TitleComparing the effects of resource enrichment and grazing on viral production in a meso-eutrophic reservoir
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2003
AuthorsWeinbauer, MG, Christaki, U, Nedoma, J, Šimek, K
JournalAquatic Microbial Ecology

As viral production depends on bacteria, factors which influence bacterial production should also impact viral production. Likewise, viruses and heterotrophic nanoflagellates (HNF) both exploit bacterial prey, so HNF grazing could influence interactions between viruses and bacteria. To examine these relationships, we examined samples from experiments in which natural bacterial populations were subjected to relaxation of nutrient limitation and different levels of grazing pressure from HNF. We observed that stimulation of bacterial production and abundance with the relaxation of nutrient limitation resulted in a higher standing stock of viruses, higher viral production and also a higher virus-induced lysis rate of bacterioplankton. These relationships suggest that the relative effect of virus-induced mortality is higher in more productive environments. We found that viral abundance, viral production and virus-induced mortality of bacteria was highest in the treatments in which grazing rates on bacteria by HNF were highest, and lowest in the treatments where no eukaryotic predators were present. Thus, high grazing rates were associated with high virus production rates. The resource enrichment had a stronger effect on viral production and infection of bacteria than grazing. Averaged over time for single treatments, viruses lysed a significant portion (range, 18 to 66%) of the bacterial production per day.