The rarity of depth refugia from coral bleaching heat stress in the Western and Central Pacific Islands

Venegas, Roberto M., Oliver, Thomas, Liu, Gang, Heron, Scott F., Clark, S. Jeanette, Pomeroy, Noah, Young, Charles, Eakin, C. Mark, and Brainard, Russell E. (2019) The rarity of depth refugia from coral bleaching heat stress in the Western and Central Pacific Islands. Scientific Reports, 9 (1). 19710.

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Abstract

Some researchers have suggested that corals living in deeper reefs may escape heat stress experienced by shallow corals. We evaluated the potential of deep coral reef refugia from bleaching stress by leveraging a long record of satellite-derived sea surface temperature data with a temporal, spatial, and depth precision of in situ temperature records. We calculated an in situ stress metric using a depth bias-adjusted threshold for 457 coral reef sites among 49 islands in the western and central Pacific Ocean over the period 2001–2017. Analysis of 1,453 heating events found no meaningful depth refuge from heat stress down to 38 m, and no significant association between depth and subsurface heat stress. Further, the surface metric underestimated subsurface stress by an average of 39.3%, across all depths. Combining satellite and in situ temperature data can provide bleaching-relevant heat stress results to avoid misrepresentation of heat stress exposure at shallow reefs.

Item ID: 61666
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 2045-2322
Copyright Information: © 2019, The Author(s). Open Access This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article’s Creative Commons license, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article’s Creative Commons license and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this license, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/.
Funders: National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) Coral Reef Conservation Program (CRCP), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) Office of Marine and Aviation Operations, Pacific Islands Fisheries Science Center (PIFSC), University of Hawaii (UH) Joint Institute for Marine and Atmospheric Research (JIMAR)
Date Deposited: 06 May 2020 02:45
FoR Codes: 05 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES > 0502 Environmental Science and Management > 050204 Environmental Impact Assessment @ 50%
05 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES > 0502 Environmental Science and Management > 050206 Environmental Monitoring @ 50%
SEO Codes: 96 ENVIRONMENT > 9605 Ecosystem Assessment and Management > 960507 Ecosystem Assessment and Management of Marine Environments @ 100%
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