Marine Biology

, Volume 149, Issue 2, pp 327–338 | Cite as

Nitrate uptake by the reef coral Diploria strigosa: effects of concentration, water flow, and irradiance

  • Brian D. BadgleyEmail author
  • Fredric Lipschultz
  • Kenneth P. Sebens
Research Article


The effects of several environmental variables on net nitrate uptake by the scleractinian coral Diploria strigosa were investigated under controlled flow conditions. D. strigosa exhibited nitrate uptake rates ranging from 1 to 5 nmol cm−2 h−1 at ambient concentrations of 0.1–0.3 μM that are typical of oligotrophic reefs such as Bermuda. Net uptake ceased at approximately 0.045 μM. The uptake was positively correlated with concentration up to a saturation concentration of approximately 3 μM. The uptake was also positively correlated with water velocity at 1 μM, but not at 6 μM, suggesting diffusional limitation at low concentrations and kinetic limitation at higher concentrations. Nitrate uptake by D. strigosa was not affected by light intensity or time of day, but was almost completely inhibited by 48 h exposure to ammonium levels found on many reefs.


Uptake Rate Nitrate Concentration Flow Speed Patch Reef Nitrate Uptake 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



This work was supported by NSF grant OCE9811577 to K. Sebens, an award from PADI foundation to B. Badgley, and funding from the Edith and Curtis Munson Foundation to BBSR. We thank T. Shyka and M. Mills for their assistance. Funding and logistical support for this research was also provided by the graduate intern program at BBSR. All experiments complied with the current laws of Bermuda. This is BBSR contribution no.1666.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • Brian D. Badgley
    • 1
    Email author
  • Fredric Lipschultz
    • 2
  • Kenneth P. Sebens
    • 3
  1. 1.Biology DepartmentUniversity of South FloridaTampaUSA
  2. 2.Bermuda Biological Station for ResearchSt. George’sBermuda
  3. 3.Friday Harbor LaboratoriesUniversity of WashingtonFriday HarborUSA

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