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Free Content Community Metabolism of Clipperton Lagoon, a Coral Atoll in the Eastern Pacific

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The enclosed lagoon of Clipperton Island, 1,100 km southwest of Acapulco, Mexico at 10°18′N, provided an ideal site for a study of system metabolism. Rates of respiration and net and gross primary production were estimated by measurements of the diel change of dissolved oxygen for 5 days during March 1980. Air-sea diffusion was measured directly, and a value of about K = 2 g O2 m−2 h−1 atm−1 was calculated for the gas transfer coefficient. In addition to the total metabolism estimates, the contributions of the plankton and benthos were measured independently using light-dark incubation methods. Agreement between the total system and separate component estimates of metabolism was good. The rate of gross primary production is at least 23 g O2 m−2 day−1, indicating that the lagoon is among the most productive communities yet reported. During these measurements, productivity was equal to community respiration (P:R = 1.0), although the presence of anaerobic basins suggests excess production at least on some occasions.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: January 1, 1983

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  • The Bulletin of Marine Science is dedicated to the dissemination of high quality research from the world's oceans. All aspects of marine science are treated by the Bulletin of Marine Science, including papers in marine biology, biological oceanography, fisheries, marine affairs, applied marine physics, marine geology and geophysics, marine and atmospheric chemistry, and meteorology and physical oceanography.
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