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  • Journal of the Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom, Volume 50, Issue 4
  • November 1970, pp. 859-870

Heterotrophic Utilization of Dissolved Organic Compounds in the Sea I. Size Distribution of Population and Relationship between Respiration and Incorporation of Growth Substrates

  • P. J. Le B. Williams (a1)
  • DOI:
  • Published online: 01 May 2009

Many aspects of the food web in the sea are ill understood: none more than the quantitative aspects of the heterotrophic activity of micro-organisms. Heterotrophic utilization of dissolved organic material by micro-organisms was recognized and discussed in principle by such workers as ZoBell, Waksman and Rakestraw in the thirties. There has been very little subsequent progress in understanding the details of the process, principally because of the lack of a suitable approach. Parsons and Strickland (1961) revived interest in this field when they introduced a simple radiochemical technique to follow the uptake of individual soluble organic compounds; subsequently Williams & Askew (1968) developed a method to measure the respiration of such compounds in sea-water samples.

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J. E. Hobbie & C. C. Crawford , 1969. Respiration corrections for bacterial uptake of dissolved organic compounds in natural waters. Limnol. Oceanogr., Vol. 14, pp. 528–33.

A. L. S. Munro & T. D. Brock , 1968. Distinction between bacterial and algal utilization of soluble substances in the sea. J. gen. Microbiol., Vol. 51, pp. 3542.

T. D. Parsons & J. D. H. Strickland , 1961. On the production of particulate organic carbon by heterotrophic processes in sea water. Deep Sea Res., Vol. 8, pp. 211–22.

R. W. Sheldon & W. H. Sutcliffe , 1969. Retention of marine particles by screens and filters. Limnol. Oceanogr., Vol. 14, pp. 441–4.

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