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Calcite/aragonite-biocoated artificial coral reefs for marine parks

1 Advanced Research Laboratory, National University of Food Technologies, 68 Volodymyrskaya Str., Kiev 01601, Ukraine
2 Department of Biotechnology and Microbiology, National University of Food Technologies, 68 Volodymyrskaya Str., Kiev 01601, Ukraine
3 Previous address: School of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Nanyang Technological University, 50 Nanyang Avenue, Singapore, 639798

Special Issues: Marine and Coastal Ecosystems

Natural formation of the coral reefs is complicated by slow biomediated precipitation of calcium carbonate from seawater. Therefore, manufactured artificial coral reefs can be used for the formation of “underwater gardens” in marine parks for the recreational fishing and diving that will protect natural coral reefs from negative anthropogenic effects. Additionally, the coating of the concrete, plastic or wooden surfaces of artificial coral reef with calcium carbonate layer could promote attachment and growth of coral larvae and photosynthetic epibiota on these surfaces. Three methods of biotechnological coating of the artificial coral reefs have been tested: (1) microbially induced calcium carbonate precipitation from concentrated calcium chloride solution using live bacterial culture of Bacillus sp. VS1 or dead but urease-active cells of Yaniella sp. VS8; (2) precipitation from calcium bicarbonate solution; (3) precipitation using aerobic oxidation of calcium acetate by bacteria Bacillus ginsengi strain VSA1. The thickness of biotechnologically produced calcium carbonate coating layer was from 0.3 to 3 mm. Biocoating using calcium salt and urea produced calcite in fresh water and aragonite in seawater. The calcium carbonate-coated surfaces were colonized in aquarium with seawater and hard corals as inoculum or in aquarium with fresh water using cyanobacteria Chlorella sorokiana as inoculum. The biofilm on the light-exposed side of calcium carbonate-coated surfaces was formed after six weeks of incubation and developed up to the average thickness of 250 µm in seawater and about 150 µm in fresh water after six weeks of incubation. The biotechnological manufacturing of calcium carbonate-coated concrete, plastic, or wooden surfaces of the structures imitating natural coral reef is technologically feasible. It could be commercially attractive solution for the introduction of aesthetically pleasant artificial coral reefs in marine parks and resorts.
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