No microzooplankton grazing during a Mediopyxis helysia dominated diatom bloom


The new diatom species Mediopyxis helysia was described to science from clones found in 2003 in the North Sea, northern Wadden Sea, and the Gulf of Maine. Seven years after its first occurrence, we observed Mediopyxis to contribute up to almost 50% of the biovolume of the diatoms during a diatom spring bloom in the western Wadden Sea. Grazing experiments based on the dilution technique could not detect any microzooplankton grazing impact on the bloom community. Mediopyxis is now also well established in the western Wadden Sea and does have the potential to become a dominant species. The reasons for its success remain largely unresolved but avoidance of being grazed might be one factor. Future research on this new species is needed to understand the success and forecast the ecological footprint of this large diatom species arriving in the western European Seas.
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