Deep-sea coral communities have long been recognized by fisherman as areas that support large populations of commercial fish. As a consequence, many deep-sea coral communities are threatened by bottom trawling. Successful management and conservation of this widespread deep-sea habitat requires knowledge of the age and growth rates of deep-sea corals. These organisms also contain important archives of intermediate and deep-water variability, and are thus of interest in the context of decadal to century-scale climate dynamics. Here, we present ∆14C data that suggest that bamboo corals from the Gulf of Alaska are long-lived (75-126 years) and that they acquire skeletal carbon from two distinct sources. Independent verification of our growth rate estimates and coral ages is obtained by counting seasonal Sr/Ca cycles and probable lunar cycle growth bands.
Geophysical Research Letters
- Pub Date:
- February 2005
- Oceanography: Biological and Chemical: Radioactivity and radioisotopes;
- Oceanography: Biological and Chemical: Trace elements (0489);
- Oceanography: Biological and Chemical: Biogeochemical cycles;
- and modeling (0412;