Protist Community Grazing on Prokaryotic Prey in Deep Ocean Water Masses. Academic Article uri icon


  • Oceanic protist grazing at mesopelagic and bathypelagic depths, and their subsequent effects on trophic links between eukaryotes and prokaryotes, are not well constrained. Recent studies show evidence of higher than expected grazing activity by protists down to mesopelagic depths. This study provides the first exploration of protist grazing in the bathypelagic North Atlantic Deep Water (NADW). Grazing was measured throughout the water column at three stations in the South Atlantic using fluorescently-labeled prey analogues. Grazing in the deep Antarctic Intermediate water (AAIW) and NADW at all three stations removed 3.79% ± 1.72% to 31.14% ± 8.24% of the standing prokaryote stock. These results imply that protist grazing may be a significant source of labile organic carbon at certain meso- and bathypelagic depths.

publication date

  • 2015