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Dual-Carbon sources fuel the OCS deep-reef Community, a stable isotope investigation

Proceedings of the 11th International Coral Reef Symposium, Ft. Lauderdale, Florida

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Abstract

The hypothesis that phytoplankton is the sole carbon source for the OCS deep-reef community (>60 m) was tested. Trophic structure for NE Gulf of Mexico deep reefs was analyzed via carbon and nitrogen stable isotopes. Carbon signatures for 114 entities (carbon sources, sediment, fishes, and invertebrates) supported surface phytoplankton as the primary fuel for the deep reef. However, a second carbon source, the macroalga Sargassum, with its epiphytic macroalgal associate, Cladophora liniformis, was also identified. Macroalgal carbon signatures were detected among 23 consumer entities. Most notably, macroalgae contributed 45 % of total carbon to the 13C isotopic spectrum of the particulate-feeding reef-crest gorgonian Nicella. The discontinuous spatial distribution of some sessile deep-reef invertebrates utilizing pelagic macroalgal carbon may be trophically tied to the contagious distribution of Sargassum biomass along major ocean surface features.

Additional Publication Details

Publication type:
Article
Publication Subtype:
Journal Article
Title:
Dual-Carbon sources fuel the OCS deep-reef Community, a stable isotope investigation
Series title:
Proceedings of the 11th International Coral Reef Symposium, Ft. Lauderdale, Florida
Volume
2
Year Published:
2008
Language:
English
Publisher:
ReefBase
Publisher location:
Penang, Malaysia
Contributing office(s):
Southeast Ecological Science Center
Description:
5 p.
Larger Work Type:
Article
Larger Work Subtype:
Journal Article
Larger Work Title:
Proceedings of the 11th International Coral Reef Symposium, Ft. Lauderdale, Florida
First page:
945
Last page:
949
Time Range Start:
2001-01-01
Time Range End:
2003-12-31
Other Geospatial:
Gulf Of Mexico