MEPS 538:35-52 (2015)  -  DOI: https://doi.org/10.3354/meps11385

Community metabolism in shallow coral reef and seagrass ecosystems, lower Florida Keys

D. Turk1,2,*, K. K. Yates3, M. Vega-Rodriguez4, G. Toro-Farmer4, C. L’Esperance1, N. Melo5,6, D. Ramsewak7, M. Dowd1, S. Cerdeira Estrada8, F. E. Muller-Karger4, S. R. Herwitz9, W. R. McGillis2

1Dalhousie University, Halifax, NS B3H 4R2, Canada
2LDEO, Columbia University, New York, NY 10964, USA
3U.S. Geological Survey, St. Petersburg, FL 33701, USA
4College of Marine Science, University of South Florida, St. Petersburg, FL 33701, USA
5Cooperative Institute for Marine and Atmospheric Studies, University of Miami, Miami, FL 33149, USA
6NOAA Atlantic Oceanographic and Meteorological Laboratory, 4301 Rickenbacker Causeway, Miami 33149, USA
7Marine Sciences, The University of Trinidad and Tobago, TT, Trinidad and Tobago
8National Commission for Knowledge and Use of Biodiversity (CONABIO), Mexico City, 14010, Mexico
9UAV Collaborative, Moffett Field, CA 94035, USA
*Corresponding author:

ABSTRACT: Diurnal variation of net community production (NEP) and net community calcification (NEC) were measured in coral reef and seagrass biomes during October 2012 in the lower Florida Keys using a mesocosm enclosure and the oxygen gradient flux technique. Seagrass and coral reef sites showed diurnal variations of NEP and NEC, with positive values at near-seafloor light levels >100–300 µEinstein m-2 s-1. During daylight hours, we detected an average NEP of 12.3 and 8.6 mmol O2 m-2 h-1 at the seagrass and coral reef site, respectively. At night, NEP at the seagrass site was relatively constant, while on the coral reef, net respiration was highest immediately after dusk and decreased during the rest of the night. At the seagrass site, NEC values ranged from 0.20 g CaCO3 m-2 h-1 during daylight to -0.15 g CaCO3 m-2 h-1 at night, and from 0.17 to -0.10 g CaCO3 m-2 h-1 at the coral reef site. There were no significant differences in pH and aragonite saturation states (Ωar) between the seagrass and coral reef sites. Decrease in light levels during thunderstorms significantly decreased NEP, transforming the system from net autotrophic to net heterotrophic.


KEY WORDS: Coral reef · Seagrass · Production · Calcification · Florida Keys


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Cite this article as: Turk D, Yates KK, Vega-Rodriguez M, Toro-Farmer G and others (2015) Community metabolism in shallow coral reef and seagrass ecosystems, lower Florida Keys. Mar Ecol Prog Ser 538:35-52. https://doi.org/10.3354/meps11385

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