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Improving estimates of coral reef construction and erosion with in situ measurements

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doi: 10.1002/lno.11184
Authors:Kuffner, Ilsa B.; Toth, Lauren T.; Hudson, J. Harold; Goodwin, William B.; Stathakopoulos, Anastasios; Bartlett, Lucy A.; Whitcher, Elizabeth M.
Author Affiliations:Primary:
U. S. Geological Survey, Saint Petersburg, FL, United States
Other:
ReefTech, United States
NOAA Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary, United States
Cherokee Nation Technologies, United States
Florida Institute of Technology, United States
Volume Title:Limnology and Oceanography
Source:Limnology and Oceanography, 64(5), p.2283-2294. Publisher: American Society of Limnology and Oceanography, Ann Arbor, MI, United States. ISSN: 0024-3590
Publication Date:2019
Note:In English. Includes video. 85 refs.; illus., incl. 1 table, sketch map
Summary:The decline in living coral since the 1970s has conspicuously slowed reef construction on a global scale, but the related process of reef erosion is less visible and not often quantified. Here, we present new data on the constructional and deconstructional sides of the carbonate-budget equation in the Florida Keys, U.S.A. We documented Orbicella spp. calcification rates at four offshore reefs and quantified decadal-scale rates of Orbicella-reef erosion at a mid-shore patch reef. Using Orbicella coral heads fitted with permanent markers in 1998, we measured reef-elevation loss at 28 stations over 17.3 yr to estimate a mean erosion rate of -5.5 (± 3.2, SD) mm yr-1. This loss equates to an erosion rate of -8.2 (± 4.8, SD) kg m-2 yr-1 on dead Orbicella colonies, or -6.6 kg m-2 yr-1 when adjusted reef-wide. Calculating net carbonate production using a census-based approach on the same patch reef in 2017, we estimated a reef-wide bioerosion rate of -1.9 (± 2.0, SD) kg m-2 yr-1, and a net carbonate production rate of 0.5 (± 0.3, SD) kg m-2 yr-1. Substituting the erosion rate we estimated with the markers would suggest that net carbonate production at this patch reef was lower and negative, -4.2 kg m-2 yr-1. This divergence could be a function of high erosion rates measured on the tops of Orbicella colonies, which may be preferentially targeted by parrotfish. Nonetheless, our study suggests the need for new field data to improve estimates of reef-structure persistence as coral reefs continue to degrade. Abstract Copyright (2019), The Authors. ??i??Limnology and Oceanography??/i?? published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. on behalf of Association for the Sciences of Limnology and Oceanography.
Subjects:Acropora; Anthozoa; Bioerosion; Biogenic processes; Calcification; Cnidaria; Elevation; Erosion; Erosion rates; Experimental studies; Field studies; In situ; Patch reefs; Reef builders; Reefs; Scleractinia; Sediment budget; Zoantharia; Florida; Florida Keys; Monroe County Florida; United States; Biscayne National Park; Crocker Reef; Dry Tortugas National Park; Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary; Florida Keys Reef Tract; Fowey Rocks; Hen and Chickens Reef Sanctuary Preservation Ara; Looe Key; Orbicella; Sombrero Reef
Coordinates:N243000 N245600 W0802500 W0812500
N253500 N253600 W0800500 W0800600
N244100 N244200 W0824500 W0824800
Record ID:865762-31
Copyright Information:GeoRef, Copyright 2021 American Geosciences Institute. Reference includes data from John Wiley & Sons, Chichester, United Kingdom
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