Uptake of picophytoplankton, bacterioplankton and virioplankton by a fringing coral reef community (Ningaloo Reef, Australia)
- 343 Downloads
We examined the importance of picoplankton and virioplankton to reef trophodynamics at Ningaloo Reef, (north-western Australia), in May and November 2008. Picophytoplankton (Prochlorococcus, Synechococcus and picoeukaryotes), bacterioplankton (inclusive of bacteria and Archaea), virioplankton and chlorophyll a (Chl a) were measured at five stations following the consistent wave-driven unidirectional mean flow path of seawater across the reef and into the lagoon. Prochlorococcus, Synechococcus, picoeukaryotes and bacterioplankton were depleted to similar levels (~40% on average) over the fore reef, reef crest and reef flat (=‘active reef’), with negligible uptake occurring over the sandy bottom lagoon. Depletion of virioplankton also occurred but to more variable levels. Highest uptake rates, m, of picoplankton occurred over the reef crest, while uptake coefficients, S (independent of cell concentration), were similarly scaled over the reef zones, indicating no preferential uptake of any one group. Collectively, picophytoplankton, bacterioplankton and virioplankton accounted for the uptake of 29 mmol C m−2 day−1, with Synechococcus contributing the highest proportion of the removed C. Picoplankton and virioplankton accounted for 1–5 mmol N m−2 day−1 of the removed N, with bacterioplankton estimated to be a highly rich source of N. Results indicate the importance of ocean–reef interactions and the dependence of certain reef organisms on picoplanktonic supply for reef-level biogeochemistry processes.
KeywordsCoral reef Picoplankton Virus Uptake Ningaloo Reef Indian Ocean
We thank D. Krikke, F. McGregor, S. Hinrichs, A. Chalmers and K. Meyers for assistance in the field. Funding was provided by grants from the University of Western Australia (UWA), The Faculty of Engineering, Computing and Mathematical Sciences and the Western Australian Marine Science Institution (Node 3) to A.M.W.; an Australian Research Council (ARC) Discovery Grant #DP0663670 to A.M.W. et al., an ARC Discovery Grant #DP0770094 to R.J.L. and postdoctoral research funding from UWA and The Australian Institute of Marine Science to N.L.P. The authors acknowledge the facilities, scientific and technical assistance of the Australian Microscopy & Microanalysis Research Facility at the Centre for Microscopy, Characterisation and Analysis, UWA, a facility funded by The University, State and Commonwealth Governments. We finally thank two anonymous reviewers who provided valuable comments that improved this manuscript.
- Anderson MJ (2001) A new method for non-parametric multivariate analysis of variance. Austral Ecol 26:32–46Google Scholar
- Anderson MJ, Gorley RN, Clarke KR (2008) PERMANOVA+ for PRIMER: guide to software and statistical methods. PRIMER-E, Plymouth, UKGoogle Scholar
- Dinsdale EA, Pantos O, Smigra S, Edwards R, Angly F, Wegley L, Hatay M, Hall D, Brown E, Haynes M, Krause L, Sala E, Sandin SA, Vega Thurber R, Willis BL, Azam F, Knowlton N, Rohwer F (2008) Microbial ecology of four coral atolls in the Northern Line Islands. PLoS ONE 3(2):e1584. doi: 10.1371/journalpone0001584 CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
- Feng M, Wild-Allen K (2009) The Leeuwin Current. In: Liu KK, Atkinson L (eds) Carbon and nutrient fluxes in continental margins: a global synthesis. Springer, New YorkGoogle Scholar
- Ginsburg RN (1983) Geological and biological roles of cavities in coral reefs. In: Barnes DJ (ed) Perspectives on coral reefs. Australian Institute of Marine Science, pp 148–153Google Scholar
- IPCC (2007) Climate change 2007: The physical science basis. In: Solomon S, Qin D, Manning M, Chen Z, Marquis MC, Averyt K, Tignor M, Miller HL (eds) Contribution of working group I to the fourth assessment report of the intergovernmental panel on climate change. Intergovernmental panel on Climate Change. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, UK and New York, USAGoogle Scholar
- Marie D, Partensky F, Vaulot D, Brussard C (1999) Enumeration of phytoplankton, bacteria, and viruses in marine samples. In: Robinson JPEA (ed) Current protocols in cytometry, suppl 10. John Wiley & Sons, Inc, New York, pp 11.11.11–11.11.15Google Scholar
- Parsons TR, Maita Y, Lalli CM (1984) A manual for chemical and biological methods for seawater analysis. Pergamon Press, New YorkGoogle Scholar
- Partensky F, Blanchot J, Vaulot D (1999) Differential distribution and ecology of Prochlorococcus and Synechococcus in oceanic waters: a review. In: Charpy L, Larkum AWD (eds) Marine cyanobacteria. Bulletin de l’Institut Océanographique, Monaco, pp 457–475Google Scholar
- Pearce AF (1991) Eastern Boundary Currents of the southern hemisphere. J R Soc West Aust 74:35–45Google Scholar
- Stockner JG (1988) Phototrophic picoplankton: an overview from marine and freshwater ecosystems. Limnol Oceanogr 33:765–775Google Scholar