Corals sustain growth but not skeletal density across the Florida Keys Reef Tract despite ongoing warming Public Deposited

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Creator
  • Rippe, J.P.
    • Affiliation: College of Arts and Sciences, Department of Marine Sciences
  • Baumann, J.H.
    • Affiliation: College of Arts and Sciences, Department of Marine Sciences
  • De Leener, D.N.
    • Affiliation: College of Arts and Sciences, Department of Marine Sciences
  • Aichelman, H.E.
    • Affiliation: College of Arts and Sciences, Department of Marine Sciences
  • Friedlander, E.B.
    • Affiliation: College of Arts and Sciences, Department of Statistics and Operations Research
  • Davies, S.W.
    • Affiliation: College of Arts and Sciences, Department of Marine Sciences
  • Castillo, K.D.
    • Affiliation: College of Arts and Sciences, Department of Marine Sciences
Abstract
  • Through the continuous growth of their carbonate skeletons, corals record information about past environmental conditions and their effect on colony fitness. Here, we characterize century-scale growth records of inner and outer reef corals across ~200 km of the Florida Keys Reef Tract (FKRT) using skeletal cores extracted from two ubiquitous reef-building species, Siderastrea siderea and Pseudodiploria strigosa. We find that corals across the FKRT have sustained extension and calcification rates over the past century but have experienced a long-term reduction in skeletal density, regardless of reef zone. Notably, P. strigosa colonies exhibit temporary reef zone-dependent reductions in extension rate corresponding to two known extreme temperature events in 1969–1970 and 1997–1998. We propose that the subtropical climate of the FKRT may buffer corals from chronic growth declines associated with climate warming, though the significant reduction in skeletal density may indicate underlying vulnerability to present and future trends in ocean acidification.
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  • Article
Rights statement
  • In Copyright
Journal title
  • Global Change Biology
Journal volume
  • 24
Journal issue
  • 11
Page start
  • 5205
Page end
  • 5217
Language
  • English
ISSN
  • 1354-1013
Publisher
  • Blackwell Publishing Ltd
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