Status and Future Needs in Protozoan Ecology

  • Lawrence R. Pomeroy
Conference paper
Part of the NATO ASI Series book series (volume 25)


Those of us who have been developing the concept of a marine microbial food web have believed for many years that Protozoa are major movers of energy and nutrients. Indeed, Vernadskii (1926) repeatedly referred to the special significance of microorganisms, including specific references to Protozoa as movers of materials on a global, biogeochemical scale. However, until recently this remained more a matter of opinion than established fact. The conferees brought together an impressive body of facts regarding both the magnitude and the diversity of protozoan activity. That protozoa are a dominant force in the ocean’s metabolism is no longer in doubt. A comprehensive understanding of protozoan metabolism in the ocean is a prerequisite to a full understanding of and to quantitatively model cycles of carbon and other biologically essential elements on a global scale. During this conference we defined the limits of our knowledge of protozoan ecology and highlighted a number of pressing needs, both for basic understanding of the biosphere and its function and for answering questions of immediate practical importance.


Mixed Layer Trophic Transfer Heterotrophic Dinoflagellate Nepheloid Layer Organic Aggregate 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1991

Authors and Affiliations

  • Lawrence R. Pomeroy
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Zoology and Institute of EcologyUniversity of GeorgiaAthensUSA

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