Browsing by Subject "Turf algae"

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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.
  • Karcher, Denis B.; Roth, Florian; Carvalho, Susana; El-Khaled, Yusuf C.; Tilstra, Arjen; Kürten, Benjamin; Struck, Ulrich; Jones, Burton H.; Wild, Christian (2020)
    While various sources increasingly release nutrients to the Red Sea, knowledge about their effects on benthic coral reef communities is scarce. Here, we provide the first comparative assessment of the response of all major benthic groups (hard and soft corals, turf algae and reef sands-together accounting for 80% of the benthic reef community) to in-situ eutrophication in a central Red Sea coral reef. For 8 weeks, dissolved inorganic nitrogen (DIN) concentrations were experimentally increased 3-fold above environmental background concentrations around natural benthic reef communities using a slow release fertilizer with 15% total nitrogen (N) content. We investigated which major functional groups took up the available N, and how this changed organic carbon (C-org) and N contents using elemental and stable isotope measurements. Findings revealed that hard corals (in their tissue), soft corals and turf algae incorporated fertilizer N as indicated by significant increases in delta N-15 by 8%, 27% and 28%, respectively. Among the investigated groups, C-org content significantly increased in sediments (+24%) and in turf algae (+33%). Altogether, this suggests that among the benthic organisms only turf algae were limited by N availability and thus benefited most from N addition. Thereby, based on higher C-org content, turf algae potentially gained competitive advantage over, for example, hard corals. Local management should, thus, particularly address DIN eutrophication by coastal development and consider the role of turf algae as potential bioindicator for eutrophication.