By T. M. Fenchel, B. Barker Jørgensen (auth.), M. Alexander (eds.)
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Other studies, however, indicate that in some species there may be a differential digestion of different types of microorganisms and that some may pass the digestive apparatus in a living state (Hylleberg, 1975; Hylleberg and Gallucci, 1975; Wavre and Brinkhurst, 1971). The particle size selection of detritus feeders may indirectly lead to some degree of qualitative selection of the ingested microorganisms. Thus, Fenchel et al. (i975) found that the amphipod Corophium, which selects relatively small, in part suspended, detrital particles, ingests a relatively larger amount of bacteria than the snail Hydrobia, which tends to enrich its diet with diatoms by selecting larger particles.
These polychaetes create an oxidized zone in front of the mouth by pumping oxygenated water from the free water above the sediment. , are found. There is a large body of evidence showing that bacterial grazing by protozoa and other animals somehow increases bacterial growth rate or metabolic activity (as measured by 02 uptake, decomposition rate, or nutrient uptake). This has been shown for a detritivore amphipod (Hargrave, 1970b) and has especially been studied in laboratory ecosystem 41 Detritus Food Chains of Aquatic Ecosystems 100~-------------------------------' w;thoLit protozoa 80 UI C c 60 o E • ~ ;;!
Autotrophic nitrification has been demonstrated in surface sediments of lakes by Chen et al. (quoted by Keeney, 1972). It is a key process in the nitrogen budget of aquatic ecosystems, but little is known about its quantitative importance for the chemosynthetic productivity of bacteria. Since nitrification and denitrification occur close together in surface sediments, they may in combination lead to the conversion of ammonia via nitrate to N 2 . As a counterbalance to the activity of denitrifying bacteria, N 2 may also be assimilated by various procaryotes.
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