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Dinoflagellate Aggregation (Biotic Group)

Component: Biotic

Unique Identifier: 486

Biotic Setting Planktonic Biota
Biotic Class Phytoplankton
Biotic Subclass Dinoflagellate Phytoplankton
Biotic Group Dinoflagellate Aggregation
Biotic Community Noctiluca Aggregation

Definition Waters dominated by dinoflagellates that aggregate in coastal and marine waters throughout the world. Some evidence suggests that both heterotrophic and mixotrophic feeding adaptations supplement autotrophy, giving dinoflagellates a competitive advantage over other groups—especially during periods of low nutrient availability. Aggregations are responsible for bioluminescence, which may reduce predation by disrupting grazers and by triggering secondary predators that consume dinoflagellate predators (Latz et al. 2004)