Environmental implications of growth rate changes in Montastrea Annularis: Biscayne National Park, Florida

Bulletin of Marine Science
By: , and 

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Abstract

Long-term annual growth rates were determined for 25 Montastrea annularis colonies at eight reef sites in Biscayne National Park, Florida. X-radiographs of slabbed coral cores revealed chronologies that averaged 113.5 years in length with a range of 40 to 242 years. A total of 2,837 annual growth increments were identified and measured. Dating of density bands was verified by visually crossdating fluorescent bands within the coral skeleton. Average accretion rates of individual colonies varied from 5.0 mm·yr−1 in the northernmost sector of the Park to 11.3 mm·yr−1 in the southernmost sector. Long-term growth rates of most corals in this study were greatest prior to about 1950 except for a major, 3–5 year, decline in the growth record of older corals centered around 1878. Waxing and waning coral growth rates are discussed in relation to natural and anthropogenic perturbations that impact this high latitude reef ecosystem. Attention is drawn to nutrients from sewage outfalls as a possible contributing factor to observed growth rate decline since 1950.

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Additional publication details

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Environmental implications of growth rate changes in Montastrea Annularis: Biscayne National Park, Florida
Series title Bulletin of Marine Science
Volume 54
Issue 3
Year Published 1994
Language English
Publisher University of Miami
Description 23 p.
First page 647
Last page 669
Country United States
State Florida
Other Geospatial Biscayne National Park
Online Only (Y/N) N
Additional Online Files (Y/N) N
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