Phytoplankton population dynamics are the result of imbalances between reproduction and losses. Losses include grazing, sinking, and natural mortality. As the importance of microbes in aquatic ecology has been recognized, so has the potential significance of viruses as mortality agents for phytoplankton. The field of algal virus ecology is steadily changing and advancing as new viruses are isolated and new methods are developed for quantifying the impact of viruses on phytoplankton dynamics and diversity. With this development, evidence is accumulating that viruses can control phytoplankton dynamics through reduction of host populations, or by preventing algal host populations from reaching high levels. The identification of highly specific host ranges of viruses is changing our understanding of population dynamics. Viral-mediated mortality may not only affect algal species succession, but may also affect intraspecies succession. Through cellular lysis, viruses indirectly affect the fluxes of energy, nutrients, and organic matter, especially during algal bloom events when biomass is high. Although the importance of viruses is presently recognized, it is apparent that many aspects of viral-mediated mortality of phytoplankton are still poorly understood. It is imperative that future research addresses the mechanisms that regulate virus infectivity, host resistance, genotype richness, abundance, and the fate of viruses over time and space.
You have requested a machine translation of selected content from our databases. This functionality is provided solely for your convenience and is in no way intended to replace human translation. Neither BioOne nor the owners and publishers of the content make, and they explicitly disclaim, any express or implied representations or warranties of any kind, including, without limitation, representations and warranties as to the functionality of the translation feature or the accuracy or completeness of the translations.
Translations are not retained in our system. Your use of this feature and the translations is subject to all use restrictions contained in the Terms and Conditions of Use of the BioOne website.
Vol. 51 • No. 2