Coral reefs are diverse underwater ecosystems held together by calcium carbonate structures secreted by corals. Coral reefs are built by colonies of tiny animals found in marine water that contain few nutrients. This research focuses on nutrient dynamics on coral reefs. The Burkepile lab in collaboration with the Moorea Coral Reef Long Term Ecological Research.
Lab collected a common macroalgae, Turbinaria ornata, at 190 points around the island of Moorea, French Polynesia. Nutrient hot spots were evaluated by analyzing the tissue content of dried Turbinaria for carbon and nitrogen as well as stable isotopes.