Abstract

In this study, laboratory experiments were performed to investigate the impact of different food types and temperatures on the reproduction and growth of the benthic foraminifer Bulimina marginata. To study reproductive success, adult specimens were kept alive at 6, 8, 10, 12, and 14° C, and fed with either freeze-dried green algae or live diatoms. The effects of temperature, food type, and food quantity on test growth rate were studied under different combinations of these parameters. Lower temperature delayed reproduction, resulted in fewer offspring, and decreased growth rate. Fresh food produced better results than freeze-dried food probably because the latter reduces the amount of digestible compounds (carbohydrates and polyunsaturated fatty acids). In order to obtain reproduction and growth of the open marine species B. marginata in a limited period of time, we recommend keeping them at a temperature ranging 8–12° C (approximating their in situ temperature), and to feed them with fresh algae. The results of this study should be useful to researchers who wish to set up experiments that require culturing deep-sea foraminifera.

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