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Enrichment of omnivorous cercozoan nanoflagellates from coastal Baltic Sea waters


Piwosz, K; Pernthaler, J (2011). Enrichment of omnivorous cercozoan nanoflagellates from coastal Baltic Sea waters. PLoS ONE, 6(9):e24415.

Abstract

Free-living nano-sized flagellates are important bacterivores in aquatic habitats. However, some slightly larger forms can also be omnivorous, i.e., forage upon both bacterial and eukaryotic resources. This hitherto largely ignored feeding mode may have pronounced implications for the interpretation of experiments about protistan bacterivory. We followed the response of an uncultured group of omnivorous cercozoan nanoflagellates from the Novel Clade 2 (Cerc_BAL02) to experimental food web manipulation in samples from the Gulf of Gdansk (Southern Baltic Sea). Seawater was either prefiltered through 5 mu m filters to exclude larger predators of nanoflagellates (F-treatment), or prefiltered and subsequently 1:10 diluted with sterile seawater (F+D-treatment) to stimulate the growth of both, flagellates and bacteria. Initially, Cerc_BAL02 were rapidly enriched under both conditions. They foraged on both, eukaryotic prey and bacteria, and were highly competitive at low concentrations of food. However, these omnivores were later only successful in the F+D treatment, where they eventually represented almost one fifth of all aplastidic nanoflagellates. By contrast, their numbers stagnated in the F-treatment, possibly due to top-down control by a concomitant bloom of other, unidentified flagellates. In analogy with observations about the enrichment of opportunistically growing bacteria in comparable experimental setups we suggest that the low numbers of omnivorous Cerc_Bal02 flagellates in waters of the Gulf of Gdansk might also be related to their vulnerability to grazing pressure.

Free-living nano-sized flagellates are important bacterivores in aquatic habitats. However, some slightly larger forms can also be omnivorous, i.e., forage upon both bacterial and eukaryotic resources. This hitherto largely ignored feeding mode may have pronounced implications for the interpretation of experiments about protistan bacterivory. We followed the response of an uncultured group of omnivorous cercozoan nanoflagellates from the Novel Clade 2 (Cerc_BAL02) to experimental food web manipulation in samples from the Gulf of Gdansk (Southern Baltic Sea). Seawater was either prefiltered through 5 mu m filters to exclude larger predators of nanoflagellates (F-treatment), or prefiltered and subsequently 1:10 diluted with sterile seawater (F+D-treatment) to stimulate the growth of both, flagellates and bacteria. Initially, Cerc_BAL02 were rapidly enriched under both conditions. They foraged on both, eukaryotic prey and bacteria, and were highly competitive at low concentrations of food. However, these omnivores were later only successful in the F+D treatment, where they eventually represented almost one fifth of all aplastidic nanoflagellates. By contrast, their numbers stagnated in the F-treatment, possibly due to top-down control by a concomitant bloom of other, unidentified flagellates. In analogy with observations about the enrichment of opportunistically growing bacteria in comparable experimental setups we suggest that the low numbers of omnivorous Cerc_Bal02 flagellates in waters of the Gulf of Gdansk might also be related to their vulnerability to grazing pressure.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:07 Faculty of Science > Department of Plant and Microbial Biology
Dewey Decimal Classification:580 Plants (Botany)
Language:English
Date:September 2011
Deposited On:03 Mar 2012 21:19
Last Modified:04 Jul 2016 14:36
Publisher:Public Library of Science (PLoS)
ISSN:1932-6203
Free access at:Publisher DOI. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0024415
PubMed ID:21966360
Permanent URL: http://doi.org/10.5167/uzh-60006

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