Thermal stress markers in Colpophyllia natans provide an archive of site-specific bleaching events

Mallela, Jennie, Hetzinger, Steffen and Halfar, Jochen (2016) Thermal stress markers in Colpophyllia natans provide an archive of site-specific bleaching events Coral Reefs, 35 (1). pp. 181-186. DOI 10.1007/s00338-015-1350-7.

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Tropical coral reef monitoring relies heavily on in situ diver observations. However, in many reef regions resources are not available to regularly monitor reefs. This lack of historical baseline data makes it difficult to determine how different reefs respond to environmental stressors and what the implications are for management. To test whether coral cores could be used to identify bleaching events retrospectively, three sites in Tobago with pre-existing reef data including water quality and bleaching observations were identified. Colpophyllia natans cores were examined for growth anomalies which occurred during periods of thermal stress. If present, anomalies were compared to in situ, real-time bleaching observations and water quality data. Interestingly, sites with better water quality during the 2005 thermal anomaly were less prone to bleaching. We suggest that by reducing terrestrial run-off (e.g., sediment and nutrients), and therefore improving marine water quality, reef managers could enhance near-shore coral reef resilience during high-temperature events.

Document Type: Article
Additional Information: WOS:000370955100016
Keywords: Sclerochronology, Caribbean, Temperature, anomaly, Terrestrial runoff, Monitoring, Reef management
Research affiliation: OceanRep > GEOMAR > FB1 Ocean Circulation and Climate Dynamics > FB1-P-OZ Paleo-Oceanography
Refereed: Yes
DOI etc.: 10.1007/s00338-015-1350-7
ISSN: 0722-4028
Date Deposited: 29 Sep 2015 11:35
Last Modified: 03 May 2017 12:30

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