7700-year persistence of an isolated, free-living coral assemblage in the Galápagos Islands: a model for coral refugia?

J. S. Feingold, B. Riegl, K. Hendrickson, L. T. Toth, H. Cheng, R. L. Edwards, R. B. Aronson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

In an eastern-Pacific coral assemblage at Devil’s Crown, Galápagos Islands, Ecuador, two coral species, Psammocora stellata and Cycloseris (Diaseris) distorta, form dense populations of unattached colonies on sand and rubble substrata. In the Galápagos, living C. (D.) distorta is found only at this single site, whereas populations of P. stellata are found throughout the Archipelago. Six cores dating to ~ 7700 yBP showed P. stellata to be dominant throughout the history of this isolated community, but C. (D.) distorta increased in abundance from ~ 2200 yBP and reached peak abundance between 1471 yBP and the present. The relative frequency of the two coral species may be linked to millennial-scale climatic variability, and this site may represent a refuge for C. (D.) distorta from unfavorable climatic fluctuations on millennial timescales. Our results demonstrate that some corals can persist in isolated populations for millennia.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)639-647
Number of pages9
JournalCoral Reefs
Volume39
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 1 2020

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We are grateful to The Gal?pagos National Park Directorate (GNPD) and Charles Darwin Research Station for their support of this research.?We thank Godfrey Merlen, Ren? Espinosa and Michael Moore for assistance with core collection. Fernando Rivera also helped with collecting cores, freely shared his vast knowledge of Ecuadorian corals and helped with many field trips. William F. Precht gave useful advice on the manuscript. Gal?pagos field research was supported by National Science Foundation (NSF) grant OCE-9018392 to PWG, and OCE-9218197 and a Grant-in-Aid of Research from Sigma Xi to JSF. KH was supported by a Presidential Tuition Fellowship at Nova Southeastern University. RBA and LTT were supported by grant OCE-1535007 from the NSF. LTT was also supported by the Coastal/Marine Hazards and Resources Program of the US Geological Survey. Any use of trade, firm or product names is for descriptive purposes only and does not imply endorsement by the US Government. This is contribution no. 226 from the Institute for Global Ecology at the Florida Institute of Technology.

Funding Information:
We are grateful to The Galápagos National Park Directorate (GNPD) and Charles Darwin Research Station for their support of this research. We thank Godfrey Merlen, René Espinosa and Michael Moore for assistance with core collection. Fernando Rivera also helped with collecting cores, freely shared his vast knowledge of Ecuadorian corals and helped with many field trips. William F. Precht gave useful advice on the manuscript. Galápagos field research was supported by National Science Foundation (NSF) grant OCE-9018392 to PWG, and OCE-9218197 and a Grant-in-Aid of Research from Sigma Xi to JSF. KH was supported by a Presidential Tuition Fellowship at Nova Southeastern University. RBA and LTT were supported by grant OCE-1535007 from the NSF. LTT was also supported by the Coastal/Marine Hazards and Resources Program of the US Geological Survey. Any use of trade, firm or product names is for descriptive purposes only and does not imply endorsement by the US Government. This is contribution no. 226 from the Institute for Global Ecology at the Florida Institute of Technology.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020, Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature.

Keywords

  • Cycloseris (Diaseris) distorta
  • ENSO
  • Eastern tropical Pacific
  • El Niño–Southern Oscillation
  • Galápagos
  • Paleoecology
  • Psammocora stellata
  • Sediment core

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of '7700-year persistence of an isolated, free-living coral assemblage in the Galápagos Islands: a model for coral refugia?'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this