Virginia Institute of Marine Science
Aquatic Microbial Ecology
Bacteria and metazoan zooplankton (mainly crustaceans) are often viewed as 2 separate functional groups in the pelagic food webs indirectly linked via nutrient cycling and trophic cascades. Yet a zooplankter's body carries a high abundance of diverse bacteria, often at an equivalent concentration orders of magnitude higher than the ambient bacterial concentration. Zooplankton bodies are organic-rich micro-environments that support fast bacterial growth. Their physical-chemical conditions differ from those in the surrounding water and therefore select for different bacterial communities, including anaerobic bacteria that otherwise may not thrive in a well-oxygenated water column. The zooplankton body provides protection to the associated bacteria from environmental stresses similar to biofilms. Furthermore, migration by zooplankton enables rapid dispersal of bacteria over vast distances and across boundaries such as the pycnocline. In addition to live zooplankton molts, fecal pellets, and carcasses of zooplankton all influence water column and benthic microbial communities in various ways. We review the recent advances in the study of (crustacean) zooplankton-bacteria interactions and discuss future research opportunities and challenges. Traditional aquatic microbial ecology emphasizes free-living bacteria, which represent only a fraction of the microbial world. By transcending disciplinary boundaries, microbial ecologists and zooplankton ecologists can work together to integrate the two disciplines and advance our understanding in aquatic microbial ecology.
Copepod Fecal Pellets; Aggregates Lake Snow; Dissolved Organic-Carbon; Fresh-Water Zooplankton; Resting-Egg-Production; Acartia-Tonsa Dana; Vibrio-Cholerae; Marine-Bacteria; Community Composition; Chitin Utilization
Tang, KW; Turk, V; and Grossart, HP, Linkage between crustacean zooplankton and aquatic bacteria (2010). Aquatic Microbial Ecology, 61(3), 261-277.