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Zooxanthellae, endosymbiotic algae of reef-building corals, substantially contribute to the high gross primary production of coral reefs, but corals exude up to half of the carbon assimilated by their zooxanthellae as mucus. Here we show that released coral mucus efficiently traps organic matter from the water column and rapidly carries energy and nutrients(More)
Tropical coral reefs are among the most productive and diverse ecosystems, despite being surrounded by ocean waters where nutrients are in short supply. Benthic dinitrogen (N2) fixation is a significant internal source of "new" nitrogen (N) in reef ecosystems, but related information appears to be sparse. Here, we review the current state (and gaps) of(More)
The ideas and findings in this report should not be construed as an official DoD position. It is published in the interest of scientific and technical information exchange. Use of any trademark in this document is not intended in any way to infringe on the rights of the trademark holder. Capsule Description 1 for its sponsorship of the writing of this(More)
Coral reefs of the Central Red Sea display a high degree of endemism, and are increasingly threatened by anthropogenic effects due to intense local coastal development measures. Overfishing and eutrophication are among the most significant local pressures on these reefs, but there is no information available about their potential effects on the associated(More)
Permeable sediments and associated microbial communities play a fundamental role in nutrient recycling within coral reef ecosystems by ensuring high levels of primary production in oligotrophic environments. A previous study on organic matter degradation within biogenic carbonate and terrigenous silicate reef sands in the Red Sea suggested that observed(More)
BACKGROUND Cold-water coral reef ecosystems are recognized as biodiversity hotspots in the deep sea, but insights into their associated bacterial communities are still limited. Deciphering principle patterns of bacterial community variation over multiple spatial scales may however prove critical for a better understanding of factors contributing to(More)
High photosynthetic benthic primary production (P) represents a key ecosystem service provided by tropical coral reef systems. However, benthic P budgets of specific ecosystem compartments such as macrophyte-dominated reef lagoons are still scarce. To address this, we quantified individual and lagoon-wide net (Pn) and gross (Pg) primary production by all(More)
Coral reefs are facing rapidly changing environments, but implications for reef ecosystem functioning and important services, such as productivity, are difficult to predict. Comparative investigations on coral reefs that are naturally exposed to differing environmental settings can provide essential information in this context. One prevalent phenomenon(More)
Organic matter release by scleractinian corals fulfils an important ecological role as energy carrier and particle trap in reef ecosystems, but the hypothetically stimulating impact of water currents, an essential and ubiquitous environmental factor in coral reefs, on this process has not been investigated yet. This study therefore quantifies organic matter(More)
In Tayrona National Natural Park (Colombian Caribbean), abiotic factors such as light intensity, water temperature, and nutrient availability are subjected to high temporal variability due to seasonal coastal upwelling. These factors are the major drivers controlling coral reef primary production as one of the key ecosystem services. This offers the(More)