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Marine Ecology Progress Series

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MEPS 384:61-68 (2009)  -  DOI:

Trophic transfer of Fe, Zn and Am from marine bacteria to a planktonic ciliate

Catherine Vogel*, Nicholas S. Fisher

School of Marine and Atmospheric Sciences, Stony Brook University, Stony Brook, New York 11794-5000, USA

ABSTRACT: Marine bacteria may serve as an enriched source of essential and non-essential metals for animals that eat them. We evaluated this trophic transfer by measuring the accumulation of Fe, Zn and Am by planktonic ciliates (Uronema sp.) following the ingestion of radiolabeled heterotrophic bacteria (Vibrio natriegens) in laboratory experiments. V. natriegens cells were allowed to accumulate 55Fe, 65Zn and 241Am from seawater for 5 d and were subsequently fed to the ciliates. Uptake and depuration of the metals was monitored in the ciliates over time. Measured assimilation efficiencies were 79% for Fe, 29% for Zn and 24% for Am; corresponding efflux rates were 0.1 d–1 for Fe, 0.9 d–1 for Zn and 0.7 d–1 for Am. These results suggest that bacteria present an alternate source to phytoplankton for some metals (especially Fe) to be introduced into metazoan food webs.

KEY WORDS: Trophic transfer · Ciliated protozoa · Heterotrophic bacteria · Metals · Metal cycling

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Cite this article as: Vogel C, Fisher NS (2009) Trophic transfer of Fe, Zn and Am from marine bacteria to a planktonic ciliate. Mar Ecol Prog Ser 384:61-68.

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