Role of nanoplanktons in marine food-webs
Faculty of Sciences. Biology
Engineering sciences. Technology
INTERNATIONAL LETTERS OF NATURAL SCIENCES
, p. 38-47
University of Antwerp
Nanoplanktons are ubiquitous protozoan zooplankton in a size range of 2 to 20 mu m, play key ecological roles in aquatic ecosystems. Heterotrophic nanoflagellates are distributed through the continental shelf and margin area of the oceans as well as deep-sea. These organisms contribute significantly to the total living biomass within these systems, serve as the major top-down control on bacterial assemblages, and are an important source of mortality for microalgae and other heterotrophic nanoflagellates. From many recent studies, it is generally accepted that HNF is one of the most important bacterial consumers. They also function as important remineralizers of organic matter and nutrients in aquatic systems. In accordance with these important ecological roles, heterotrophic nanoflagellates have been the subject of considerable study both in the field and laboratory.