A change in coral extension rates and stable isotopes after El Niño-induced coral bleaching and regional stress events

Hetzinger, Steffen, Pfeiffer, Miriam, Dullo, Wolf-Christian, Zinke, J. and Garbe-Schönberg, Dieter (2016) A change in coral extension rates and stable isotopes after El Niño-induced coral bleaching and regional stress events Scientific Reports, 6 (32879). DOI 10.1038/srep32879.

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Coral reefs are biologically diverse ecosystems threatened with effective collapse under rapid climate
change, in particular by recent increases in ocean temperatures. Coral bleaching has occurred during
major El Niño warming events, at times leading to the die-off of entire coral reefs. Here we present
records of stable isotopic composition, Sr/Ca ratios and extension rate (1940–2004) in coral aragonite
from a northern Venezuelan site, where reefs were strongly impacted by bleaching following the
1997–98 El Niño. We assess the impact of past warming events on coral extension rates and geochemical
proxies. A marked decrease in coral (Pseudodiploria strigosa) extension rates coincides with a baseline
shift to more negative values in oxygen and carbon isotopic composition after 1997–98, while a
neighboring coral (Siderastrea siderea) recovered to pre-bleaching extension rates simultaneously.
However, other stressors, besides high temperature, might also have influenced coral physiology and
geochemistry. Coastal Venezuelan reefs were exposed to a series of extreme environmental fluctuations
since the mid-1990s, i.e. upwelling, extreme rainfall and sediment input from landslides. This work
provides important new data on the potential impacts of multiple regional stress events on coral
isotopic compositions and raises questions about the long-term influence on coral-based paleoclimate

Document Type: Article
Additional Information: WOS:000382927000001, PubMed ID: 27619506
Keywords: Marine Biology, Palaeoceanography, Palaeoclimate, Stable isotopes, Oxygen isotopes, Trace elements, El Nino, coral bleaching, Caribbean
Research affiliation: Kiel University
OceanRep > The Future Ocean - Cluster of Excellence > FO-R09
OceanRep > The Future Ocean - Cluster of Excellence
OceanRep > GEOMAR > FB1 Ocean Circulation and Climate Dynamics > FB1-P-OZ Paleo-Oceanography
Refereed: Yes
DOI etc.: 10.1038/srep32879
ISSN: 2045-2322
Projects: Future Ocean
Date Deposited: 14 Sep 2016 10:33
Last Modified: 03 May 2017 09:48
URI: http://eprints.uni-kiel.de/id/eprint/33810

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