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Article << Previous     |     Next >>   Contents Vol 50(5)

Do bacteria regenerate phosphorus while decomposing seston?

R. García-Ruiz, J. Lucena and F. X. Niell

Marine and Freshwater Research 50(5) 459 - 466
Published: 1999


The C:P ratio of both seston in suspension and seston collected by sediment traps were systematically higher than the Redfield ratio of 106 : 1 (molar) and decreased significantly with depth in the mesotrophic, phosphorus-limited La Concepción reservoir. An aerobic decomposition experiment of seston at different concentrations by a mixed population of reservoir bacteria was performed in batch cultures to investigate the bacterial role in the changes of the C:P ratio. Dissolved phosphorus was taken up during the bacterial growth phase, while carbon was transformed to CO2 . Therefore, the C:P ratio of the decomposing seston decreased during this stage, and could partially explain the vertical distribution for the C:P ratio in this reservoir. During the death phase of the bacteria, flagellate grazing caused most of the bacterial phosphorus to be released to the medium.

Full text doi:10.1071/MF98077

© CSIRO 1999

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