Community dynamics of Pleistocene coral reefs during alternative climatic regimes

Tager, Danika, Webster, Jody M., Potts, Donald C., Renema, Willem, Braga, Juan C. and Pandolfi, John M. (2010) Community dynamics of Pleistocene coral reefs during alternative climatic regimes. Ecology, 91 1: 191-200. doi:10.1890/08-0422.1

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Author Tager, Danika
Webster, Jody M.
Potts, Donald C.
Renema, Willem
Braga, Juan C.
Pandolfi, John M.
Title Community dynamics of Pleistocene coral reefs during alternative climatic regimes
Journal name Ecology   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0012-9658
Publication date 2010-01-01
Year available 2010
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1890/08-0422.1
Open Access Status File (Publisher version)
Volume 91
Issue 1
Start page 191
End page 200
Total pages 10
Place of publication Ithaca, NY, United States
Publisher Ecological Society of America
Language eng
Abstract Reef ecosystems built during successive periods of Pleistocene sea level rise have shown remarkable persistence in coral community structure, but little is known of the ecological characteristics of reef communities during periods of low sea stands or sea level falls. We sampled the relative species abundance of coral, benthic foraminifera, and calcareous red algae communities from eight submerged coral reefs in the Huon Gulf, Papua New Guinea, which formed during successive sea level fall and lowstand periods over the past 416 kyr. We found that dissimilarity in coral species composition increased significantly with increasing time between reef-building events. However, neither coral diversity nor the taxonomic composition of benthic foraminifera and calcareous red algae assemblages varied significantly over time. The taxonomic composition of coral communities from lowstand reefs was significantly different from that of highstand reefs previously reported from the nearby Huon Peninsula. We interpret the community composition and temporal dynamics of lowstand reefs as a result of shifting energy regimes in the Huon Gulf, and differences between low and highstand reefs as a result of differences in the interaction between biotic and environmental factors between the Huon Gulf and Huon Peninsula. Regardless of the exact processes driving these trends, our study represents the first glimpse into the ecological dynamics of coral reefs during low sea level stands when climatic conditions for reef growth were much different and less optimal than during previously studied highstand periods. Copyright ESA. All rights reserved.
Keyword Benthic foraminifera
Calcareous red algae
Coral reef
Ecological dynamics
Low-sea-level stand
Papua New Guinea
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Grant ID OCE-9907153
Institutional Status UQ

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Created: Sun, 28 Mar 2010, 10:05:48 EST