Marine Biology

, Volume 81, Issue 2, pp 153–162 | Cite as

Effects of feeding frequency and symbiosis with zooxanthellae on nitrogen metabolism and respiration of the coral Astrangia danae

  • A. Szmant-Froelich
  • M. E. Q. Pilson
Article

Abstract

Colonies of the temperate coral Astrangia danae occur naturally with and without zooxanthellae. Basal nitrogen excretion rates of nonsymbiotic colonies increased with increasing feeding frequency [average excretion rate was 635 ng-at N (mg-at tissue-N)-1 h-1]. Reduced excretion rates of symbiotic colonies were attributed to N uptake by the zooxanthellae. Nitrogen uptake rates of the zooxanthellae averaged 8 ng-at N (106 cells)-1 h-1 in the dark and 21 ng-at N (106 cells)-1 h-1 at 200 μEin m-2 s-1. At these rates the zooxanthellae could provide 54% of the daily basal N requirement of the coral if all of the recycled N was translocated. Basal respiration rates were 172 nmol O2 cm-2 h-1 for starved colonies and 447 nmol O2 cm-2 h-1 for colonies fed three times per week. There were no significant differences between respiration rates of symbiotic and nonsymbiotic colonies. N excretion and respiration rates of fed (symbiotic and nonsymbiotic) colonies increased greatly soon after feeding. N absorption efficiencies decreased with increasing feeding frequency. A N mass balance, constructed for hypothetical situations of nonsymbiotic and symbiotic (3×106 zooxanthellae cm-2) colonies, starved and fed 15 μg-at N cm-2wk-1, showed that the presence of symbionts could double the N growth rate of feeding colonies, and reduce the turnover-time of starved ones, but could not provide all of the N requirements of starved colonies. Rates of secondary production, estimated from rates of photosynthesis and respiration were similar to those estimated for reef corals.

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Literature cited

  1. Battey, J. F.: Lipid metabolism of symbiotic coelenterates. In: Benthic ecology meetings, Abstracts, p 8. Florida Inst. Techn. 1983Google Scholar
  2. Biggs, D. C.: Respiration and ammonium excretion of open ocean gelatinous zooplankton. Limnol. Oceanogr. 22, 108–117 (1977)Google Scholar
  3. Borsook, H. and H. M. Winegarden. The work of the kidney in the production of urine. Proc. natl. Acad. Sci., USA 17, 13–28 (1931)Google Scholar
  4. Bremner, J. M.: Total nitrogen: Agronomy 9, 1149–1178 (1966)Google Scholar
  5. Conover, R. J. and E. D. Corner: Respiration and nitrogen excretion by some marine zooplankton in relation to their cycles. J. mar. biol. Assoc. U.K. 48, 49–75 (1968)Google Scholar
  6. Coles, S. L.: Quantitative estimates of feeding and respiration for three scleractinian corals. Limnol. Oceanogr. 14, 949–953 (1969)Google Scholar
  7. Davies, P. S.: Respiration in some Atlantic reef corals in relation to vertical distribution and growth form. Biol. Bull. mar. biol. Lab., Woods Hole 158, 187–193 (1980)Google Scholar
  8. D'Elia, C. F.: The uptake and release of dissolved phosphorus by reef corals. Limnol. Oceanogr. 22, 301–315 (1977)Google Scholar
  9. D'Elia, C. F. and K. L. Webb: The dissolved nitrogen flux of reef corals. In: Proc. 3rd Int. Coral Reef Symp., Vol. I., pp 325–331. Miami: Univ. of Miami 1977Google Scholar
  10. D'Elia, C. F., P. A. Steudler and N. Corwin: Determination of total nitrogen in aqueous samples using persulfate digestion. Limnol. Oceanogr. 22, 760–764 (1977)Google Scholar
  11. Franzisket, L.: Nitrate uptake by reef corals. Int. Revue ges. Hydrobiol. 59, 1–7 (1974)Google Scholar
  12. Ikeda, T.: Nutritional ecology of marine zooplankton. Mem. Fac. Fish. Hokkaido Univ. 22, 1–97 (1974)Google Scholar
  13. Jacques, T. G. and M. E. Q. Pilson: Experimental ecology of the temperate scleractinian coral (Astrangia danae) I. Partition of respiration, photosynthesis and calcification between host and symbionts. Mar. Biol. 60, 167–168 (1980)Google Scholar
  14. Jacques, T. G., N. Marshall and M. E. Q. Pilson: Experimental ecology of the temperate scleractinian coral Astrangia danae II. Effect of temperature, light intensity and symbiosis with zooxanthellae on metabolic rate and calcification. Mar. Biol. 76, 135–148 (1983)Google Scholar
  15. Johannes, R. E. and W. J. Wiebe: Method for determination of coral tissue biomass and composition. Limnol. Oceanogr. 15, 822–824 (1970)Google Scholar
  16. Johannes, R. E., S. L. Coles and N. T. Kuenzel: The role of zooplankton in the nutrition of some scleractinian corals. Limnol. Oceanogr. 15, 579–586 (1970)Google Scholar
  17. Kawaguti, S.: Ammonium metabolism of the reef corals. Biol. J. Okayama Univ. 1, 1971–1976 (1953)Google Scholar
  18. Krebs, H. A.: The metabolic fate of amino acids. In: Mammalian protein metabolism, Vol. 1, pp 125–176. Ed. by H. Munro and J. B. Allison. New York: Academic Press 1964Google Scholar
  19. Lewis, J. B.: Estimates of secondary production of reef corals. In: Proc. 4th Int. Coral Reef Symp., Vol. 2, pp 369–374. Manila: Univ. of Philippines 1981Google Scholar
  20. Marsh, J. A.: Primary productivity of reef-building calcareous and red algae. Ecology 51, 255–263 (1970)Google Scholar
  21. Mayzaud, P.: Respiration and nitrogen excretion of zooplankton II. Studies of the metabolic characteristics of starved animals. Mar. Biol. 21, 19–28 (1973)Google Scholar
  22. McCloskey, L. R., D. W. Wethey and J. W. Porter: Measurement and interpretation of photosynthesis and respiration in reef corals. In: Coral reefs: research methods. pp 379–396. Ed. by D. R. Stoddart and R. E. Johannes. Paris: UNESCO 1978Google Scholar
  23. Muscatine, L. and C. F. D'Elia. The uptake, retention and release of ammonium by reef corals. Limnol. Oceanogr. 23, 725–734 (1978)Google Scholar
  24. Muscatine, L. and R. E. Marian: Dissolved inorganic nitrogen flux in symbiotic and nonsymbiotic medusae. Limnol. Oceanogr. 27, 910–917 (1982)Google Scholar
  25. Muscatine, L. and J. W. Porter: Reef corals: Mutualistic symbiosis adapted to nutrient poor environments. BioScience 27, 454–460 (1977)Google Scholar
  26. Muscatine, L., H. Masuda and R. Burnap: Ammonium uptake by symbiotic and aposymbiotic reef corals. Bull. mar. Sci. 29, 572–575 (1979)Google Scholar
  27. Muscatine, L., L. R. McCloskey and R. E. Marian: Estimating the daily contribution of carbon from zooxanthellae to animal respiration. Limnol. Oceanogr 26, 601–611 (1981)Google Scholar
  28. Nelson, S. G., A. W. Knight and H. W. Li: The metabolic cost of food utilization and ammonia production by juvenile Macrobranchium rosenbergii (Crustacea: Palamonidae). Comp. Biochem. Physiol. 57, 67–72 (1977)Google Scholar
  29. Porter, J. W.: Zooplankton feeding by the Caribbean reef-building coral Montastrea cavernosa. In: Proc. 2nd Int. Coral Reef Symp., Vol. I, pp 111–125. Brisbane: Great Barrier Reef Committee 1974Google Scholar
  30. Slawyk, G. and J. J. MacIsaac: Comparison of two automated ammonia methods in a region of coastal upwelling. Deep-Sea Res. 19, 521–524 (1972)Google Scholar
  31. Smayda, T. J.: A survey of phytoplankton dynamics in the coastal waters from Cape Hatteras to Nantucket. In: Coastal and offshore environmental inventory, Cape Hatteras to Nantucket Shoals, pp 3–1 to 3–100. Ed. by S. B. Saila. Kingston: Univ. of Rhode Is. Mar. Publ. Ser. No. 2, 1973Google Scholar
  32. Smillie, R. M.: Photosystem II in symbiotic algae. Aust. J. Plant Physiol. 3, 133–139 (1976)Google Scholar
  33. Strickland, J. D. H. and T. R. Parsons: A practical handbook of seawater analysis. Fish. Res. Bd Can. Bull. 167, 1–310 (1972)Google Scholar
  34. Szmant-Froelich, A.: Studies of the reproduction, nutrition and symbiosis with zooxanthellae of the temperate scleractinian coral Astrangia danae, 191 pp. Ph.D. dissertation, Univ. of Rhode Island 1980Google Scholar
  35. Szmant-Froelich, A.: Coral nutrition: comparison of the fate of 14C from ingested labeled brine shrimp and from the uptake of NaH14CO3 by its zooxanthellae. J. exp. mar. Biol. Ecol. 55, 133–144 (1981)Google Scholar
  36. Szmant-Froelich, A. and M. E. Q. Pilson: Nitrogen excretion by colonies of the temperate coral Astrangia danae with and without zooxanthellae. In: Proc. 3d Int. Coral Reef Symp., Vol. I pp 417–424. Miami: Univ. of Miami 1977Google Scholar
  37. Szmant-Froelich, A. and M. E. Q. Pilson: The effects of feeding frequency and symbiosis with zooxanthellae on the biochemical composition of Astrangia danae Milne Edwards and Haime 1849. J. exp. mar. Biol. Ecol. 48, 85–97 (1980)Google Scholar
  38. Szmant-Froelich, A., V. Johnson, T. Hoehn, J. Battey, G. J. Smith, E. Fleischmann, J. Porter, and D. Dallmeyer: The physiological effects of oil drilling muds on the Caribbean coral Montastrea annularis. In: Proc. 4th Int. Coral Reef Symp., Vol. 1, pp 163–168. Manila: Univ. Philippines 1981Google Scholar
  39. Wethey, D. S. and J. W. Porter: Habitat-related patterns of productivity of the foliaceous coral Pavona praetorta. In: Coelenterate ecology and behavior, pp 59–69. Ed. by G. O. Mackie. New York: Plenum Publ. 1976Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1984

Authors and Affiliations

  • A. Szmant-Froelich
    • 1
  • M. E. Q. Pilson
    • 2
  1. 1.Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric ScienceUniversity of MiamiMiamiUSA
  2. 2.Graduate School of OceanographyUniversity of Rhode IslandNarragansettUSA

Personalised recommendations