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Journal Article

Effect of ciliates on nitrification and nitrifying bacteria in Baltic Sea sediments

MPS-Authors
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Prast,  M.
Department of Molecular Ecology, Max Planck Institute for Marine Microbiology, Max Planck Society;

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Amann,  R.
Department of Molecular Ecology, Max Planck Institute for Marine Microbiology, Max Planck Society;

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Citation

Prast, M., Bischoff, A. A., Waller, U., Amann, R., & Berninger, U. G. (2007). Effect of ciliates on nitrification and nitrifying bacteria in Baltic Sea sediments. Marine Ecology-Progress Series, 350, 55-61.


Cite as: http://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-0001-CEBC-4
Abstract
Nitrification in aquatic sediments is catalyzed by bacteria. While many autecological studies on these bacteria have been published, few have regarded them as part of the benthic microbial food web. Ciliates are important as grazers on bacteria, but also for remineralization of organic matter. We tested the hypothesis that ciliates can affect nitrification. Experiments with Baltic Sea sediments in laboratory flumes, with or without the addition of cultured ciliates, were conducted. We found indication of a higher nitrification potential (ammonium oxidation) in one experiment and increased abundances of nitrifying bacteria in treatments with ciliates. This is likely due to higher nitrogen availability caused by excretion by ciliates and enhanced transport processes in the sediment.