Structure and palaeoenvironmental implications of inter-branch coenosteum-rich skeleton in corymbose Acropora species

Sadler, J., Webb, G.E., & Nothdurft, L.D. (2015) Structure and palaeoenvironmental implications of inter-branch coenosteum-rich skeleton in corymbose Acropora species. Coral Reefs, 34(1), pp. 201-213.

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Abstract

Coral reefs provide an increasingly important archive of palaeoclimate data that can be used to constrain climate model simulations. Reconstructing past environmental conditions may also provide insights into the potential of reef systems to survive changes in the Earth’s climate. Reef-based palaeoclimate reconstructions are predominately derived from colonies of massive Porites, with the most abundant genus in the Indo-Pacific—Acropora—receiving little attention owing to their branching growth trajectories, high extension rates and secondary skeletal thickening. However, inter-branch skeleton (consisting of both coenosteum and corallites) near the bases of corymbose Acropora colonies holds significant potential as a climate archive. This region of Acropora skeleton is atypical, having simple growth trajectories with parallel corallites, approximately horizontal density banding, low apparent extension rates and a simple microstructure with limited secondary thickening. Hence, inter-branch skeleton in Acropora bears more similarities to the coralla of massive corals, such as Porites, than to traditional Acropora branches. Cyclic patterns of Sr/Ca ratios in this structure suggest that the observed density banding is annual in nature, thus opening up the potential to use abundant corymbose Acropora for palaeoclimate reconstruction.

Impact and interest:

2 citations in Scopus
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3 citations in Web of Science®

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ID Code: 78797
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: Acropora, Coenosteum, Density banding, Palaeoclimate, Skeletal microstructure
DOI: 10.1007/s00338-014-1228-0
ISSN: 1432-0975
Divisions: Current > Schools > School of Earth, Environmental & Biological Sciences
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Science & Engineering Faculty
Funding:
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2014 Springer
Copyright Statement: The final publication is available at Springer via
http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00338-014-1228-0
Deposited On: 20 Nov 2014 01:46
Last Modified: 25 Feb 2015 00:44

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