In situ release of coral mucus by Acropora and its influence on the heterotrophic bacteria
- 336 Downloads
In situ mucus release by Acropora nobilis and degradation of mucus from A. nobilis and Acropora formosa, by heterotrophic bacteria were investigated at Bidong and Tioman Island, Malaysia. Mucus release rate for A. nobilis was on average 38.7 ± 35.2 mg C m−2 h−1, of which ca. 70% consisted of dissolved organic carbon (DOC) and 30% particulate organic carbon (POC). In the mucus degradation experiment, seawater-mucus mixtures were incubated and compared with control runs for 24 h. Bacterial abundance in the seawater-mucus mixture increased significantly and coincided with a decline in DOC concentration. In controls, bacteria and DOC did not significantly change. The coral mucus had a high content of inorganic phosphate. It is suggested that the coral mucus rich in DOC and phosphate can induce the high bacterial growth.
KeywordsDegradation DOC POC Nutrients Acropora nobilis Acropora formosa
This study was supported by the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS) and Vice Chancellor’s Council (VCC) in Malaysia in an international cooperative research project “Studies of coral reef ecosystem biodiversity in the Malaysian waters”. We are grateful to Y. P. Rex Yong, S. Hasnorhisyam, K. Murugan, members of Universiti Malaysia Terrenganu (UMT), T. Maekawa, S. P. Kok, F. L. Wee, R. M. Yana, A. G. Lim, and the staff of Marine Park at Tioman Island for assistance and to M. Okamoto, Y. Fuchinoue and A. Nakayama for help in sample analysis. We thank Drs. Y. Tanaka, A. Taniguchi, and Y. Tada, The University of Tokyo, H. Fukami, Kyoto University, and N. Kino for their valuable suggestions and help. Our thanks are also due to Dr. R. D. Gulati and four reviewers for their time and effort in criticizing and polishing the manuscript. All sample collections and experiments were carried out under the permission of UMT and Economical Planning Unit (EPU) of the Malaysian Government. This research was partially funded by JSPS and the Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia Research Grant UKM-GUP-ASPL-08-04-231.
- Davies PS (1984) The role of zooxanthellae in the nutritional energy requirements of Pocillopora eydouxi. Coral Reefs 2:181–186Google Scholar
- Ducklow HW (1990) The biomass, production and fate of bacteria in coral reefs. In: Dubinsky Z (ed) Coral reefs, ecosystems of the world, vol 25. Elsevier, Amsterdam, pp 265–289Google Scholar
- Ducklow HW, Mitchell R (1979) Bacterial populations and adaptations in the mucus layers on living corals. Limnol Oceanogr 24:715–725Google Scholar
- Krupp DA (1984) Mucus production by corals exposed during an extreme low tide. Pac Sci 38:1–11Google Scholar
- Means J, Sigleo A (1986) Contribution of coral reef mucus to the colloidal organic pool in the vicinity of Discovery Bay, Jamaica, West-Indies. Bull Mar Sci 39:110–118Google Scholar
- Moriarty DJW, Pollard PC, Alongi DM, Wilkinson CR, Gray JS (1985b) Bacterial productivity and trophic relationships with consumers on a coral reef (Mecor I). In: proceedings of 5th international coral reef symposium, vol 3. Tahiti, pp 457–462 Google Scholar
- Parsons TR, Maita Y, Lalli CM (1984) A manual of chemical and biological methods for seawater analysis. Permagon Press, OxfordGoogle Scholar
- Tanaka Y, Miyajima T, Umezawa Y, Fukuda H, Koike I, Ogawa H et al. (2006) Effect of nitrate enrichment on release of dissolved organic carbon and nitrogen from zooxanthellate coral, Acropora pulchra and Porites cylindrica. In: proceedings 10th international of coral reef symposium. Okinawa, Japan, pp 925–931Google Scholar
- Tanaka Y, Miyajima T, Koike I, Hayashibara T, Ogawa H (2008) Production of dissolved and particulate organic matter by the reef-building corals Porites cylindrica and Acropora pulchra. Bull Mar Sci 82:237–245Google Scholar