Marine Biology

, Volume 73, Issue 1, pp 37–42 | Cite as

Release of dissolved organic carbon from the estuarine intertidal macroalga Enteromorpha prolifera

  • A. M. Pregnall


The estuarine macroalga Enteromorpha prolifera was collected from Coos Bay, Oregon, USA during 1981, and its release of photosynthate as dissolved organic carbon (DOC) was studied using 14C as a tracer. During photosynthesis in 30‰ S sea water, with a fixation rate averaging 7.37 mg C g-1 dry wt h-1, release ranged from 0.13 to 0.57 mg C g-1 dry wt h-1 and from 1.65 to 6.23% of total fixed carbon. Release of DOC appears to be linear with time over 3 h. As exposed algae become increasingly desiccated, their photosynthetic rates decline dramatically, but upon reimmersion the highly desiccated algae lose a larger fraction of their fixed carbon than the slightly desiccated algae. This loss comes in a pulse release of DOC over the initial 15 min, followed by declining release rates. The pulse loss due to rainfall is 5 times greater than that due to tidal resubmergence, and may briefly exceed the prior photosynthetic rate. Although lowering the salinity from 30 to 5‰ does not substantially alter photosynthetic rates, it does increase the DOC release range up to 1.02 mg C g-1 dry wt h-1 and 16.10% of fixed carbon. Heterotrophic microbes from the algal habitat readily use the available DOC at about 15% h-1.


Organic Carbon Photosynthesis Release Rate Microbe Large Fraction 
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.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1983

Authors and Affiliations

  • A. M. Pregnall
    • 1
  1. 1.Oregon Institute of Marine BiologyCharlestonUSA

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