Nucleotide measurements have been used as biomass indicators in microbial ecology. We report the use of this metric in materially closed, energetically open microbial ecosystems. Our results indicate that: (i) both ATP concentrations and pO2show an increase from time of closure; (ii) ATP concentrations (0.2 1.2 ng/ml) are approximately 2-3 times higher than open ocean water; (iii) there is an apparent oscillation of ATP concentrations on the order of 50 days; and (iv) within experimental limitations the ratios of ATP concentrations to observed total cell counts is constant. © 1983.
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