Microbial loop

This important part of marine food chains involves DOM leaked from diatoms and other phytoplankters that is consumed by bacteria. The bacteria are then consumed by flagellates and ciliates. These members of the
plankton also leak DOM that is in turn absorbed by the bacteria. The bacteria are decomposers and release inorganic nutrients for uptake by phytoplankters. It is estimated that 60 percent of the energy flowing through marine food chains passes through the microbial loop.

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