The mooring of multiparametric probes equipped with calibrated conductivity, water temperature, depth, and dissolved oxygen concentration (optical) sensors (CTD-O2) (Exosond 2,YSI Inc., Yellow Springs, USA) was performed in a fringe mangrove forest, a seagrass-dominated coastal lagoon, and a coral barrier reef on the Red Sea nearshores from August/September 2016 to August 2017 (mangroves: 17 August 2016 to 19 August 2017; coral reef: 31 August 2016 to 22 August 2017; seagrasses: 06 September 2016 to 22 August 2017). One probe was deployed in each habitat, where it was firmly attached to a frame (25, 26). The logging frequency was 5 min, except for the mangroves in the period before November 2016 when observations were available every 10 min (the results of the statistical analyses did not change when repeating all analyses for mangroves by assuming that, before November 2016, each missing observation due to the lower sampling frequency was equal to the immediately preceding valid observation, thus achieving a 5-min sampling frequency).

The probes were located at the transition between the benthic boundary layer and the open water, in close proximity to the biogenic habitats to better assess the influence of in situ metabolic activity on environmental parameters. In the mangroves, the probe was moored on the seaward fringe (22°20′21″N, 39°05′20″E) under the canopy of the trees, measuring at approximately 5 cm above the sediment. In the coastal lagoon (22°23′23.2″N, 39°08′07.9″E), the probe was moored within the canopy of an Enhalus acoroides seagrass meadow, with the sensors located approximately 50 cm above the sediment, close to the top of the seagrass canopy. In the coral reef, the probe was attached vertically to a coral wall on the back reef side (22°15′03.7″N, 38°57′49.3″E), and the sensors were measuring approximately at 5 cm from the reef top.

To provide support to the data retrieved by the probes, we also deployed PME miniDOT Dissolved Oxygen Loggers at 1 to 2 cm from the sediment surface as close as possible to the habitat the species tested experienced (fig. S2). Data retrieved by the miniDOT loggers showed the same pattern of oxygen and temperature detected by the probes (fig. S3).

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