Variability In The Ecophysiology Of Halimeda Spp. (Chlorophyta, Bryopsidales) On Conch Reef, Florida Keys, Usa
Chl fluorescence; Coral reefs; Halimeda opuntia; Halimeda tuna; Macroalgal productivity; Photosynthesis
The photosynthetic performance, pigmentation, and growth of a Halimeda community were studied over a depth gradient on Conch Reef, Florida Keys, USA during summer-fall periods of 5 consecutive years. The physiology and growth of H. tuna (Ellis & Solander) Lamouroux and H. opuntia (L.) Lamouroux on this algal dominated reef were highly variable. Maximum rate of net photosynthesis (Pmax), respiration rate, and quantum efficiency (α) did not differ between populations of either species at 7 versus 21 m, even though the 21-m site received a 66% lower photon flux density (PFD). Physiological parameters, as well as levels of photosynthetic pigments, varied temporally. Pmax, saturation irradiance, compensation irradiance, and growth were greatest in summer months, whereas α, chl a, chl b, and carotenoid concentrations were elevated each fall. Halimeda tuna growth rates were higher at 7 m compared with 21 m for only two of five growth trials. This may have arisen from variability in light and nutrient availability. Individuals growing at 7 m received a 29% greater PFD in August 2001 than in 1999. In August 1999 and 2001 seawater temperatures were uniform over the 14-m gradient, whereas in August 2000 cold water regularly intruded upon the 21-m but not the 7-m site. These results illustrate the potentially dynamic relationship between nutrients, irradiance, and algal productivity. This suggests the necessity of long-term monitoring over spatial and temporal gradients to accurately characterize factors that impact productivity.
Journal of Phycology
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Beach, Kevin; Walters, Linda; and Vroom, Peter, "Variability In The Ecophysiology Of Halimeda Spp. (Chlorophyta, Bryopsidales) On Conch Reef, Florida Keys, Usa" (2003). Scopus Export 2000s. 1653.