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We examined the ability of foraminifera in taking up freshly deposited algal carbon in intertidal estuarine sediments. Lyophylized C-13-labelled axenic Chlorella was added to intact sediment cores containing natural benthic biota. The response of the system as a whole was rapid; similar to 5% of the added carbon was respired to CO2 within 6 h. Bacteria assimilated similar to 2 to 4 % of the added carbon within 12 h. Among the foraminifera, the dominant foraminifer Ammonia exhibited rapid uptake and it is estimated that similar to 1 to 7% of the added carbon was ingested within 3 to 53 h. This rapid, substantial uptake by Ammonia and the significant contribution of foraminifera to meiobenthic abundance and biomass (37 and 47% respectively) suggest that foraminifera play an important role in the carbon cycle in these sediments. [KEYWORDS: meiobenthos; benthic foraminifera; bacterial biomarkers; algal carbon; carbon cycle; CO2; C-13 labelling Deep-sea; organic-carbon; sedimentation event; metazoan meiofauna; adriatic sea; fatty-acid; phytodetritus; community; microalgae; deposition]
Original languageEnglish
JournalMarine Ecology Progress Series
Journal publication date2000

ID: 170596