CS26 Organic Carbon Dynamics
Date: Thursday, June 13, 2002
Time: 11:30:00 AM
Location: Carson C
 
YahelG, The Interuniversity Institute for Marine Sciences of Eilat, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Eilat, Israel, sgitai@vms.huji.ac.il
Sharp, J, H, Graduate College of Marine Studies, University of Delaware, Lewes, DE, USA, jsharp@udel.edu
Marie, D, , Sation Biologique, CNRS, INSU et Université Pierre et Marie Curie, Roscoff, France, marie@sb-roscoff.fr
Hasse, C, , Center of Tropical Marine Research, Bremen , Germany, Clivia.Haese@dlr.de
Genin, A, , The Interuniversity Institute for Marine Sciences of Eilat, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Eilar, Israel, amatzia@vms.huji.ac.il
 
IN SITU FEEDING AND ELEMENT REMOVAL IN THE CORAL-REEF SPONGE THEONELLA SWINHOEI: BULK DOC IS THE MAJOR SOURCE FOR CARBON
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In coral reefs TOC is 10-30% higher than the ambient open sea level and DOC accounts for > 90% of this TOC. Using a new in situ technique for clean sampling of the seawater inhaled and exhaled by benthic suspension feeders we measured, for the first time, mass removal of DOC in a benthic metazoan. The coral reef sponge Theonella swinhoei removed up to 26% (mean removal 12 ± 8%) of the Total organic carbon (dissolved and particulate) contained in the water it filtered during a single pass of the water via the animal filtration system. This removal is over an order of magnitude larger than the carbon in the living cells it removed but similar to the oxygen taken by the animals. Direct DOC measurements confirmed that DOC accounted for >90% of the TOC removal. The mechanisms involved in the observed DOC removal is yet unresolve but involvement of bacterial symbionts is most likely as symbiotic bacteria account for >50% of the sponge tissue. This DOC-invertebrate link may have a major role in carbon recycling in benthic communities.