Credit By: The Insider Chief
According to the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS), Chinese researchers have proposed a coral reef ecological pump idea to simplify and improve the study of the functions of the coral ecosystem.
In oligotrophic tropical waters, coral reefs with great production and biodiversity can thrive. There is mounting evidence that coral reefs in oligotrophic waters receive a consistent nutrient supply, much like the water in a desert oasis.
The South China Sea Institute of Oceanology of the CAS researchers provided a summary of the numerous pathways through which external nutrients enter the ecosystem, the storage of nutrients in reef organisms, the effective retention and recycling of dissolved and particulate organic matter within coral reef ecosystems, the noticeably high phytoplankton productivity and biomass within and near oceanic coral reefs, and the export of reef-related organic carbon to nearby open oceans.
According to a recent study article published in the journal Acta Oceanologica Sinica, all these characteristics enable coral reefs to serve as ecological pumps for gathering nutrients across ecosystems and space, retaining and recycling nutrients within the ecosystem, supporting high phytoplankton productivity, and exporting organic carbon to nearby open oceans.
Waters near coral reefs are particularly prospective hotspots for carbon export to ocean bottoms via the biological pump due to the high phytoplankton productivity and biomass. The study showed that the organic carbon influx is essential for the carbon budget and carbon export of coral reef ecosystems.
This idea of the coral reef ecological pump is anticipated to contribute to a better understanding of how the coral reef ecosystem functions.
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