PMID: 7198Jun 1, 1976

Influence of sewage discharge on nitrogen fixation and nitrogen flux from coral reefs in Kaneohe Bay, Hawaii

Applied and Environmental Microbiology
R B Hanson, K Gundersen


Nitrogen fixation was investigated in Kaneohe Bay, Oahu, Hawaii, a subtropical eutrophic estuary, by using the acetylene reduction technique on algal samples. No active, planktonic, N2-fixing blue-green algae or bacteria were observed. However, Calothrix and Nostoc capable of fixing N2 were cultured from navigational buoys and dead coral heads. Nitrogen fixation associated with these structures was greater in the middle sector than in the south and north sectors of the estuary. Experiments demonstrated that the fixation was photosynthetically dependent. Examination of the data showed that there was no significant correlation between rates of nitrogen fixation and concentration of combined nitrogen compounds in the Bay water. Fixation was significantly correlated to the inorganic N/P (atomic) ratio in the south and middle sectors but not in the north sector. The nutrient data indicate there was a flux of combined nitrogen, but not phosphate, from the reef flats.

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Environmental Sludge
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