Simultaneous Measurements of Dinitrogen Fixation and Denitrification Associated With Coral Reef Substrates : Advantages and Limitations of a Combined Acetylene Assay

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El-Khaledl , Y C , Roth , F , Rädecker , N , Kharbatia , N , Jones , B H , Voolstra , C R & Wild , C 2020 , ' Simultaneous Measurements of Dinitrogen Fixation and Denitrification Associated With Coral Reef Substrates : Advantages and Limitations of a Combined Acetylene Assay ' , Frontiers in Marine Science , vol. 7 , 411 . https://doi.org/10.3389/fmars.2020.00411

Title: Simultaneous Measurements of Dinitrogen Fixation and Denitrification Associated With Coral Reef Substrates : Advantages and Limitations of a Combined Acetylene Assay
Author: El-Khaledl, Yusuf C.; Roth, Florian; Rädecker, Nils; Kharbatia, Najeh; Jones, Burton H.; Voolstra, Christian R.; Wild, Christian
Contributor organization: Biological stations
Date: 2020-06-11
Language: eng
Number of pages: 9
Belongs to series: Frontiers in Marine Science
ISSN: 2296-7745
DOI: https://doi.org/10.3389/fmars.2020.00411
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10138/320319
Abstract: Nitrogen (N) cycling in coral reefs is of key importance for these oligotrophic ecosystems, but knowledge about its pathways is limited. While dinitrogen (N-2) fixation is comparably well studied, the counteracting denitrification pathway is under-investigated, mainly because of expensive and relatively complex experimental techniques currently available. Here, we combined two established acetylene-based assays to one single setup to determine N-2-fixation and denitrification performed by microbes associated with coral reef substrates/organisms simultaneously. Accumulating target gases (ethylene for N-2-fixation, nitrous oxide for denitrification) were measured in gaseous headspace samples via gas chromatography. We measured N-2-fixation and denitrification rates of two Red Sea coral reef substrates (filamentous turf algae, coral rubble), and demonstrated, for the first time, the co-occurrence of both N-cycling processes in both substrates. N-2-fixation rates were up to eight times higher during the light compared to the dark, whereas denitrification rates during dark incubations were stimulated for turf algae and suppressed for coral rubble compared to light incubations. Our results highlight the importance of both substrates in fixing N, but their role in relieving N is potentially divergent. Absolute N-2-fixation rates of the present study correspond with rates reported previously, even though likely underestimated due to an initial lag phase. Denitrification is also presumably underestimated due to incomplete nitrous oxide inhibition and/or substrate limitation. Besides these inherent limitations, we show that a relative comparison of N-2-fixation and denitrification activity between functional groups is possible. Thus, our approach facilitates cost-efficient sample processing in studies interested in comparing relative rates of N-2-fixation and denitrification.
Subject: nitrogen cycling
metabolism
gas chromatography
ethylene
nitrous oxide
NITROUS-OXIDE REDUCTION
HELIUM IONIZATION DETECTOR
N-2 FIXATION
N2 FIXATION
HIGH-RATES
OXYGEN
INHIBITION
TEMPERATURE
TRANSFORMATIONS
BIOGEOCHEMISTRY
1172 Environmental sciences
Peer reviewed: Yes
Rights: cc_by
Usage restriction: openAccess
Self-archived version: publishedVersion


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