Document Detail


Palaeoecological evidence of a historical collapse of corals at Pelorus Island, inshore Great Barrier Reef, following European settlement.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  23135672     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
Abstract/OtherAbstract:
The inshore reefs of the Great Barrier Reef (GBR) have undergone significant declines in water quality following European settlement (approx. 1870 AD). However, direct evidence of impacts on coral assemblages is limited by a lack of historical baselines prior to the onset of modern monitoring programmes in the early 1980s. Through palaeoecological reconstructions, we report a previously undocumented historical collapse of Acropora assemblages at Pelorus Island (central GBR). High-precision U-series dating of dead Acropora fragments indicates that this collapse occurred between 1920 and 1955, with few dates obtained after 1980. Prior to this event, our results indicate remarkable long-term stability in coral community structure over centennial scales. We suggest that chronic increases in sediment flux and nutrient loading following European settlement acted as the ultimate cause for the lack of recovery of Acropora assemblages following a series of acute disturbance events (SST anomalies, cyclones and flood events). Evidence for major degradation in reef condition owing to human impacts prior to modern ecological surveys indicates that current monitoring of inshore reefs on the GBR may be predicated on a significantly shifted baseline.
Authors:
George Roff; Tara R Clark; Claire E Reymond; Jian-xin Zhao; Yuexing Feng; Laurence J McCook; Terence J Done; John M Pandolfi
Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article; Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't     Date:  2012-11-07
Journal Detail:
Title:  Proceedings. Biological sciences / The Royal Society     Volume:  280     ISSN:  1471-2954     ISO Abbreviation:  Proc. Biol. Sci.     Publication Date:  2013 Jan 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2012-11-22     Completed Date:  2013-04-30     Revised Date:  2014-01-10    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  101245157     Medline TA:  Proc Biol Sci     Country:  England    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  20122100     Citation Subset:  IM    
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MeSH Terms
Descriptor/Qualifier:
Animals
Anthozoa / physiology*
Coral Reefs*
Environmental Monitoring
Geologic Sediments / analysis
Human Activities*
Humans
Population Dynamics
Queensland
Water Movements
Water Pollutants, Chemical / toxicity*
Chemical
Reg. No./Substance:
0/Water Pollutants, Chemical
Comments/Corrections

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