Skip to main content
    • Aa
    • Aa

A study of a marine benthic community with special reference to the micro-organisms

  • Molly F. Mare (a1)

An attempt has been made to deal briefly but quantitatively with all size groups of the fauna and flora in a marine mud deposit.

It has been necessary to propose the following new terminology: the Macrobenthos, which is here equivalent to the macrofauna, the Meiobenthos, under which term are included copepods, nematodes, foraminifera, etc., and the Microbenthos, comprising the rest of the protozoa, bacteria, bottom diatoms and other algae; planktonic diatoms and coloured flagellates also occur on the bottom in the region investigated but are not regarded as true microbenthos.

A quantitative ecological study of the microbenthos has been started and the habitat is first described, stress being laid on points of importance to the microorganisms.

The census method for bacteria was an agar-plate method and that for the protozoa and diatoms was a dilution culture method modified from that used by soil microbiologists.

These methods give minimal values for the total population and may safely be used for comparative purposes. The results are still tentative.

Typical figures for the minimal numbers and volumes of living protoplasm per gram of dry mud in the top ½ cm. layer are given in Tables I-IV.

The surface layer is much richer in all types of organisms than is the mud deeper in the cores. There is considerable local horizontal variation in numbers of bacteria and protozoa, suggesting dense aggregations.

Diatoms contribute by far the greatest bulk to the total volume of living micro-organisms; planktonic diatoms, particularly during the summer, completely outweigh the true microbenthos.

Hide All
D. W. Cutler , L. M. Crump & H. Sandon , 1922. A quantitative investigation of the bacterial and protozoan population of the soil with an account of the protozoan fauna. Phil. Trans. Roy. Soc., B, Vol. 211, pp. 317–50.

E. S. Deevey Jr, 1941. Limnological studies in Connecticut. VI. The quantity and composition of the bottom fauna of thirty-six Connecticut and New York Lakes. Ecol. Monogr., Vol. 11, pp. 413–55.

D. L. Fox , 1937. Carotenoids and other lipoid soluble pigments in the sea and deep marine muds. Proc. Nation. Acad. Sci. U.S.A., Vol. 23, pp. 295301.

H. W. Harvey , 1942. Production of life in the sea. Biol. Rev., Vol. 17, pp. 221–46.

C. Juday , 1940. The annual energy budget of an inland lake. Ecology, Vol. 21, pp. 438–50.

G. E. Macginitie , 1932. The rôle of bacteria as food for bottom animals. Science, Vol. 76, p. 490.

G. M. Moore , 1939. A limnological investigation of the microscopic benthic fauna of Douglas Lake, Michigan. Ecol. Monogr., Vol. 9, pp. 537–82.

R. W. Pennak , 1940. Ecology of the microscopic metazoa inhabiting the sandy beaches of some Wisconsin Lakes. Ecol. Monogr., Vol. 10, pp. 537615.

H. W. Reuszer , 1933. Marine bacteria and their rôle in the cycle of life in the sea. III. Distribution of bacteria in the ocean waters and muds about Cape Cod. Biol. Bull., Vol. 65, pp. 480–97.

B. N. Singh , 1941. Selectivity in bacterial food by soil amoebae in pure mixed culture and in sterilized soil. Ann. App. Biol., Vol. 28, pp. 5264.

F. K. Sparrow Jr, 1937. The occurrence of saprophytic fungi in marine muds. Biol. Bull., Vol. 73, pp. 242–8.

S. A. Waksman , 1933. On the distribution of organic matter in the sea bottom and the chemical nature and origin of marine humus. Soil Science, Vol. 36, pp. 125–47.

S. A. Waksman 1938. On the oxidation of organic matter in marine sediments by bacteria. Journ. Mar. Research, Vol. 1, pp. 101–18.

S. A. Waksman , H. W. Reuszer , C. L. Carey , M. Hotchkiss & C. E. Renn , 1933. Studies on the biology and chemistry of the Gulf of Maine. III. Bacteriological investigations of the sea water and marine bottoms. Biol. Bull., Vol. 64, pp. 183205.

C. E. Zobell 1942. The bacterial flora of a marine mud flat as an ecological factor. Ecology, Vol. 23, pp. 6978.

Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

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
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *


Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 29 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 309 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between September 2016 - 17th October 2017. This data will be updated every 24 hours.