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21 January, 1997

Rotifers are eating the FLM! The next question is how can I count them? Should I kill the rotifers so that I can count those beads? How can I figure out the rate of feeding? I am waiting for some suggestions from you collaborators.

There is some interesting research going on about how the phytoplankton stay alive during the winter when there is no sun for photosynthesis. One piece of evidence shows that some algae populations actually increase during the winter months. This means that they need to eat! A process called mixotrophy occurs when organisms can both photosynthesize and eat as a heterotroph. There is evidence that some of these organisms are mixotrophic. Another question about some protozoa and phytoplankton have to do with whether chlorophyll is in an algae living symbiotically or is a real chloroplast. How would you answer this question?

We are expecting some more distinguished visitors and there is a long line of people who want this computer, so I am going back to my rotifers. Have you looked in your local stream for rotifers yet?

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