High plasticity of nitrogen fixation and denitrification of common coral reef substrates in response to nitrate availability
AuthorsEl-Khaled, Yusuf C.
Karcher, Denis B.
Voolstra, Christian R.
KAUST DepartmentMarine Science Program
Biological and Environmental Sciences and Engineering (BESE) Division
Red Sea Research Center (RSRC)
Embargo End Date2023-05-14
Permanent link to this recordhttp://hdl.handle.net/10754/669477
MetadataShow full item record
AbstractNitrogen cycling in coral reefs may be affected by nutrient availability, but knowledge about concentration-dependent thresholds that modulate dinitrogen fixation and denitrification is missing. We determined the effects of different nitrate concentrations (ambient, 1, 5, 10 μM 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 μM nitrate addition in light, whereas denitrification was highest at 10 μM nitrate addition in the dark. At 10 μm 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.
CitationEl-Khaled, Y. C., Nafeh, R., Roth, F., Rädecker, N., Karcher, D. B., Jones, B. H., … Wild, C. (2021). High plasticity of nitrogen fixation and denitrification of common coral reef substrates in response to nitrate availability. Marine Pollution Bulletin, 168, 112430. doi:10.1016/j.marpolbul.2021.112430
SponsorsThis work was supported by grant Wi 2677/9-1 from the German Research Foundation (DFG) to CW and by KAUST baseline funding to CRV and BHJ.
We are grateful to Najeh Kharbatia from CORE Labs of the King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) for his technical support with the GC.
JournalMarine Pollution Bulletin
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