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Keywords:

  • phytoplankton;
  • bacterioplankton;
  • aquatic systems;
  • trophic coupling

Abstract

In a recent review, Fouilland & Mostajir questioned the direct dependence of bacterioplankton on phytoplankton based on a dataset of total primary production (particulate plus dissolved) and bacterial carbon demand (bacterial production plus respiration) estimated rates. We point out two problems for this interpretation. Firstly, there is considerable uncertainty in the authors' application of conversion factors to raw data and modelled rates so that the shape of the scatterplots can be substantially altered. Secondly, the current conceptual view of dissolved organic carbon lability and its temporal and spatial variations still provides enough support for the accepted paradigm.