Skip to main content
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

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

June 15, 2016

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.

Citation Information

Publication Year 2016
Title Community metabolism in shallow coral reef and seagrass ecosystems, lower Florida Keys
DOI 10.3354/meps11385
Authors Daniela Turk, Kimberly K. Yates, Maria Vega-Rodriguez, Gerardo Toro-Farmer, Chris L'Esperance, Nelson Melo, Deanesch Ramsewak, S. Cerdeira Estrada, Frank E. Muller-Karger, Stan R. Herwitz, Wade McGillis
Publication Type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Series Title Marine Ecology Progress Series
Series Number
Index ID 70173896
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization St. Petersburg Coastal and Marine Science Center