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Choi D.H.,Marine Biotechnology Research Division | Noh J.H.,Marine Ecosystem Research Division | Ahn S.M.,Marine Ecosystem Research Division | Lee C.M.,Ocean Policy Institute | And 4 more authors.
Ocean and Polar Research | Year: 2013

In order to understand phytoplankton and bacterial distribution in tropical coral reef ecosystems in relation to the mangrove community, their biomass and activities were measured in the sea waters of the Chuuk and the Kosrae lagoons located in Micronesia. Chlorophyll a and bacterial abundance showed maximal values in the seawater near the mangrove forests, and then steeply decreased as the distance increased from the mangrove forests, indicating that environmental conditions for these microorganisms changed greatly in lagoon waters. Together with chlorophyll a, abundance of Synechococcus and phototrophic picoeukaryotes and a variety of indicator pigments for dinoflagellates, diatoms, green algae and cryptophytes also showed similar spatial distribution patterns, suggesting that phytoplankton assemblages respond to the environmental gradient by changing community compositions. In addition, primary production and bacterial production were also highest in the bay surrounded by mangrove forest and lowest outside of the lagoon. These results suggest that mangrove waters play an important role in energy production and nutrient cycling in tropical coasts, undoubtedly receiving large inputs of organic matter from shore vegetation such as mangroves. However, the steep decrease of biomass and production of phytoplankton and heterotrophic bacteria within a short distance from the bay to the level of oligotrophic waters indicates that the effect of mangrove waters does not extend far away.

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