PRIMARY PRODUCTION, CALCIFICATION, AND AIR-SEA CO2 FLUXES OF A MACROALGAL-DOMINATED CORAL REEF COMMUNITY (MOOREA, FRENCH POLYNESIA)1

Authors

  • Jean-Pierre Gattuso,

    1. Observatoire Océanologique Européen, Centre Scientifique de Monaco, Avenue Saint-Martin, MC-98000 Monaco, Principality of Monaco and EPHE, Laboratoire de Biologie Marine et Malacologie (URA 1453 CNRS), Université de Perpignan, F-66860 Perpignan Cedex, France
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    • 2

      Present address and author for reprint requests: J-P. Gattuso, Observatoire Océanologique Européen, Avenue Saint-Martin, MC-98000 Monaco, Principality of Monaco; e-mail: gattuso@naxos.unice.fr.

  • Claude E. Payri,

    1. Laboratoire d'Ecologie Marine, Université Française du Pacifique, BP 6570, Faaa-Aéroport, French Polynesia
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  • Michel Pichon,

    1. Australian Institute of Marine Science, PMB No 3, Townsville M. C., Queensland 4810, Australia and EPHE, Laboratoire de Biologie Marine et Malacologie (URA 1453 CNRS), Université de Perpignan, F-66860 Perpignan Cedex, France
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  • Bruno Delesalle,

    1. EPHE, Laboratoire de Biologie. Marine et Malacologie (URA 1453 CNRS), Université de Perpignan, F-66860 Perpignan Cedex, France and Centre de Recherches Insulaires et Observatoire de l'Environnement, B. P. 1013, Moorea, French Polynesia
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  • Michel Frankignoulle

    1. Université de Liège, Mécanique des Fluides Géophysiques, Unité d'Océanographie Chimique, Institut de Physique B5, B-4000 Sart Tilman, Belgium
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  • 1

    Received 4 February 1997. Accepted 14 May 1997.

  • Thanks are due to J. Algret for assistance in the field and to R. Biondo for skillful assistance with measurements of air-sea CO2 fluxes. S. Kraines kindly provided manuscripts in press or submitted and A. Sournia critically read a previous version of the manuscript. This work was supported by grants from Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (Sciences de la Vie and INSU-équipements mi-lourds), Programme National Récifs Coralliens (PNRCO), French-Australian Science and Technology Agreement, the Australian Department of Industry Technology and Commerce (French-Australian Science and Technology Agreement), and from FNRS (Belgium), with which M.F. is a research associate. This is a contribution of PNRCO.

ABSTRACT

Community metabolism and air-sea carbon dioxide (CO2) fluxes were investigated in July 1992 on a fringing reef at Moorea (French Polynesia). The benthic community was dominated by macroalgae (85% substratum cover) and comprised of Phaeophyceae Padina tenuis (Bory), Turbinaria ornata (Turner) J. Agardh, and Hydroclathrus clathratus Bory (Howe); Chlorophyta Halimeda incrassata f. ovata J. Agardh (Howe); and Ventricaria ventricosa J. Agardh (Olsen et West), as well as several Rhodophyta (Actinotrichia fragilis Forskál (Børgesen) and several species of encrusting coralline algae). Algal biomass was 171 g dry weight· m−2. Community gross production (Pg), respiration (R), and net calcification (G) were measured in an open-top enclosure. Pg and R were respectively 248 and 240 mmol Co2·m−2·d−1, and there was a slight net dissolution of CaCO3 (0.8 mmol · m−2·d−1). This site was a sink for atmospheric CO2 (10 ± 4 mmol CO2·m−2·d−1), and the analysis of data from the literature suggests that this is a general feature of algal-dominated reefs. Measurement of air-sea CO2 fluxes in open water close to the enclosure demonstrated that changes in small-scale hydrodynamics can lead to misleading conclusions. Net CO2 evasion to the atmosphere was measured on the fringing reef due to changes in the current pattern that drove water from the barrier reef (a C02 source) to the study site.

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