Coral Reefs

, Volume 6, Issue 3–4, pp 251–262 | Cite as

Halimeda contribution to organic and inorganic production in a Tahitian reef system

  • Claude Elisabeth Payri


Of the seven species of Halimeda inhabiting a lagoon on Moorea island, three representing 10% of the algal covering and averaging 111 g of dry weight m-2, have been studied in the course of a year. The biomass, measured bimonthly, stresses a slight seasonal variability in the species life. The main decrease was reported for H. opuntia after a fruiting event, which happened in October. The primary production was assessed, in situ, periodically over a year, by measuring oxygen variations in enclosures. Either expressed on specific-weight basis or in area units, the highest primary productions were recorded for H. opuntia. Productions and biomasses vary simultaneously during the year. The three species produce all together about 6 g C m-2y-1. The growth rate of the sand-dwelling H. incrassata f. ovata was followed during the year by staining, in the field, individuals with alizarin Red-S. The average rates measured were 3.3 segments ind-1d-1 and 0.17 gdw d-1m-2. The contribution of the three species to the carbonate budget of the reef was estimated by total alkalinity measurements during 24-h cycles. H. opuntia had the highest CaCO3 production. For the three species studied, CaCO3 production of 1.4 kg m-2y-1, which could correspond to a 0.4mm/year accretion of the studied reefal system, was estimated.


Alkalinity Total Alkalinity Carbonate Budget Halimeda Reef System 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Agegian CR (1985) The biogeochemical ecology of Porolithon gardineri (Folsie). Ph D, University of Hawaii, p 178Google Scholar
  2. Andrake W, Johansen HW (1980) Alizarin red dye as a marker for measuring growth in Coralina officinalis L. (Corallinaceae, Rhodophyta). J Phycol 16:620–622Google Scholar
  3. Bach SD (1979) Standing crop. growth and production of calcareous Siphonales (Chlorophyta) in a South Florida Lagoon. Bull Mar Sci 29:191–201Google Scholar
  4. Borowitzka MA, Larkum AWD (1976a) Calcification in the green alga Halimeda. II. The exchange of Ca2+ and the occurrence of age gradient in calcification and photosynthesis. J Exp Bot 27:864–878Google Scholar
  5. Borowitzka MA, Larkum AWD (1976b) Calcification in the green alga Halimeda. III. The source of inorganic carbon for photosynthesis and calcification and a model of the mechanism of calcification. J Exp Bot 27:879–893Google Scholar
  6. Borowitzka MA, Larkum AWD (1976c) Calcification in the green alga Halimeda. IV. The action of metabolic inhibitors on photosynthesis and calcification. J Exp Bot 27:894–907Google Scholar
  7. Borowitzka MA, Larkum AWD (1977) Calcification in the green alga Halimeda. I. An ultrastructural study of the thallus development. J Phycol 13:6–16Google Scholar
  8. Buesa RJ (1977) Photosynthesis and respiration of some tropical marine plants. Aquat Bot 3:203–216Google Scholar
  9. Colinvaux H, Wilbur KM, Watabe N (1965) Tropical marine algae; growth in laboratory culture. J Phycol 1:69–78Google Scholar
  10. Culberson C, Pytkowicz RM, Hawley JE (1970) Seawater alkalinity determination by the pH method. J Mar Res 28:15–21Google Scholar
  11. Davies PJ, Hopley D (1983) Growth fabrics and growth rates of Holocene reefs in the Great Barrier Reef. BMR J Aust Geol Geophys 8:237–251Google Scholar
  12. Davies PJ, Marshall JF (1985) Halimeda bioherms-Low energy reefs Northern Great Barrier Reef. Proc 5th Int Coral Reef Symp 5:1–7Google Scholar
  13. Doty MS (1971) The productivity of benthic frondose algae at Waikiki beach, 1967–1968, University of Hawaii. Bot Sci Paper 22:1–119Google Scholar
  14. Drew EA (1983) Halimeda biomass, growth rates and sediment generation on reefs in the Central Great Barrier Reef province. Coral Reefs 2:101–110Google Scholar
  15. Drew EA, Abel KM (1983) Growth of Halimeda in reefal and inter-reefal environments. Proc Great Barrier Reef Symp, pp 299–304Google Scholar
  16. Drew EA, Abel KM (1985) Biology, sedimentology and geography of the vast inter-reefal Halimeda meadows within the Great Barrier Reef province. Proc 5th Int Coral Reef Symp 5:15–20Google Scholar
  17. Dustan P (1975) Growth and form in the reef-building coral Montastrea annularis. Mar Biol 33:101–107Google Scholar
  18. Gabrie C, Montaggioni L (1982a) Sediments from fringing reefs of Reunion Island, Indian Ocean. Sediment Geol 31:281–301Google Scholar
  19. Gabrie C, Montaggioni L (1982b) Sedimentary facies from the modern coral reefs, Jordan, Gulf of Aqaba, Red Sea. Coral Reefs 1:115–124Google Scholar
  20. Galzin R (1985) Ecologie des poissons récifaux de Polynésie Française. Variations spatio-temporelles des peuplements. Dynamique des populations de trois espèces dominantes des lagons nord de Mooréa. Evaluation de la production ichtyologique d'un secteur récifo-lagonaire. Thèse d'Etat, Univ Sciences et Techniques Languedoc, p 195Google Scholar
  21. Garrigue C (1985) Répartition et production organique et minérale de macrophytes benthiques du Lagon de Nouvelle-Calédonie. Thèse de Doctorat, Univ Sciences et Techniques du Languedoc, p 270Google Scholar
  22. Hillis-Colinvaux L (1974) Productivity of the coral reef alga Halimeda (order Siphonales). Proc 2nd Int Coral Reef Symp, pp 35–42Google Scholar
  23. Hillis-Colinvaux L (1980) Ecology and taxonomy of Halimeda: primary producer of coral reefs. Adv Mar Biol 17:1–327Google Scholar
  24. Jensen PR, Gibson RA, Littler MM, Littler DS (1985) Photosynthesis and calcification in four deep-water Halimeda species (Chlorophyceae, Caulerpales). Deep-Sea Res 32:451–464Google Scholar
  25. Jaubert J, Thomassin BA, Vasseur P (1976) Morphologie et étude bionomique préliminaire de la pente externe du récif de Tiahura, île de Mooréa (Polynésie Française). Cah Pac 19:299–323Google Scholar
  26. Lamberts AE (1978) Coral growth: alizarin method. In: Stoddart DR, Johannes RE (eds) UNESCO Paris (UNESCO Monogr Oceanogr Methodol) 5:523–527Google Scholar
  27. Littler MM (1971) Standing stock measurements of crustose coralline algae (Rhodophyta) and other saxicolous organisms. J Exp Mar Biol Ecol 6:91–99Google Scholar
  28. Littler MM (1979) The effect of bottle volume, thallus weight, oxygen saturation levels and water movement on apparent photosynthetic rates in marine algae. Aquat Bot 7:21–34Google Scholar
  29. Littler MM (1980) Morphological from and photosynthetic performances of marine magroalgae: test of a functional/form hypothesis. Bot Mar 23:161:165Google Scholar
  30. Littler MM, Arnold KE (1982) Primary productivity of marine macroalgal functional form groups from South Western North America. J Phycol 18:307–311Google Scholar
  31. Littler MM, Murray SN, Arnold KE (1979) Seasonal variations in net photosynthetic performance and cover of intertidal macrophytes. Aquat Bot 7:35–46Google Scholar
  32. Littler MM, Littler DS, Taylor PR (1983) Evolutionary strategies in a tropical barrier reef system: functional-form groups of marine macroalgae. J Phycol 19:229–237Google Scholar
  33. Loya Y (1978) Plotless and transect methods. In: Stoddart DR, Johannes RE (eds) UNESCO Paris (UNESCO Monogr Oceanogr Methodol) 5:197–217Google Scholar
  34. Marsh JA, Smith SV (1978) Productivity measurements of coral reefs in flowing water. In: Stoddart DR, Johannes RE (eds) UNESCO Paris (UNESCO Monogr Oceanogr Methodol) 5:361–377Google Scholar
  35. Maxwell WGH (1973) Sediment of the Great Barrier reef Province. In: Jones OA, Endean RE (eds) Biology and geology of coral reefs, vol 1: Geology. Academic Press, New York London, pp 299–345Google Scholar
  36. Merten MJ (1971) Ecological observations of Halimeda macroloba Descaine (Chlorophyta) on Guam. Micronesica 7:27–44Google Scholar
  37. Milliman JD (1974) Marine carbonates. Springer, Berlin Heidelberg New York, p 375Google Scholar
  38. Morrissey J (1985) Primary productivity of coral reef benthic macroalgae. Proc 5th Int Coral Reef Symp 5:77–82Google Scholar
  39. Naim O (1980) Etude qualitative et quantitative de la faune mobile associée aux algues du lagon de Tiahura (île de Mooréa, Polynésie Française) Doctorat, Paris, p 165Google Scholar
  40. Neushul M (1966) Studies on subtidal marine vegetation in Western Washington. Ecology 48:83–94Google Scholar
  41. Orme GR (1985) The sedimentological importance of Halimeda in the development of back reef lithofacies, North Great Barrier Reef (Australia). Proc 5th Int Coral Reef Symp 5:31–37Google Scholar
  42. Orme GR, Flood PG, Sargent GEG (1978) Sedimentation trends in the lee of outer (ribbon) reefs, northern region of the Great Barrier Reef Province. Philos Trans R Soc Lond A 291:85–99Google Scholar
  43. Payri CE (1987a) Zonation and seasonal variation of the commonest algae on Tiahura reef (Moorea island, French Polynesia). Bot Mar 30:141–149Google Scholar
  44. Payri CE (1987b) Variabilité spatiale et temporelle des peuplements des macrophytes des récifs coralliens de Mooréa (Polynésie Française). Contribution des algues au métabolisme du carbone de l'écosystème récifal. Thèse doctorat d'Etat, U.S.T.L. Montpellier, p 318Google Scholar
  45. Payri CE, Meinesz A (1985) Taxonomy and distribution of the genus Halimeda (Chlorophyta, Caulerpales) in French Polynesia. Proc 5th Int Coral Reef Symp 6:641–648Google Scholar
  46. Payri CE, Naim O (1982) Variations entre 1971 et 1980 de la biomasse et de la composition des populations de macroalgues sur le récif corallien de Tiahura (île de Mooréa-Polynésie Française). Cryptogamie, Algologie III:229–240Google Scholar
  47. Phipps CUG, Davies PJ, Hopley D (1985) The morphology of Halimeda banks behind the Great Barrier Reef east of Cooktown, Qld Proc 5th Int Coral Reef Symp 5:27–30Google Scholar
  48. Salvat B, Richard G, Salvat F, Berigaud R, Antoine L, Berigaud MC, Plessis Y (1972) Mooréa-Tiahura: Etude des peuplements du lagon et du récif. Rapp Ronéotypé 1:104Google Scholar
  49. Smith SV, Kinsey DW (1978) Calcification and organic carbon metabolism as indicated by carbon dioxide. In: Stoddart DR, Johannes RE (eds) UNESCO Paris (UNESCO Monogr Oceanogr Methodol) 5:469–484Google Scholar
  50. Sournia A, Delesalle B, Ricard M (1981) Premiers bilans de production organique et de calcification d'un récif-barrière de la Polynésie Française. Oceanolog Acta 4:423–431Google Scholar
  51. Stoddart DR (1969) Ecology and morphology of recent coral reefs. Biol Rev 44:433–498Google Scholar
  52. Stoddart DR, Johannes RE (eds) (1978) Coral Reefs: research methods. UNESCO Paris (UNESCO Monogr Oceanogr Methodol) 5:581Google Scholar
  53. Strickland JD, Parsons TR (1972) A practical handbook of seawater analysis, 2nd edn. Fish Res Board Can Bull 167:1–311Google Scholar
  54. Wefer G (1980) Carbonate production by algae Halimeda, Penicillus and Padina. Nature (London) 285:323–324Google Scholar
  55. Wiman SK, Mac Kendree WG (1975) Distribution of Halimeda plants and sediments on and around a patch reef near Old Rhodes Key, Florida. J Sediment Petrol 45:415–421Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1988

Authors and Affiliations

  • Claude Elisabeth Payri
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Laboratoire de CryptogamieInstitut de BotaniqueMontpellierFrance
  2. 2.Centre de l'Environnement de MooreaAntenne Museum National d'Histoire Naturelle et Ecole Pratique des Hautes EtudesFrench Polynesia

Personalised recommendations