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Coralline Algae, Important Coral-Reef Builders Threatened by Pollution

Mats Björk, Salim Mzee Mohammed, Marie Björklund and Adelaida Semesi
Ambio
Vol. 24, No. 7/8, Research and Capacity Building for Sustainable Coastal Management (Dec., 1995), pp. 502-505
Published by: Springer on behalf of Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/4314397
Page Count: 4
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Abstract

The release of inorganic nutrients into the sea by domestic sewage is a major threat to many marine systems. This eutrophication affects coral-reef organisms indirectly by increased growth of microalgae, leading to increased sedimentation, decreased light availability, rapid growth of opportunistic macroalgae, etc. In this paper, we report a decrease in the cover of an important group of coral-reef builders, the coralline algae. This decrease might be caused by the outlets of sewage water from Zanzibar town. Laboratory and field experiments show that both the growth rate and the calcification of these organisms are negatively affected by high phosphate levels, but not by nitrate or ammonia.

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