Jokiel PL, Dubinsky Z, Stambler N. 1994. Results of the 1991 United States-Israel Workshop, “Nutrient Limitations in the Symbiotic Association between Zooxanthellae and Reef-building Corals”. Pac Sci 48(3): 215-218.
Micromorphometric technique (Berner and Izhaki 1994) as well as elemental analysis (Muller-Parker et al. 1994a) showed decreasing availability of surplus carbon, giving further evidence of an impaired symbiotic relationship in ammonium-enriched treatments.
The results of Muscatine and Kaplan (1994) remind us that corals may become “nutrient-limited” only under high light conditions that allow extremely high photosynthetic rates.
Further, different species of corals show different responses to the same alterations in nutrient regime (Stambler et al. 1994a).
…the argument is made that under normal conditions in nutrient-poor tropical seas, zooxanthellate corals are successful because they are closed systems with respect to nitrogen. Growth of zooxanthellae under these conditions is not balanced with respect to fixed carbon because of the low rate of nitrogen supply.
As a result, the excess carbon is translocated to the animal host. Increasing the nitrogen supply leads to rapid growth of the zooxanthellae, with consequent reduction of translocated carbon to the host. Eutrophic conditions allow the zooxanthellae to outgrow their hosts and the host loses control over the population of its symbiotic algae. Thus, main- tenance of a balanced coral symbiotic association appears to require low ambient nutrient concentrations.