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Microbial Aggregation (Biotic Subclass)

Component: Biotic

Unique Identifier: 419

Biotic Setting Planktonic Biota
Biotic Class Floating/Suspended Microbes
Biotic Subclass Microbial Aggregation

Definition Aggregations of microbes within the water column that have detectable, visible color. Microbial communities suspended in the water column can reach high concentrations and even be the dominant biota in an area, both numerically and in terms of biomass. Suspended free-floating microbes, as well as those adsorbed to suspended particulates are important in the marine food web. The concentration of bacterial communities has been linked to discoloration of the water column (Hansel and Francis 2006) via oxidation of molecular compounds in the water, such as manganese and iron.