[Coral-List] Science article on corals, latitude, and depth

Douglas Fenner douglasfennertassi at gmail.com
Thu Jun 4 22:25:53 EDT 2015

Muir, P.R. et al.  Limited scope for latitudinal extension of reef corals.

Science 5 June 2015:  Vol. 348 no. 6239 pp. 1135-1138

Solar irradiation during winter constrains how far coral reefs can spread
sideways despite ocean warming.

An analysis of present-day global depth distributions of reef-building
corals and underlying environmental drivers contradicts a commonly held
belief that ocean warming will promote tropical coral expansion into
temperate latitudes. Using a global data set of a major group of reef
corals, we found that corals were confined to shallower depths at higher
latitudes (up to 0.6 meters of predicted shallowing per additional degree
of latitude). Latitudinal attenuation of the most important driver of this
phenomenon—the dose of photosynthetically available radiation over
winter—would severely constrain latitudinal coral range extension in
response to ocean warming. Latitudinal gradients in species richness for
the group also suggest that higher winter irradiance at depth in low
latitudes allowed a deep-water fauna that was not viable at higher

     Not open access.

Also, a perspective on the article:

Kleypas, J.  Invisible barriers to dispersal.
Science 5 June 2015: Vol. 348 no. 6239 pp. 1086-1087

Physiological properties constrain future range expansions of marine

    Also not open access

Cheers,   Doug

Douglas Fenner
Contractor with Ocean Associates, Inc.
PO Box 7390
Pago Pago, American Samoa 96799  USA

phone 1 684 622-7084

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Politics, science, and public attitudes: What we're learning, and why it
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website:  http://independent.academia.edu/DouglasFenner

blog: http://ocean.si.edu/blog/reefs-american-samoa-story-hope

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