Grazing impact and prey selectivity of picoplanktonic cells by mixotrophic flagellates in oligotrophic lakes
GEREA, MARINA; QUEIMALIÑOS, CLAUDIA; UNREIN, FERNANDO
Lugar: Berlin; Año: 2019 vol. 831 p. 5 - 5
Mixotrophy by planktonic algae can dominate picoplankton predation in oligotrophic environments. We compared the grazing activity and prey preference of different mixotrophic taxa from natural communities of two oligotrophic shallow lakes (Escondido and Morenito) by performing eight laboratory grazing experiments using three different fluorescent prey (bacteria, picocyanobacteria, and picoeukaryotic algae). Eight taxa of mixotrophic flagellates (MF) corresponding to five different Classes, and two size categories of heterotrophic flagellates were distinguished. Chesson index showed that the ten identified protists preferred picocyanobacteria than bacteria, while picoeukaryotic algae were not ingested by any flagellate. In both lakes, MFs were responsible for ca. 80% of the picoplankton ingestion due to flagellates, and more than 50% of the total grazing impact when considering all flagellates, ciliates, and rotifers. Pseudopedinella spp. (Dictyochophyceae), Chrysochromulina parva (Haptophyceae), and Dinobryon divergens (Chrysophyceae) were the most important predators, while Plagioselmis lacustris (Cryptophyceae) and Chrysophyceae >5 um showed the lowest grazing rates. Overall, our findings support the idea of MF being the main picoplankton predators in oligotrophic systems. Besides, we also conclude that herbivory represents a key process in the mixotrophic carbon cycling in oligotrophic environments.