Contrasting seasonal responses in dinitrogen fixation between shallow and deep-water colonies of the model coral Stylophora pistillata in the northern Red Sea

Bednarz, Vanessa N., Naumann, Malik S., Cardini, Ulisse, van Hoytema, Nanne, Rix, Laura, Al-Rshaidat, Mamoon M. D. and Wild, Christian (2018) Contrasting seasonal responses in dinitrogen fixation between shallow and deep-water colonies of the model coral Stylophora pistillata in the northern Red Sea PLOS ONE, 13 (6). e0199022. DOI 10.1371/journal.pone.0199022.

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Abstract

Tropical corals are often associated with dinitrogen (N-2)-fixing bacteria (diazotrophs), and seasonal changes in key environmental parameters, such as dissolved inorganic nitrogen (DIN) availability and seawater temperature, are known to affect N-2 fixation in coral-microbial holobionts. Despite, then, such potential for seasonal and depth-related changes in N-2 fixation in reef corals, such variation has not yet been investigated. Therefore, this study quantified seasonal (winter vs. summer) N-2 fixation rates associated with the reef-building coral Stylophora pistillata collected from depths of 5, 10 and 20 m in the northern Gulf of Aqaba (Red Sea). Findings revealed that corals from all depths exhibited the highest N-2 fixation rates during the oligotrophic summer season, when up to 11% of their photo-metabolic nitrogen demand (CPND) could be met by N-2 fixation. While N-2 fixation remained seasonally stable for deep corals (20 m), it significantly decreased for the shallow corals (5 and 10 m) during the DIN-enriched winter season, accounting for less than 2% of the corals' CPND. This contrasting seasonal response in N-2 fixation across corals of different depths could be driven by 1) release rates of coral-derived organic matter, 2) the community composition of the associated diazotrophs, and/or 3) nutrient acquisition by the Symbiodinium community.

Document Type: Article
Keywords: NITROGEN-FIXATION; N-2 FIXATION; MONTASTRAEA-CAVERNOSA; ZOOXANTHELLATE CORAL; DISSOLVED-OXYGEN; GULF; TEMPERATURE; MUCUS; LIGHT; METABOLISM
Research affiliation: OceanRep > GEOMAR > FB3 Marine Ecology > FB3-MI Marine Microbiology
Refereed: Yes
DOI etc.: 10.1371/journal.pone.0199022
ISSN: 1932-6203
Date Deposited: 07 Aug 2018 09:02
Last Modified: 07 Aug 2018 09:02
URI: http://eprints.uni-kiel.de/id/eprint/43951

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