Spatial, temporal and taxonomic variation in coral growth-implications for the structure and function of coral reef ecosystems

Pratchett, Morgan S., Anderson, Kristen D., Hoogenboom, Mia O., Widman, Elizabeth, Baird, Andrew H., Pandolfi, John M., Edmunds, Peter J. and Lough, Janice M. (2015) Spatial, temporal and taxonomic variation in coral growth-implications for the structure and function of coral reef ecosystems. Oceanography and Marine Biology: an annual review, 53 215-295. doi:10.1201/b18733-7


Author Pratchett, Morgan S.
Anderson, Kristen D.
Hoogenboom, Mia O.
Widman, Elizabeth
Baird, Andrew H.
Pandolfi, John M.
Edmunds, Peter J.
Lough, Janice M.
Title Spatial, temporal and taxonomic variation in coral growth-implications for the structure and function of coral reef ecosystems
Journal name Oceanography and Marine Biology: an annual review   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0078-3218
2154-9125
ISBN 9781498705455
9781498705462
Publication date 2015-01-01
Year available 2015
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1201/b18733-7
Open Access Status Not Open Access
Volume 53
Start page 215
End page 295
Total pages 81
Editor R. N. Hughes
D. J. Hughes
I. P. Smith
A. C. Dale
Place of publication Abingdon, United Kingdom
Publisher Taylor and Francis
Language eng
Abstract Growth is a fundamental biological trait, generally considered to have an important role in structuring populations and communities. Accordingly, many studies have quantified growth rates of scleractinian corals, but using a variety of different methods and measures that may or may not be comparable. The purpose of this review is to compile extensive data on the growth of corals, to relate disparate methods of measuring coral growth, and to explore spatial, temporal, and taxonomic variation in growth rates. The most common metric of coral growth is linear extension, measured as unidirectional change in branch length or colony radius. Rates of linear extension vary greatly among corals, being highest among arborescent Acropora species. This is not unexpected given the limited carbonate investment in producing long, slender branches compared to solid hemispherical colonies. However, differences in the way that extension rates are actually measured (e.g., linear extension of individual branches vs. changes in the mean solid radius of massive corals) could potentially bias interspecific comparisons of coral growth. The most comparable measure of growth, which gives unbiased estimates of growth across different growth forms, is average annual calcification or change in weight normalized to a measure of size. Surprisingly, even calcification rates appear to be much higher for branching Acropora compared to other coral genera, which contributes to the high extension rates recorded for this genus. Despite inconsistencies and incompatibilities among studies of coral growth, there is clear evidence that coral growth rates vary spatially and temporally, largely in response to light and water quality (e.g., turbidity), temperature, and aragonite saturation state. Ongoing changes in environmental conditions (e.g., due to climate change) are expected to have generally negative consequences for the growth of scleractinian corals, which may be further exacerbated by shifts in assemblage structure towards relatively slowgrowing species.
Keyword Great Barrier Reef
Skeletal extension rates
Gulf of Mexico
Pocillopora Damicornis Linnaeus
Kavaratti Atoll Lakshadweep
Rapid environmental change
Eastern Tropical Pacific
Sea Surface Temperature
Acropora Aspera Dana
High Latitude Reefs
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Official 2016 Collection
School of Biological Sciences Publications
 
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