Coral Reefs

, Volume 13, Issue 3, pp 171–174 | Cite as

Nitrogen fixation (acetylene reduction) on a coral reef

  • N. Shashar
  • T. Feldstein
  • Y. Cohen
  • Y. Loya


Nitrogen fixation rates associated with various substrates on a fringing reef at Eilat, Red Sea, were estimated by in situ acetylene reduction. High rates of acctylene reduction were associated with bare substrates, such as sand and dead coral skeletons. Low rates of acetylene reduction were associated with substrates covered by macroalgae or living coral tissue. Estimates of nitrogen fixation in various reef zones, based on these measurements, indicate that the sand-covered lagoon is responsible for more than 70% of the fixation in the reef. Consequently, the lagoon may serve as an important source of nitrogen for the coral reef community.


Nitrogen Acetylene Coral Reef Nitrogen Fixation Macroalgae 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1994

Authors and Affiliations

  • N. Shashar
    • 1
    • 2
  • T. Feldstein
    • 1
    • 3
  • Y. Cohen
    • 3
  • Y. Loya
    • 2
  1. 1.H. Steinitz Marine Biology LaboratoryThe Interuniversity Institute of EilatEilatIsrael
  2. 2.Department of Zoology, George S. Wise Faculty of Life SciencesTel Aviv UniversityTel AvivIsrael
  3. 3.Division of Microbial and Molecular Ecology, Life Science InstituteThe Hebrew University of JerusalemJerusalemIsrael

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