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Coral Reef Benthic Microbes in Relation to Their Geochemical Environment

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Title:Coral Reef Benthic Microbes in Relation to Their Geochemical Environment
Authors:Ogata, Sean
Contributors:Gaidos, Eric (advisor)
Oceanography (department)
Global Environmental Science (department)
coral reef
benthic ecology
nitrogen cycling
Date Issued:2007
Publisher:University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa
Place of Publication:Honolulu
Abstract:Coral reef sediment microbes are considered important parts of nitrogen cycling in coral
reef ecosystems. Research in the past, however, has focused mainly on microbes found
on the coral reef proper and overlooked microbes existing within the sediments. This
research attempted to investigate the relationship coral reef sediment microbes have with
the geochemistry of sediment porewater by determining if microbial abundances are
correlated to oxygen, nitrogen, or organic matter content of the sediments. Porewater and
sediment samples were taken from various depths at Checker Reef, Hawaii, and sediment
from Kilo Nalu, Hawaii was used in an artificial microcosm set-up. Porewater profiles of
O2, NH4
+, NO3
, and NO2
- were measured from each sediment array along with organic
matter content measurements and DAPI cell enumerations. Cell abundances were then
graphically analyzed versus each geochemical parameter and tested for correlations using
a two-tailed t-test with a 95% confidence interval. Cell abundance and NH4
+ were found
to significantly correlate in the microcosm sediments but not in the Checker Reef
sediment arrays. Significant correlations were not found between cell abundances and
organic matter content, O2, NO3
, or NO2
. Microbial abundances were also compared
against cell abundances in silicate sands and muddy sediments, representing sediments of
different material and grain size, respectively. Cell abundances of the carbonate sediment
samples exhibited similar numbers to silicate sands and lower numbers than muddy
sediments. Analyzing and comparing cell abundances in coral reef sediments with their
geochemical environment is just the first step in understanding the impact coral reef
sediment microbes have on the coral reef ecosystem.
Pages/Duration:45 pages
Rights:All UHM dissertations and theses are protected by copyright. They may be viewed from this source for any purpose, but reproduction or distribution in any format is prohibited without written permission from the copyright owner.
Rights Holder:Ogata, Sean
Appears in Collections: Global Environmental Science Theses

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