Journal of Applied Phycology

, Volume 29, Issue 5, pp 2685–2693 | Cite as

Calcareous green algae standing stock in a tropical sedimentary coast

  • Ileana Ortegón-Aznar
  • Andrea Chuc-Contreras
  • Ligia Collado-Vides


Calcareous green algae (CGA) are important producers of carbonaceous sediments in coastal environments; they fix carbon producing CaCO3 and organic compounds through photosynthesis contributing to the carbon budget of these ecosystems. In this study, the CGA standing stock (as dry weight) and its organic matter (OM) and inorganic carbon (CaCO3) were estimated along the north coast of Yucatan at two sampling sites (Cerritos 1 and Cerritos 2), five times between summer 2014 and summer 2015. The standing stock annual average of three CGA species: Halimeda incrassata, Halimeda opuntia, and Penicillus dumetosus was 1214.8 g m−2, of which 89% corresponded to CaCO3 and 11% to OM. Significant seasonal differences were found (p < 0.05) with a maximum of 1335.5 g m−2, CaCO3·1178.1 g m−2, OM 156.4 g m−2 in summer time in Cerritos 2. From the three species present, the largest standing stock was from H. opuntia (annual average 1142.9 g m−2). Seasonal changes were significant correlated with changes in temperature (Kendall Tau_b correlation 0.161, p < 0.0001); which is consistent with several studies that demonstrate that calcification is regulated by temperature. The CGA annual average standing stock found in this study is above the values reported for the Caribbean side of the peninsula. In our study sites H. opuntia is dominant and its high values are consistent with the “weedy” behavior reported in reef sites, making this species an important contribution of OM and CaCO3 into the local system. This study provides the baseline for future estimation of carbonate production of CGA and the role of CGA in the carbon budget of Yucatan.


Green calcareous algae Standing stock Organic and inorganic carbon Calcium carbonate, Yucatan Peninsula 



The authors thank to Consejo Nacional de Ciencia y Tecnología (CONACyT) for the sabbatical scholarship, and to all the persons in charge of the Comisión Nacional de Áreas Naturales Protegidas (CONANP) and the National Park Río Lagartos that allowed our study and helped us with the field trips. Thanks are also expressed to Antonio Tuyub Mota for assistance in the field trips and to Roberto Barrientos for his valuable advice with the correlation analysis. Also we are grateful to two anonymous reviewers and editor for their comments and suggestions that improved this manuscript. This is contribution number 818 from the Southeast Environmental Research Center at Florida International University. Many of the ideas and discussions have been enriched by the participation in the FCE-LTER.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ileana Ortegón-Aznar
    • 1
  • Andrea Chuc-Contreras
    • 1
  • Ligia Collado-Vides
    • 2
    • 3
  1. 1.Departamento de Biología marinaUniversidad Autonoma de YucatanMeridaMexico
  2. 2.Department of BiologyFlorida International UniversityMiamiUSA
  3. 3.Southeast Environmental Research CenterFlorida International UniversityMiamiUSA

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