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The clearance rate of microzooplankton as the key element for describing estimated non-linear dilution plots demonstrated by a model
Moigis, A.-G. (2006). The clearance rate of microzooplankton as the key element for describing estimated non-linear dilution plots demonstrated by a model. Mar. Biol. (Berl.) 149(4): 743-762.
In: Marine Biology. Springer: Heidelberg; Berlin. ISSN 0025-3162, more
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  • Moigis, A.-G.

    The objective of this study was to determine whether the clearance rate of grazers (as an individual response) was sensitive enough to describe non-linear plots estimated by dilution experiments for measuring the instant grazing rate of microzooplankton. The study was based on an initial analysis of a non-linear feeding pattern based on the food concentration dependence of clearance rate of microzooplankton. In contrast to the traditional assumption of a linear functional response, I assumed that the microzooplankton functional response was non-linear and that the dependence of the clearance rate can be sub-divided into four intervals of food concentration (Sections I–IV) as follows: in Section I clearance rate is zero; Section II is a transitional interval in which the clearance rate increases from zero to a maximum value; in Section III, the clearance rate is maximal and constant, and in Section IV, the clearance rate decreases from its maximum value due to saturated ingestion rate. A set of derived differential equations describes the phytoplankton growth rate in each section, leading to the possibility of comparing predicted non-linear dilution plots with observed non-linear dilution data, using only the specific solutions for Sections III and IV. One should evaluate the quality of fit provided by the non-linear and linear models, rather than uncritically accepting only the linear model for observed non-linear dilution data, using calculated expected non-linear and linear dilution plots as alternative hypotheses. It can be demonstrated that the non-linear model provided a better fit to estimated non-linear dilution data from the Red Sea, Rhode River Estuary (USA) and Kiel Fjord (Germany) than the standard linear model. Published dilution experiments which had a non-linear shape were also selected as illustrative examples to demonstrate the superior fit of the non-linear model.

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