Coral Reef Benthic Microbes in Relation to Their Geochemical Environment

dc.contributor.advisor Gaidos, Eric Ogata, Sean
dc.contributor.department Oceanography
dc.contributor.department Global Environmental Science 2020-08-18T23:58:26Z 2020-08-18T23:58:26Z 2007
dc.description.course OCN 499 - Undergraduate Thesis
dc.identifier.uri Honolulu
dc.subject corals
dc.subject coral reef
dc.subject benthic ecology
dc.subject nitrogen cycling
dc.title Coral Reef Benthic Microbes in Relation to Their Geochemical Environment
dc.type Thesis
dcterms.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.
dcterms.extent 45 pages
dcterms.language English
dcterms.publisher University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa
dcterms.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.
dcterms.rightsholder Ogata, Sean
dcterms.type Text
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