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The role of protozoa in nature in terms in functional properties related to size
Fenchel, T. (1990). The role of protozoa in nature in terms in functional properties related to size. Zool. Sci. 7(Suppl.): 51-58
In: Zoological Science. Zoological Society of Japan: Tokyo. ISSN 0289-0003, more
Peer reviewed article  

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    Adaptations; Cell morphology; Community composition; Ecosystems; Functional morphology; Protozoa; Species diversity; Protozoa [WoRMS]; Marine

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    Protozoa are no longer considered a taxonomic group; rather they constitute, together with other protists, a number of unrelated eukaryote lineages which are neither metazoa, vascular plants or fungi. Many of these lineages must have originated soon after the first eukaryotes came into being perhaps 1-1, 5 x 109 years ago. To the physiologists and the ecologists, however, it makes sense to maintain the term protozoa for phagotrophic, unicellular protists. As such they share many functional properties and constraints which determine their role and diversity in biotic communities. In the following the authors will discuss this emphasizing size and size related properties of organisms. There have been important discoveries concerning many aspects of protozoan ecology in recent years. The single most important one, perhaps, is that protozoa play a much larger role in nature in terms of biomass and carbon flow than previously believed. The authors will attempt to rationalize this in terms of general functional properties of protozoa.

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