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

Marine Ecology Progress Series
USF; Cooperative Institute for Marine and Atmospheric Studies; Dalhousie University; NOAA; University of Trinidad and Tobago; National Commission for Knowledge and Use of Biodiversity, Mexico; UAV Collaborative; LDEO, Columbia University
By: , and 



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.

Study Area

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Community metabolism in shallow coral reef and seagrass ecosystems, lower Florida Keys
Series title Marine Ecology Progress Series
DOI 10.3354/meps11385
Volume 538
Year Published 2016
Language English
Publisher Oldendorf/Luhe
Publisher location Germany
Contributing office(s) St. Petersburg Coastal and Marine Science Center
Description 18 p.
First page 35
Last page 52
Country United States
State Florida
Other Geospatial Florida Keys
Online Only (Y/N) N
Additional Online Files (Y/N) N
Google Analytic Metrics Metrics page
Additional publication details