Microbial food web interactions in two Long Island embayments
Boissonneault Cellineri, Katie Rose
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LocationWest Neck Bay, Long Island, NY
Coecles Harbor, Long Island, NY
Phytoplankton mortality (herbivory) and bacterivory were examined experimentally in West Neck Bay and Coecles Harbor, Long Island, NY from April through September, 1998. Small algae (<5 μm diameter) dominated phytoplankton communities in both ecosystems throughout the summer, and zooplankton were also small (mostly <40 μm). Generally, plankton abundances were indicative of eutrophic ecosystems. Oscillations in standing stocks and mortality of prey indicated tight coupling of growth and grazing mortality in both bays. Phytoplankton mortality rates accounted for the removal of 14% to 65% of total phytoplankton standing stocks daily, while bacterivory accounted for the removal of 14% to 88% of total bacterial standing stocks daily. Estimates of carbon consumption revealed high energy flux through the nano- and microzooplankton assemblages of these estuarine environments.
Submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Science at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution September 1999
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