Small-scale turbulence can reduce parasite infectivity to dinoflagellates
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AuthorsLlavería, G. (Gisela)
mall-scale turbulence and parasite infection are 2 important factors that govern the dynamics and fate of phytoplankton populations. We experimentally investigated the influence of turbulent mixing on the infectivity of the parasite Parvilucifera sinerae to dinoflagellates. Natural phytoplankton communities were collected during 3 stages of a bloom event in Arenys de Mar Har- bour (NW Mediterranean). The 15 to 60 μm size fraction was used as the inoculum and distributed into spherical flasks. Half of the recipients were exposed to turbulence while the rest were kept still. In the experiments, the dinoflagellate assemblage was mainly composed of Prorocentrum micans, Scrippsiella trochoidea and Alexandrium minutum. We observed a collapse of A. minutum and S. tro- choidea populations in the unshaken flasks, which coincided with an increase in parasite infectivity. After a short exposure to turbulence, the development of the dinoflagellate populations slowed down and stabilised as expected. ...