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Turkish Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences 2014, Vol 14, Num, 2     (Pages: 527-537)

Microbial Food Web Structure and Its Impact on Primary Production in a Meso-Oligotrophic Coastal Area (Pagasitikos Gulf, Aegean Sea)

Konstantinos Ar. Kormas 1 ,Hera Karayanni 2 ,Urania Christaki 3 ,Antonia Giannakourou 4 ,Georgia Assimakopoulou 4 ,Olympia Gotsis-Skretas 4

1 University of Thessaly, Department of Ichthyology and Aquatic Environment, 384 46 Nea Ionia, Greece
2 University of Ioannina, Department of Biological Applications and Technology, 45110, Ioannina, Greece
3 Université du Littoral Côte d'Opale (MREN), CNRS-FRE 2816 ELICO, 32 avenue Foch, 62930 Wimereux, France
4 Hellenic Centre for Marine Research, Institute of Oceanography, P.O. Box 712, 190 13 Anavissos, Greece
DOI : 10.4194/1303-2712-v14_2_24 Viewed : 4598 - Downloaded : 3513 Seasonal structure and dynamics of the planktonic microbial food web (phytoplankton, bacteria, nanoflagellates and ciliates) were studied in the meso-oligotrophic Pagasitikos Gulf, NW Aegean Sea. Pagasitikos Gulf is exposed to anthropogenic activity and for this, the sampling covered different parts of the system (city of Volos, sewage effluents, central gulf, Trikeri channel, outer gulf). The standing stocks of all the microbial components fell within the range of other similar coastal systems. Depth integrated primary production (PP) indicated a spring phytoplankton bloom in April/May in all sampling sites. A second phytoplankton bloom was recorded in the western and the outer part of the gulf in the fall. An estimation of bacterial carbon demand indicated that in several cases the percentage of PP that is routed through heterotrophic bacteria is close or over 100%. This is consistent with the excess bacterial biomass relative to autotrophic biomass found in the system. Hence recycling processes mediated by heterotrophs and particularly bacteria are crucial for maintaining the structure and functioning of the planktonic community in Pagasitikos Gulf. Keywords : Pagasitikos Gulf, Aegean, microbial food web, coastal ecosystem