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By O.A. Jones (Eds.)

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Biomass and production of bacterioplankton in the water column of the lagoon of Butaritari Atoll. Bb, Biomass of bacteria; Pb, production of bacteria; N, total number of bacteria in water (lOVml). 2. Microbiological Productivity of Coral Reefs 29 the number and activity of bacteria in the bottom water layers compared with those in the upper layers. Analyses of the percentage of bacterioplankton in the form of organic aggregates were made by filtration using filters of different pore sizes. The water samples had previously been labeled by insertion of a small portion (30-50 /*g of carbon per liter) of a strongly labeled 14C protein hydrolysate (Sorokin, 1971b).

These values are equal to or even somewhat higher than those for silts of mesotrophic and eutrophic lakes and are 50-100 times higher than values for the surface layer of pelagic sediments (Table I ) . The lowest values of microfloral biomass among coral sediments were found in the coarse coral sands on the outer edges of the external reef. Bacterial production was found to be about 50-200 mg of raw biomass per day per liter of sediment. 5, which is somewhat higher than that found in the silt of a mesotrophic lake.

SOROKIN External energy Trophical level 1 Organic matter Light Zooxantellae Phytoplankton Phytobenthos Macrophytes Trophical level 2 Trophical level 3 External energy Corals Zooplankton Benthos Fishes Bacteria-phy to-and Zooplankton of the oceanic waters Sedimentation Fig. 16. A general scheme illustrating the participation of the bacterial population in the trophic structure of the reef ecosystem. in Fig. 16. One of the important functions of microflora in the "internal" metabolism of the reef community is its participation in the process of mineralization and nutrient regeneration.

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