TROPICAL CORALS IN SEARCH OF DIAZOTROPHS
Oligotrophic coral lagoons are home to large quantities of planktonic nitrogen-fixing bacteria and cyanobacteria, the diazotrophs. In New Caledonia, N2 fixation rates by these diazotrophs are among the highest in the world.
It is now established that corals, in addition to being autotrophs, are also very important plankton predators. Planktonic N2-fixing organisms or plankton that have benefited from N2-fixation could be an important source of food and nitrogen for corals through their heterotrophic nutrition.
Using isotopic, physiological and chemical analysis techniques, the MACADAM project aims to understand the interactions between scleractinian corals, microplankton and planktonic diazotrophs in the context of climate change.
Direction: Fanny Houlbreque