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Coral reefs need fish urine to thrive – Welcome to Vinaquality Corporation

Coral reefs need fish urine to thrive

SEATTLE, Aug. 16 (UPI) — Coral reefs offer many fish species camouflage and a variety of nooks and crannies in which to hide. In return, fish offer their urine.

It’s not exactly a symbiotic relationship, but it’s a pretty good deal for both parties. When they pee, fish release phosphorous, a vital nutrient. They also excrete nitrogen in the form of ammonium through their gills, another important food for coral.

New research suggests a lack of fish pee explains the lack of nutrients surrounding coral in waters where commercial fishing is common.

The research was published this week in the journal Nature Communications.

“Part of the reason coral reefs work is because animals play a big role in moving nutrients around,” lead study author Jacob Allgeier, a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Washington’s School of Aquatic and Fishery Sciences, explained in a news release.

“Fish hold a large proportion, if not most of the nutrients in a coral reef in their tissue, and they’re also in charge of recycling them,” Allgeier said. “If you take the big fish out, you’re removing all of those nutrients from the ecosystem.”

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