Anatomy of a dying coral reef: Punta Islotes Reef, Golfo Dulce, Costa Rica

I. G. Macintyre, J. Cortes, P. W. Glynn

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

4 Scopus citations

Abstract

A well-developed fringing coral reef in Golfo Dulce, off the Pacific coast of Costa Rica, is being smothered with fine sediment and has a present-day live coral cover of less than 2%. This reef, off Punta Islotes, has a surface area of about 12 ha, and can be divided into four distinct zones: back-reef sediments, reef-flat branching corals, fore-reef slope massive corals; and fore-reef slope talus. Data from rock and sediment cores collected along four short transects across the outer edge of this reef reveal that it was once a flourishing reef that was established 5500 yr BP on a basalt terrace and is up to 9m thick. This reef, well isolated from the open-ocean temperature fluctuations that restrict most reef growth in the eastern Pacific, was exposed to hevay sedimentation in the past. It recovered, however, about 2500 yr BP to have a period of vigorous reef growth before succumbing, within the last 500 yrs, to freshwater and sedimentation stress following a change in local river outflow patterns. -from Authors

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the colloquium on global aspects of coral reefs, Miami, 1993
EditorsR.N. Ginsburg, F.G.W. Smith
PublisherUniversity of Miami, RSMAS
Pages261-266
Number of pages6
StatePublished - Dec 1 1994

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Earth and Planetary Sciences(all)
  • Environmental Science(all)

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