Nutrient-induced perturbations to delta C-13 and delta N-15 in symbiotic dinoilagellates and their coral hosts

Hoegh-Guldberg, Ove, Muscatine, Leonard, Goiran, Claire, Siggaard, Dorthe and Marion, Guy (2004) Nutrient-induced perturbations to delta C-13 and delta N-15 in symbiotic dinoilagellates and their coral hosts. Marine Ecology Progress Series, 280 105-114. doi:10.3354/meps280105

Author Hoegh-Guldberg, Ove
Muscatine, Leonard
Goiran, Claire
Siggaard, Dorthe
Marion, Guy
Title Nutrient-induced perturbations to delta C-13 and delta N-15 in symbiotic dinoilagellates and their coral hosts
Formatted title
Nutrient-induced perturbations to  Ō 13C and  Ō 15 N in symbiotic dinoilagellates and their coral hosts

Journal name Marine Ecology Progress Series   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0171-8630
Publication date 2004
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.3354/meps280105
Open Access Status DOI
Volume 280
Start page 105
End page 114
Total pages 10
Place of publication Oldendorf, Germany
Publisher Inter-Research
Language eng
Abstract Inorganic nutrients play a critical role in determining benthic community structure in tropical seas. This study examined the impact of adding inorganic nutrients (ammonium and phosphate) on the isotopic composition of 2 reef-building corals, Pocillopora damicornis and Heliofungia actiniformis, on the southern Great Barrier Reef. The addition of elevated nutrients to patch reefs that pond at low tide did not perturb the C:N ratio of either species or their symbiotic dinoflagellates. The C:N ratios were significantly higher in material extracted from the skeleton (14.8 +/- 1.50 and 10.8 +/- 1.42) than either host (7.6 +/- 0.87 and 6.0 +/- 0.71) or symbiotic dinoflagellates (5.7 +/- 0.48 and 6.9 +/- 0.66) (P. damicornis and H. actiniformis respectively; 95 confidence intervals). The ratio of acquired N to background N suggests that the added dissolved inorganic nitrogen (DIN) accounted for 50 to 100% of total nitrogen within the tissues of P. damicornis and H. actiniformis at the end of the experiment. The addition of the isotopically depleted nutrients (delta(15) N = 0parts per thousand) to patch reefs significantly decreased delta(15)N from control values of between 3 and 4 to values to below 1 in the case of all compartments, while delta(13)C values were relatively unresponsive to nutrient treatments. These findings suggest that coral delta(15)N has the potential to provide a historical record of the delta(15)N of dissolved nitrogen surrounding reef-building corals and their symbiotic dinoflagellates.
Keyword Ecology
Marine & Freshwater Biology
Delta N-15
Fertilizer Use
Experimental Geochemistry
Anemone Aiptasia-pulchella
Building Corals
Sewage Impacts
Q-Index Code C1

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Excellence in Research Australia (ERA) - Collection
Centre for Marine Studies Publications
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Created: Mon, 13 Aug 2007, 14:44:59 EST