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Aquatic Microbial Ecology

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AME 65:65-73 (2011)  -  DOI:

Feeding, growth and metabolism of the marine heterotrophic dinoflagellate Gyrodinium dominans

Claire Schmoker1,4,*, Peter Thor2, Santiago Hernández-León1, Benni W. Hansen3

1Institute of Oceanography and Global Change, Universidad de Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Campus Universitario de Tafira, 35017 Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Canary Islands, Spain
2University of Gothenburg, Department of Marine Ecology, Kristineberg, 451 78 Fiskebäckskil, Sweden
3Department of Environmental, Social and Spatial Change, Roskilde University, 4000 Roskilde, Denmark
4Present address: DHI Water and Environment, 200 Pandan Loop, #08-03 Pantech 21, Singapore 128388

ABSTRACT: Rates of grazing, growth, and respiration were studied in the heterotrophic dinoflagellate Gyrodinium dominans experiencing a single pulse of prey. Additionally, rates of grazing and growth were compared to those of G. dominans growing with constant concentrations of prey. The maximal specific growth rates of G. dominans with a single pulse of prey were similar to those observed when G. dominans was acclimated to constant levels of prey. Thus, our results support the hypothesis that the growth of  G. dominans responds quickly to changes in the abundance of prey. Moreover, growth rates were negative when concentrations of prey were low; this would suggest that G. dominans is adapted to eutrophic conditions. Respiration rates were higher than growth rates when G. dominans was fed a single pulse of prey, and we hypothesize that the ability to respond numerically to a changing abundance of prey may inflict high metabolic costs. Gross growth efficiencies (GGEs), determined for G. dominans in both food availability conditions, were within the range of values reported for other heterotrophic protozoans, and while GGE decreased when concentrations of food were high in organisms fed a single pulse of food, the opposite was observed in organisms acclimatized to a constant level of food.

KEY WORDS: Heterotrophic dinoflagellate · Grazing · Growth · Respiration · GGE

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Cite this article as: Schmoker C, Thor P, Hernández-León S, Hansen BW (2011) Feeding, growth and metabolism of the marine heterotrophic dinoflagellate Gyrodinium dominans. Aquat Microb Ecol 65:65-73.

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