Coral reefs at 34N, Japan: Exploring the end of environmental gradients
Hiroya Yamano et al., National Institute for Environmental Studies (NIES), 16-2 Onogawa, Tsukuba, Ibaraki 305-8506, Japan. Posted online 12 July 2012; doi: 10.1130/G33293.1.
Hiroya Yamano and colleagues discovered the highest-latitude coral reefs presently known on Earth, located in Japan at 34N, and describe their architecture and development. Although coral reefs occur generally in warm, clear-water settings, the reefs are distributed within turbid inner bays and experience winter seawater temperatures that fall to 13 degrees Celsius, which is well below the generally accepted lower limit (18 degrees Celsius in winter) of tropical coral reef formation. Despite low seawater temperatures and high turbidity, coring indicated reefs ranging to 555 cm in thickness since ca. 4300 years ago. The corals were dominantly massive Favia, in contrast to tabular and branching Acropora that tend to dominate low-latitude, tropical-subtropical reefs. The reefs provide a unique opportunity to examine the structural changes of coral reefs along latitudinal and turbidity gradients.
Shallow-water methane-seep faunas in the Cenomanian Western Interior Seaway: No evidence for onshore-offshore adaptations to deep-sea vents
Steffen Kiel et al., Courant Research Center Geobiology, Georg-August University Gttingen, Goldschmidtstrasse 3, 37077 Gttingen, Germany. Posted online 12 July 20
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Geological Society of America