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Effect of Ammonium Enrichment on Animal and Algal Biomass of the Coral Pocillopora damicornis

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Title:Effect of Ammonium Enrichment on Animal and Algal Biomass of the Coral Pocillopora damicornis
Authors:Muller-Parker, G.
McCloskey, L.R.
Hoegh-Guldberg, O.
McAuley, P.J.
Date Issued:Jul 1994
Publisher:University of Hawaii Press
Citation:Muller-Parker G, McCloskey LR, Hoegh-Guldberg O, McAuley PJ. 1994. Effect of ammonium enrichment on animal and algal biomass of the coral Pocillopora damicornis. Pac Sci 48(3): 273-283.
Abstract:Algal and animal biomass parameters of colonies of the Pacific
coral Pocillopora damicornis (Linnaeus) were measured as a function of time of
exposure to elevated concentrations of seawater ammonium (20 and 50 uM
[(NH4)2S04]) ranging from 2 to 8 weeks. Areal concentrations of zooxanthellae,
chlorophyll, and protein increased with 20 uM ammonium addition. During
the 8-week period of exposure to 20 uM ammonium, the population density
of zooxanthellae increased from 3.5 to 7.5 x 105 cells cm-2, chlorophyll a
content of zooxanthellae increased from 5.7 to 8.6 pg, and animal protein
concentration doubled (from 0.74 to 1.38 mg cm-2). These data indicate that
both the coral animal and the zooxanthellae respond to the addition of exogenous
dissolved inorganic nitrogen provided as 20 uM ammonium. Growth of
the symbiotic association in response to the addition of 20 uM ammonium adds
further evidence to support the argument that growth of tropical symbioses is
limited by the availability of nitrogen. However, the coral response is likely to
depend on the concentration of ammonium provided, because the biomass
parameters of corals held at 50 uM ammonium did not change significantly
with time of exposure to the added nutrient.
Appears in Collections: Pacific Science Volume 48, Number 3, 1994

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