Hermatypic Coral Growth Banding as Environmental Recorder
Coral reefs, Environmental monitoring
Study of incremental banding in coral skeletons was initiated by Ma and later extended by Wells and others. More recently, discrete annual banding in the skeletons of certain hermatypic corals has been described. Here we present an analysis of annual band width measurements from Bermuda corals which relates, through regression techniques, coral band time series to air temperature and air pressure variations. Our results indicate that coral bands record important aspects of their environment and therefore become useful where reconstruction of palaeoclimatic variables is of interest. Specifically the coral time series may be used as a palaeotemperature indicator or, when coupled with relatively well established palaeotemperatures, for palaeobarometric pressure determinations. Derived series of otherwise unobtainable palaeovariables are important not only for work on coral physiology, but also for construction and testing of climatic models; in this later instance information on palaeopressure is particularly desirable.
Dodge, Richard Eugene, and J. Rimas Vaisnys. 1975. "Hermatypic coral growth banding as environmental recorder." Nature no. 258 (5537):706-708.