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Aquatic Microbial Ecology

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AME 10:307-313 (1996)  -  doi:10.3354/ame010307

Grazing in the heterotrophic dinoflagellate Oxyrrhis marina: size selectivity and preference for calcified Emiliania huxleyi cells

Hansen FC, Witte HJ, Passarge J

Selective grazing on nanophythoplankton by the heterotrophic dinoflagellate Oxyrrhis marina was investigated in laboratory experiments. O. marina was offered 2 mixtures of differently sized algae: (1) Micromonas pusilla (2 um Equivalent Spherical Diameter), Emiliania huxleyi (5 um ESD), and Tetraselmis suecica (7 um ESD); and (2) Nannochloris sp. (2 um ESD), Isochrysis galbana (5 um ESD), Rhodomonas sp. (8 um ESD), and Tetraselmis sp. (10 um ESD). O. marina grazed selectively on the larger algal species (ESD >= 7 um), and also selected for the larger cells within each species. O. marina discriminated against E. huxleyi. To test this selection, O. marina was offered mixtures of equal concentrations of the similarly sized algae E. huxleyi and I. galbana. In these mixtures, O. marina preferred the calcified E. huxleyi cells over noncalcified E. huxleyi cells and discriminated against I. galbana. This result is also interpreted in terms of size-selective grazing.

Protozoa . Food selection . Prey size . Microphytoplankton . Coccoliths

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