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Perspectives on massive coral growth rates in a changing ocean.
Biol Bull. 2014 Jun; 226(3):187-202.BB

Abstract

The tropical ocean environment is changing at an unprecedented rate, with warming and severe tropical cyclones creating obvious impacts to coral reefs within the last few decades and projections of acidification raising concerns for the future of these iconic and economically important ecosystems. Documenting variability and detecting change in global and regional climate relies upon high-quality observational records of climate variables supplemented, prior to the mid-19th century, with reconstructions from various sources of proxy climate information. Here we review how annual density banding patterns that are recorded in the skeletons of massive reef-building corals have been used to document environmental change and impacts within coral reefs. Massive corals provide a historical perspective of continuous calcification processes that pre-date most ecological observations of coral reefs. High-density stress bands, abrupt declines in annual linear extension, and evidence of partial mortality within the skeletal growth record reveal signatures of catastrophic stress events that have recently been attributed to mass bleaching events caused by unprecedented thermal stress. Comparison of recent trends in annual calcification with century-scale baseline calcification rates reveals that the frequency of growth anomalies has increased since the late 1990s throughout most of the world's coral reef ecosystems. Continuous coral growth histories provide valuable retrospective information on the coral response to environmental change and the consequences of anthropogenic climate change. Co-ordinated efforts to synthesize and combine global calcification histories will greatly enhance our understanding of current calcification responses to a changing ocean.

Authors+Show Affiliations

Australian Institute of Marine Science, PMB 3, Townsville M.C., Queensland 4810, Australia j.lough@aims.gov.au.Australian Institute of Marine Science, PMB 3, Townsville M.C., Queensland 4810, Australia.

Pub Type(s)

Journal Article
Review

Language

eng

PubMed ID

25070864

Citation

Lough, Janice M., and Neal E. Cantin. "Perspectives On Massive Coral Growth Rates in a Changing Ocean." The Biological Bulletin, vol. 226, no. 3, 2014, pp. 187-202.
Lough JM, Cantin NE. Perspectives on massive coral growth rates in a changing ocean. Biol Bull. 2014;226(3):187-202.
Lough, J. M., & Cantin, N. E. (2014). Perspectives on massive coral growth rates in a changing ocean. The Biological Bulletin, 226(3), 187-202.
Lough JM, Cantin NE. Perspectives On Massive Coral Growth Rates in a Changing Ocean. Biol Bull. 2014;226(3):187-202. PubMed PMID: 25070864.
* Article titles in AMA citation format should be in sentence-case
TY - JOUR T1 - Perspectives on massive coral growth rates in a changing ocean. AU - Lough,Janice M, AU - Cantin,Neal E, PY - 2014/7/30/entrez PY - 2014/7/30/pubmed PY - 2014/10/9/medline SP - 187 EP - 202 JF - The Biological bulletin JO - Biol Bull VL - 226 IS - 3 N2 - The tropical ocean environment is changing at an unprecedented rate, with warming and severe tropical cyclones creating obvious impacts to coral reefs within the last few decades and projections of acidification raising concerns for the future of these iconic and economically important ecosystems. Documenting variability and detecting change in global and regional climate relies upon high-quality observational records of climate variables supplemented, prior to the mid-19th century, with reconstructions from various sources of proxy climate information. Here we review how annual density banding patterns that are recorded in the skeletons of massive reef-building corals have been used to document environmental change and impacts within coral reefs. Massive corals provide a historical perspective of continuous calcification processes that pre-date most ecological observations of coral reefs. High-density stress bands, abrupt declines in annual linear extension, and evidence of partial mortality within the skeletal growth record reveal signatures of catastrophic stress events that have recently been attributed to mass bleaching events caused by unprecedented thermal stress. Comparison of recent trends in annual calcification with century-scale baseline calcification rates reveals that the frequency of growth anomalies has increased since the late 1990s throughout most of the world's coral reef ecosystems. Continuous coral growth histories provide valuable retrospective information on the coral response to environmental change and the consequences of anthropogenic climate change. Co-ordinated efforts to synthesize and combine global calcification histories will greatly enhance our understanding of current calcification responses to a changing ocean. SN - 1939-8697 UR - https://www.unboundmedicine.com/medline/citation/25070864/Perspectives_on_massive_coral_growth_rates_in_a_changing_ocean_ L2 - https://doi.org/10.1086/BBLv226n3p187 DB - PRIME DP - Unbound Medicine ER -