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Marine Ecology Progress Series

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MEPS 688:19-31 (2022)  -  DOI:

Benthic O2 uptake by coral gardens at the Condor seamount (Azores)

Lorenzo Rovelli1,8,*, Marina Carreiro-Silva2,3, Karl M. Attard1,4,5, Maria Rakka2,3, Carlos Dominguez-Carrió2,3, Meri Bilan2,3, Sabena Blackbird6, Telmo Morato2,3, George A. Wolff6, Ronnie N. Glud1,5,7

1HADAL & Nordcee, Department of Biology, University of Southern Denmark, 5230 Odense M, Denmark
2IMAR - Instituto do Mar, Universidade dos Açores, 9901-862 Horta, Portugal
3Instituto de Investigação em Ciências do Mar - Okeanos, Universidade dos Açores, 9901-862 Horta, Portugal
4Tvärminne Zoological Station, University of Helsinki, 10900 Hanko, Finland
5Danish Institute of Advanced Study - DIAS, University of Southern Denmark, 5230 Odense M, Denmark
6School of Environmental Sciences, University of Liverpool, L69 3GP Liverpool, UK
7Department of Ocean and Environmental Sciences, Tokyo University of Marine Science and Technology, 108-8477 Tokyo, Japan
8Present address: iES - Institute for Environmental Sciences, University of Koblenz-Landau, 76829 Landau, Germany
*Corresponding author:

ABSTRACT: Using the non-invasive aquatic eddy covariance technique, we provide the first oxygen (O2) uptake rates from within coral gardens at the Condor seamount (Azores). To explore some of the key drivers of the benthic O2 demand, we obtained benthic images, quantified local hydrodynamics, and estimated phototrophic biomass and deposition dynamics with a long-term moored sediment trap. The coral gardens were dominated by the octocorals Viminella flagellum and Dentomuricea aff. meteor. Daily rates of O2 uptake within 3 targeted coral garden sites (203 to 206 m depth) ranged from 10.0 ± 0.88 to 18.8 ± 2.0 mmol m-2 d-1 (mean ± SE) and were up to 10 times higher than 2 local sandy reference sites within the seamount summit area. The overall mean O2 uptake rate for the garden (13.4 mmol m-2 d-1) was twice the global mean for sedimentary habitats at comparable depths. Combined with parallel ex situ incubations, the results suggest that the octocorals might contribute just ~5% of the observed O2 uptake rates. Deposition of particulate organic matter (POM) assessed by the sediment trap accounted for less than 10% of the O2 demand of the coral garden, implying a substantial POM supply circumventing the deployed traps. Our results expand the database for carbon turnover rates in cold-water coral habitats by including the first estimates from these largely understudied coral gardens.

KEY WORDS: Aquatic eddy covariance · Cold-water corals · Condor seamount · Community oxygen uptake · Viminella flagellum · Dentomuricea aff. meteor

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Cite this article as: Rovelli L, Carreiro-Silva M, Attard KM, Rakka M and others (2022) Benthic O2 uptake by coral gardens at the Condor seamount (Azores). Mar Ecol Prog Ser 688:19-31.

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