Thesis

An ecological study of the bacteria in twelve artificial temporary ponds

There is a great deal of evidence which suggests that bacteria play many important roles in aquatic communities. Their roles include serving as food sources, uptake of otherwise unusable and sometimes toxic organic substances, biosynthesis of vitamins needed by other organisms, primary production, and the addition to the community of required minerals. However, little work has been done on the types and roles of bacteria in temporary ponds. Works on larger bodies of water indicate that bacteria may be an important food source for much of the zooplankton (Fred, Wilson, and Davenport, 1924; Birge and Juday, 1934; Rodina, 19^9; Welch, 1952). In temporary ponds many zooplankters are filter-feeders. An important criterion for food suitability in these animals is the size of the food (Luck, Sheet, and Thomas, 1931; Burns and Rigler, 1967; Burns, 1968). Bacteria may be filtered by protozoans, rotifers, and crustaceans, while many algal species are too range to serve as food for these organisms. The bacteria may be a more important food source to these organisms than the algae.

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