Size-selective predation on groundwater bacteria by nanoflagellates in an organic-contaminated aquifer

Applied and Environmental Microbiology
By: , and 

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Abstract

Time series incubations were conducted to provide estimates for the size selectivities and rates of protistan grazing that may be occurring in a sandy, contaminated aquifer. The experiments involved four size classes of fluorescently labeled groundwater bacteria (FLB) and 2- to 3-μm-long nanoflagellates, primarily Spumella guttula(Ehrenberg) Kent, that were isolated from contaminated aquifer sediments (Cape Cod, Mass.). The greatest uptake and clearance rates (0.77 bacteria · flagellate−1 · h−1 and 1.4 nl · flagellate−1 · h−1, respectively) were observed for 0.8- to 1.5-μm-long FLB (0.21-μm3 average cell volume), which represent the fastest growing bacteria within the pore fluids of the contaminated aquifer sediments. The 19:1 to 67:1 volume ratios of nanoflagellate predators to preferred bacterial prey were in the lower end of the range commonly reported for other aquatic habitats. The grazing data suggest that the aquifer nanoflagellates can consume as much as 12 to 74% of the unattached bacterial community in 1 day and are likely to have a substantive effect upon bacterial degradation of organic groundwater contaminants.

Additional publication details

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Size-selective predation on groundwater bacteria by nanoflagellates in an organic-contaminated aquifer
Series title Applied and Environmental Microbiology
Volume 64
Issue 2
Year Published 1998
Language English
Publisher ASM
Contributing office(s) Toxic Substances Hydrology Program
Description 8 p.
First page 618
Last page 625