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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.
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