SUMMARY: The presence of numerous bacteria and diatoms attached to the sand grains of a littoral beach have been shown by fluorescence microscopy. Bacteria and diatoms were found in a viable condition to depths exceeding 10 cm. The rate of uptake of [C]-acetate was measured over the range 10–5000 μg./l. and the results analysed by Michaelis-Menten kinetics. By the use of autoradiography it was shown that the bacteria alone were responsible for the uptake of [H]-acetate. It is concluded that algal heterotrophy is negligible in sea waters.


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