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dc.titleFirst experimental evidence of corals feeding on seagrass matter
dc.contributor.authorLai, S.
dc.contributor.authorGillis, L.G.
dc.contributor.authorMueller, C.
dc.contributor.authorBouma, T.J.
dc.contributor.authorGuest, J.R.
dc.contributor.authorLast, K.S.
dc.contributor.authorZiegler, A.D.
dc.contributor.authorTodd, P.A.
dc.identifier.citationLai, S., Gillis, L.G., Mueller, C., Bouma, T.J., Guest, J.R., Last, K.S., Ziegler, A.D., Todd, P.A. (2013-12). First experimental evidence of corals feeding on seagrass matter. Coral Reefs 32 (4) : 1061-1064. ScholarBank@NUS Repository.
dc.description.abstractWe present the first experimental evidence of a coral (Oulastrea crispata) ingesting and assimilating seagrass material. Tropical seagrass meadows export a substantial portion of their productivity and can provide an important source of nutrients to neighbouring systems such as coral reefs; however, little is known about the mechanisms of this link. To investigate whether seagrass nutrient uptake via coral heterotrophy is possible, we conducted a feeding experiment with seagrass particulate and dissolved organic matter. Using gut extractions and stable isotope analyses, we determined that O. crispata ingested 15N-enriched seagrass particles and assimilated the nitrogen into its tissue at a rate of 0.75 μg N cm-2 h-1. Corals took up nitrogen from dissolved matter at a comparable rate of 0.98 μg N cm-2 h-1. While other ecological connections between seagrass meadows and reef ecosystems are well known, our results suggest a previously unstudied direct nutritional link between seagrasses and corals. © 2013 Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg.
dc.subjectCoral heterotrophy
dc.subjectHabitat connectivity
dc.subjectNutrient transfer
dc.contributor.departmentBIOLOGICAL SCIENCES
dc.description.sourcetitleCoral Reefs
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