Nitrogen Fixation in a Coral Reef Community

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Science  18 Apr 1975:
Vol. 188, Issue 4185, pp. 257-259
DOI: 10.1126/science.188.4185.257


Algal reef flats at Enewetak Atoll, Marshall Islands, fix atmospheric nitrogen at rates comparable to those in managed agriculture. The dominant nitrogen fixer appears to be the blue-green alga Calothrix crustacea. Since this nutrient enrichment contributes to the high productivity of adjacent coral reefs and undoubtedly to atoll lagoons, it is recommended that the algal reef flats receive increased conservation priority.