Picoplankton Dynamics and Their Trophic Roles in the Microbial Food-Web Processes in the Southern East China Sea Upwelling Region During Summer


We monitored the abundance and biomass of nanoflagellates and their potential prey, heterotrophic bacteria, and Synechococcus spp. five times during the summers in 2010 and 2011. We used size-fractionation to measure growth and grazing rates of heterotrophic bacteria and Synechococcus spp. Temporal changes in surface water chlorophyll a (Chl a) concentrations during our study were caused by an influx of nutrient-rich water upwelling into the surface water. The bacterial growth rates ranged from 0.01 to 0.08 h-1 and grazing rates from 0 to 0.06 h-1. Bacterial growth rate had a positive relationship with Chl a concentration. Furthermore, growth and grazing rates of Synechococcus spp. ranged from 0.01 to 0.09 and 0 to 0.02 h-1, respectively. During the study period about 68% of the bacterial production and 41% of the Synechococcus spp. production was grazed by nanoflagellates in the southern East China Sea upwelling region, thus, a large fraction of bacterial biomass is transferred to higher trophic levels via nanoflagellate grazing.

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