Nitrogen cycling in corals: the key to understanding holobiont functioning?

Nitrogen cycling in corals: the key to understanding holobiont functioning?

Nils Rädecker, Claudia Pogoreutz, Christian R. Voolstra, Jörg Wiedenmann, Christian Wild

Trends in Microbiology, Vol. 23, Issue 8, p490–497

http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.tim.2015.03.008

  • Nitrogen cycling in reef-building corals is a function of all holobiont members.
  • Control of nitrogen cycling may stabilize holobiont functioning under oligotrophic and eutrophic conditions.
  • Anthropogenic change may sway the control of nitrogen cycling, promoting coral decline.
  • Elevated nitrogen fixation rates may foster coral bleaching and disease.

Point for point comments:

  • In aquariums this is what makes corals resilient to our manual attempts to re-create oligotrophic conditions in an overstocked tank.
  • Witness the threads on paling corals and other issues.  KNO3 dosing is often seen these days.  Corals are apparently healthier when some NO3 is present.
  • In the ocean, anthropogenic NO3 additions cause bad PO4 limiting among other things….corals and everything else tend to decline under PO4 starvation.
  • There’s no free lunch…even within successful ecosystems, higher bio-loads come with a higher risk.

The rest of the article is a great read too….tons of more reading is linked within the article too.

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