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Micro-organisms attached to marine sand grains

  • P. S. Meadows (a1) and J. G. Anderson (a1)

The distribution, abundance, and types of micro-organisms attached to littoral and sublittoral sand grains have been described. Micro-organisms are present in colonies, ranging from 5 to 150 cells per colony. Many colonies consist of one species. Some colonies are in or surrounded by staining material, others are on flat unstained surfaces. Colonies in staining material often occur in hollows. Large areas of surface between the colonies and staining material are completely bare. Evidence suggests that abrasion may stop micro-organisms colonizing flat or convex surfaces. On grains from the sediment surface, bacteria, blue-green algae (Cyanophyceae), and diatoms (Bacillariaceae) are common. The microbial flora may alter only slightly to depths of 15 cm below the sediment surface, or may change within a few mm. It is sparse towards high water, but differs little between lower littoral and sublittoral sands. The results are discussed in relation to substrate selection by marine invertebrates.

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Journal of the Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom
  • ISSN: 0025-3154
  • EISSN: 1469-7769
  • URL: /core/journals/journal-of-the-marine-biological-association-of-the-united-kingdom
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