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Coral mucus functions as an energy carrier and particle trap in the reef ecosystem

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dc.contributor Alfred Wegener Institute, Helmholtz Centre For Polar & Marine Research
dc.contributor Marine Sci Stn
dc.contributor Florida State Univ
dc.contributor Yarmouk University
dc.contributor State University System Of Florida
dc.contributor University Of Jordan
dc.contributor Yarmouk Univ
dc.contributor Univ Jordan
dc.contributor Australian Inst Marine Sci
dc.contributor Max Planck Society
dc.contributor Australian Institute Of Marine Science
dc.contributor Helmholtz Association
dc.contributor Dept Benth Ecosyst
dc.contributor Max Planck Inst Marine Microbiol
dc.contributor Florida State University
dc.contributor Alfred Wegener Inst Polar & Marine Res
dc.contributor Dept Oceanog
dc.contributor Australian Institute Of Marine Science (aims) en RASHEED, MYM WILD, C KLUETER, A JORGENSEN, BB HUETTEL, M KREMB, SG 2013-02-28T06:52:31Z 2017-03-21T01:19:41Z 2013-02-28T06:52:31Z 2019-05-09T01:24:11Z 2017-03-21T01:19:41Z 2013-02-28T06:52:31Z 2013-02-28T06:52:31Z 2019-05-09T01:24:11Z 2004-03-04
dc.identifier 6658 en
dc.identifier.citation Wild C, Huettel M, Klueter A, Kremb SG, Rasheed MYM and Jorgensen BB (2004) Coral mucus functions as an energy carrier and particle trap in the reef ecosystem. Nature. 428: 66-70. en
dc.identifier.issn 0028-0836
dc.description Link to abstract/full text - en
dc.description.abstract Zooxanthellae, endosymbiotic algae of reef-building corals, substantially contribute to the high gross primary production of coral reefs(1), but corals exude up to half of the carbon assimilated by their zooxanthellae as mucus(2,3). Here we show that released coral mucus efficiently traps organic matter from the water column and rapidly carries energy and nutrients to the reef lagoon sediment, which acts as a biocatalytic mineralizing filter. In the Great Barrier Reef, the dominant genus of hard corals, Acropora, exudes up to 4.8 litres of mucus per square metre of reef area per day. Between 56% and 80% of this mucus dissolves in the reef water, which is filtered through the lagoon sands. Here, coral mucus is degraded at a turnover rate of at least 7% per hour. Detached undissolved mucus traps suspended particles, increasing its initial organic carbon and nitrogen content by three orders of magnitude within 2 h. Tidal currents concentrate these mucus aggregates into the lagoon, where they rapidly settle. Coral mucus provides light energy harvested by the zooxanthellae and trapped particles to the heterotrophic reef community, thereby establishing a recycling loop that supports benthic life, while reducing loss of energy and nutrients from the reef ecosystem.
dc.description.uri en
dc.language English
dc.language en en
dc.relation.ispartof Nature - pages: 428: 66-70 en
dc.relation.ispartof Null
dc.subject Respiration
dc.subject Ecology
dc.subject Science & Technology - Other Topics
dc.subject Multidisciplinary Sciences
dc.subject Water-movement
dc.subject Populations
dc.subject Release
dc.subject Zooxanthellae
dc.title Coral mucus functions as an energy carrier and particle trap in the reef ecosystem
dc.type journal article en
dc.identifier.doi 10.1038/nature02344
dc.identifier.wos WOS:000189363800035

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