Calcification of the main reef-building coral species on the Pacific coast of southern Mexico

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Francisco Medellín-Maldonado
Rafael Andres Cabral-Tena
Andrés López-Pérez
Luis E Calderón-Aguilera
C Orión Norzagaray-López
Cecilia Chapa-Balcorta
Ronald C Zepeta-Vilchis

Abstract

Global warming and ocean acidification affect coral calcification. Nevertheless, there is not enough information regarding the growth parameters of the main reef-building coral species in marginal growth areas such as the Pacific coast of southern Mexico. In order to fill this gap, coral growth parameters of 8 hermatypic coral species (massive species: Porites panamensis, Porites lobata, Pavona gigantea, and Pavona varians; branching species: Pocillopora meandrina, Pocillopora damicornis, Pocillopora verrucosa, and Pocillopora capitata) were estimated in 2 areas of the southern Mexican Pacific. Branching coral species had a higher calcification rate (2.99–5.23 g CaCO3 cm–2 yr–1) than massive species (0.34–1.13 g CaCO3 cm–2 yr–1). A significant relation between sea surface temperature (SST) and skeletal density was observed in all massive coral species. Also, 2 massive species (P. gigantea and P. varians) showed a significant relation between SST and calcification rate. Upwelling in the Gulf of Tehuantepec transports deep water with low pH and low aragonite saturation, and may be affecting the calcification rate of stony corals in the studied area. 

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How to Cite
Medellín-Maldonado, F., Cabral-Tena, R. A., López-Pérez, A., Calderón-Aguilera, L. E., Norzagaray-López, C. O., Chapa-Balcorta, C., & Zepeta-Vilchis, R. C. (2016). Calcification of the main reef-building coral species on the Pacific coast of southern Mexico. Ciencias Marinas, 42(3), 209–225. https://doi.org/10.7773/cm.v42i3.2650
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