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Chapter 22: Using the past to understand the future: palaeoecology of coral reefs

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Title: Chapter 22: Using the past to understand the future: palaeoecology of coral reefs
Year of publication: 2007
Publisher: The Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority
Type of document: Book section or chapter
Abstract: Present anthropogenically-induced climate change is now well substantiated. The effects of climate change on the marine biosphere are the subject of great concern but we simply do not have enough long-term ecological data to predict potential changes in the geographic distribution and composition of marine communities. Hence, long-term time-series data on the past response of marine ecosystems to climate change have become increasingly relevant. Coral reefs provide a legacy of their existence because they accumulate vast thicknesses of biogenic sediments, so it is possible to acquire time-series ecological data in the form of variations in reef coral community structure during past episodes of environmental change. It is perhaps fortuitous that many of the proxies that we use to understand past climate on earth can be found in the major architectural components of reefs, the scleractinian corals. However, most emphasis has been placed on using corals as ancient thermometers and much less on their ecological response to global climate change.
ISBN: 9781876945619
Connection to GBRMPA: GBRMPA published this item
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