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Uptake of dissolved free amino acids by four cold-water coral species from the Mediterranean Sea

July 11, 2013

Dissolved organic matter, which contains many compounds such as lipids, sugars and amino acids, is an important source of carbon and nitrogen for several symbiotic and asymbiotic tropical coral species. However, there is still no information on its possible uptake by cold-water coral species. In this study, we demonstrated that dissolved organic matter, in the form of dissolved free amino acids (DFAA), is actively absorbed by four cold-water coral species from the Mediterranean Sea. Although the uptake rates observed with 3 µM DFAA concentration were one order of magnitude lower than those observed in tropical species, they corresponded to 12–50% of the daily excreted-nitrogen, and 16–89% of the daily respired-carbon of the cold-water corals. Consequently, DFAA, even at in situ concentrations lower than those tested in this study, can supply a significant amount of carbon and nitrogen to the corals, especially during periods when particulate food is scarce.

Gori A, Grover R, Orejas C, Sikorski S, Ferrier-Pagès C, 2013, Uptake of dissolved free amino acids by four cold-water coral species from the Mediterranean Sea, Deep Sea Research Part II: Topical Studies in Oceanography, 2013, doi:10.1016/j.dsr2.2013.06.007. Article.

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