symposia.
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