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Data from: Importance of mixotrophic bacterivory can be predicted by light and loss rates

Citation

Fischer, Robert; Giebel, Helge-Ansgar; Hillebrand, Helmut; Ptacnik, Robert (2016), Data from: Importance of mixotrophic bacterivory can be predicted by light and loss rates, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.5p39s

Abstract

Recent observational studies form oligotrophic waters provide ample evidence that mixotrophic flagellates often account for the bulk of bacterivory. However, we lack a general framework that allows a mechanistic understanding of success of mixotrophs in the competition with heterotrophic bacterivores. This is especially needed for integrating mixotrophy in models of the microbial loop. Based on general tradeoffs linked to the combined resource use in mixotrophs (generalist versus specialist), we propose a concept where mixotrophs are favored by conditions of high light – low losses, corresponding to the situation found in the surface waters of oligotrophic oceans. Under such conditions, they can achieve positive net growth at very low resource levels, allowing simultaneous competition with specialized protists. Conversely, heterotrophic bacterivores and photoautotrophs should be especially favored in more productive and low-light conditions. We show experimentally that the combined effect of light and loss rates (dilution) predicts the success of mixotrophic bacterivorous flagellates. Moreover, our results suggest that total bacterivory, contrary as seen in the traditional microbial loop concept, has a more intricate coupling to light.

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