Marine Biology

, Volume 62, Issue 4, pp 249–255 | Cite as

Algal symbiosis: A mathematical analysis

  • P. Hallock


Host and algal symbion growth can be described by an iterative model which incorporates utilization efficiencies of host and symbiont. This model predicts that, with input of organic matter to the host and at very low host and algal utilization efficiences coupled with efficient recycling of nutrients between the host and symbionts, production of organic matter by the system can be increased by 2–3 orders of magnitude over that of a system comprised of only autotrophs and heterotrophs. Energy available for growth and respiration by the host is 1–2 orders of magnitude over that available to a heterotroph without symbionts. Algal symbiosis is highly advantageous in oligotrophic environments where radiant energy is abundant, growth-limiting nutrients are scarce and only concentrated in organic matter, and much energy must be expended to capture that organic matter.


Organic Matter Respiration Mathematical Analysis Radiant Energy Utilization Efficience 
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.

Literature Cited

  1. Broeker, W. S.: Chemical oceanography, 214 pp. New York: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, Inc. 1974Google Scholar
  2. Conover, R. J.: Transformation of organic matter. In: Marine ecology, Vol. IV, Dynamics, pp 221–499, Ed. by O. Kinne. New York: Wiley-Interscience 1978Google Scholar
  3. Goreau, T. F., N. I. Goreau and C. M. Yonge: Reef corals: autotrophs or heterotrophs? Biol. Bull. 141, 247–260 (1971)Google Scholar
  4. Hannon, B.: The structure of ecosystems. J. Theor. Biol. 41, 535–546 (1973)Google Scholar
  5. Holt, C. von and M. von Holt: Transfer of photosynthetic products from zooxanthellae to coelenterate hosts. Comp. Biochem. Physiol. 24, 73–81 (1968)Google Scholar
  6. Knopp, K.: Theory and application of infinite series, 563 pp. New York: Hafner Publishing Company 1971Google Scholar
  7. Lee, J. J.: Towards understanding the niche of the foraminifera. In: Foraminifera, Vol. I, pp 207–260. Ed. by R. H. Hedley and C. G. Adams. London and New York: Academic Press 1974Google Scholar
  8. Lee, J. J. and W. A. Mullet: Trophic dynamics and niches of salt marsh foraminifera. Am. Zool. 13, 215–223 (1973)Google Scholar
  9. Muller, P. Hallock: Sediment production and population biology of the benthic foraminifer Amphistegina madagascariensis. Limnol. Oceanogr. 19, 802–809 (1974)Google Scholar
  10. Muscatine, L.: Glycerol excretion by symbiotic algae from corals and Tridacna and its control by the host. Science, N. Y. 156, 516–519 (1967)Google Scholar
  11. Muscatine, L.: Nutrition of corals. In: Biology and geology of coral reefs, Vol. II; Biology 1. pp 77–115. Ed. by O. A. Jones and R. Endean. New York: Academic Press 1973Google Scholar
  12. Muscatine, L., S. J. Karakashian and M. W. Karakashian: Soluble extracellular products of algal symbiosis with a ciliate, a sponge, and a mutant hydra. Comp. Biochem. Physiol. 20, 1–12 (1967)Google Scholar
  13. Muscatine, L. and J. W. Porter: Reef corals: mutualistic symbioses adapted to nutrient-poor environments. BioScience 27, 454–460 (1977)Google Scholar
  14. Raymont, J. E. G.: Plankton and productivity in the oceans. 660 pp. New York: Perganon Press 1963Google Scholar
  15. Ross, C. A.: Biology and ecology of Marginopora vertebralis (Foraminiferida), Great Barrier Reef. J. Protozool. 19, 181–192 (1972)Google Scholar
  16. Trench, R. K.: The physiology and biochemistry of zooxanthellae symbiotic with marine coelenterates. I. The assimilation of photosynthetic products by two marine coelenterates. Proc. Roy. Soc. London (B) 177, 225–235 (1971)Google Scholar
  17. Yonge, C. M.: Studies on the physiology of corals. I. Feeding mechanisms and food. Great Barrier Reef Exped., 1928–29, Sci. Repts. 1, 15–57 (1930)Google Scholar
  18. Yonge, C. M.: Origin and nature of the association between invertebrates and unicellular algae. Nature, Lond. 134, 12 (1934)Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1981

Authors and Affiliations

  • P. Hallock
    • 1
  1. 1.Faculty of Earth SciencesThe University of Texas-Permian BasinOdessaUSA

Personalised recommendations