Using coral holes to explore the historical ecology of Guam's coral reefs

Cybulski, Jonathan, Doherty, John M., LaRoche, Carly, Gutkowski, Kelly Donovan, Luo, Zizhan, Malloy, Elizabeth J., MacMillan, Laurel, Raymundo, Laurie, and Kim, Kiho (2023) Using coral holes to explore the historical ecology of Guam's coral reefs. Coral Reefs, 42. pp. 1411-1417.

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Push-coring is used to collect Holocene-aged coral sub-fossils, but its applications can be limited by underlying reef geology. Here, we report on a new approach of coring inundated coastal karst formations—i.e., coral holes—to determine the historical context of coral reefs in Guam. Three cores were extracted and processed to recover coral fragments as well as abundances of the photosymbiotic foraminifera Baculogypsina sphaerulata, a proxy for water clarity. Coral fragments, with the oldest dating to a median calibrated age of 221 cal. BP (1729 CE), revealed greater than 100 years of consistent accumulation and composition, suggesting a period of relative stability for macrobenthos. However, we documented a drop in B. sphaerulata abundance from approximately 100 years cal. BP, suggesting a period of environmental decline in Guam. Our results provide the first multi-centennial record of coral assemblages from Guam and provide a proof of concept for future historical investigations.

Item ID: 81244
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1432-0975
Keywords: Acropora spp, Baculogypsina sphaerulata, Coral holes, Coral reef, Historical ecology
Copyright Information: © The Author(s), under exclusive licence to International Coral Reef Society (ICRS) 2023.
Date Deposited: 15 Feb 2024 02:18
FoR Codes: 31 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 3103 Ecology > 310305 Marine and estuarine ecology (incl. marine ichthyology) @ 100%
SEO Codes: 28 EXPANDING KNOWLEDGE > 2801 Expanding knowledge > 280102 Expanding knowledge in the biological sciences @ 100%
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