Browsing by Subject "RED-SEA"

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  • El-Khaled, Yusuf C.; Nafeh, Rassil; Roth, Florian; Rädecker, Nils; Karcher, Denis B.; Jones, Burton H.; Voolstra, Christian R.; Wild, Christian (2021)
    Nitrogen cycling in coral reefs may be affected by nutrient availability, but knowledge about concentrationdependent thresholds that modulate dinitrogen fixation and denitrification is missing. We determined the effects of different nitrate concentrations (ambient, 1, 5, 10 mu M nitrate addition) on both processes under two light scenarios (i.e., light and dark) using a combined acetylene assay for two common benthic reef substrates, i.e., turf algae and coral rubble. For both substrates, dinitrogen fixation rates peaked at 5 mu M nitrate addition in light, whereas denitrification was highest at 10 mu M nitrate addition in the dark. At 10 mu m nitrate addition in the dark, a near-complete collapse of dinitrogen fixation concurrent with a 76-fold increase in denitrification observed for coral rubble, suggesting potential threshold responses linked to the nutritional state of the community. We conclude that dynamic nitrogen cycling activity may help stabilise nitrogen availability in microbial communities associated with coral reef substrates.
  • Roth, Florian; RAdecker, Nils; Carvalho, Susana; Duarte, Carlos M.; Saderne, Vincent; Anton, Andrea; Silva, Luis; Calleja, Maria Ll; MorAn, XosE Anxelu G.; Voolstra, Christian R.; Kuerten, Benjamin; Jones, Burton H.; Wild, Christian (2021)
    Shifts from coral to algal dominance are expected to increase in tropical coral reefs as a result of anthropogenic disturbances. The consequences for key ecosystem functions such as primary productivity, calcification, and nutrient recycling are poorly understood, particularly under changing environmental conditions. We used a novel in situ incubation approach to compare functions of coral- and algae-dominated communities in the central Red Sea bimonthly over an entire year. In situ gross and net community primary productivity, calcification, dissolved organic carbon fluxes, dissolved inorganic nitrogen fluxes, and their respective activation energies were quantified to describe the effects of seasonal changes. Overall, coral-dominated communities exhibited 30% lower net productivity and 10 times higher calcification than algae-dominated communities. Estimated activation energies indicated a higher thermal sensitivity of coral-dominated communities. In these communities, net productivity and calcification were negatively correlated with temperature (>40% and >65% reduction, respectively, with +5 degrees C increase from winter to summer), whereas carbon losses via respiration and dissolved organic carbon release more than doubled at higher temperatures. In contrast, algae-dominated communities doubled net productivity in summer, while calcification and dissolved organic carbon fluxes were unaffected. These results suggest pronounced changes in community functioning associated with coral-algal phase shifts. Algae-dominated communities may outcompete coral-dominated communities because of their higher productivity and carbon retention to support fast biomass accumulation while compromising the formation of important reef framework structures. Higher temperatures likely amplify these functional differences, indicating a high vulnerability of ecosystem functions of coral-dominated communities to temperatures even below coral bleaching thresholds. Our results suggest that ocean warming may not only cause but also amplify coral-algal phase shifts in coral reefs.
  • Roth, Florian; El-Khaled, Yusuf C.; Karcher, Denis B.; Rädecker, Nils; Carvalho, Susana; Duarte, Carlos M.; Silva, Luis; Calleja, Maria Ll.; Moran, Xose Anxelu G.; Jones, Burton H.; Voolstra, Christian R.; Wild, Christian (2021)
    Ecosystem services provided by coral reefs may be susceptible to the combined effects of benthic species shifts and anthropogenic nutrient pollution, but related field studies are scarce. We thus investigated in situ how dissolved inorganic nutrient enrichment, maintained for two months, affected community-wide biogeochemical functions of intact coral- and degraded algae-dominated reef patches in the central Red Sea. Results from benthic chamber incubations revealed 87% increased gross productivity and a shift from net calcification to dissolution in algae-dominated communities after nutrient enrichment, but the same processes were unaffected by nutrients in neighboring coral communities. Both community types changed from net dissolved organic nitrogen sinks to sources, but the increase in net release was 56% higher in algae-dominated communities. Nutrient pollution may, thus, amplify the effects of community shifts on key ecosystem services of coral reefs, possibly leading to a loss of structurally complex habitats with carbonate dissolution and altered nutrient recycling.