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Sample records for early cretaceous coral

  1. MORPHOLOGY, TAXONOMY AND DISTRIBUTION OF THE CRETACEOUS CORAL GENUS AULASTRAEOPORA (LATE BARREMIAN-EARLY CENOMANIAN; SCLERACTINIA

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    HANNES LÖSER

    2008-03-01

    Full Text Available The Cretaceous coral genus Aulastraeopora is being revised, mainly on the basis of sample material. This genus of solitary growth form is characterised by medium-sized to large specimens, compact septa in a regular hexameral or tetrameral symmetry and lonsdaleoid septa. Related genera are Preverastraea and Apoplacophyllia, which only differ by their cerioid-astreoid and phaceloid growth forms. There are four species of Aulastraeopora. The genus, which occurred world-wide, is restricted to the period from the Late Barremian to the Late Cenomanian, being most common in the Aptian to Early Albian. Forty-one samples are either known from the literature or have been to hand. This makes Aulastraeopora a rare genus. 

  2. MORPHOLOGY, TAXONOMY AND DISTRIBUTION OF THE CRETACEOUS CORAL GENUS PREVERASTRAEA (LATE BARREMIAN-CENOMANIAN; SCLERACTINIA

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    HANNES LÖSER

    2007-03-01

    Full Text Available The Cretaceous coral genus Preverastraea is being revised, mainly on the basis of sample material. This cerioid, occasionally astreoid or phaceloid, genus is characterised by round or polygonal calices, compact septa in a regular hexameral symmetry and lonsdaleoid septa. The wall is of the same structure as the septa. The genera Bogdanovicoenia, Paraacanthogyra, and Saxuligyra are considered synonyms of Preverastraea. Related genera are Aulastraeopora and Apoplacophyllia, which only differ by their solitary or dendroid growth forms. There are altogether 13 species of Preverastraea. The genus, which occurred worldwide, is restricted to the period from the Late Barremian to the Late Cenomanian, being most common in the Aptian to Early Albian. Eighty-three samples are either known from the literature or have been to hand. This makes Preverastraea a rather rare genus. 

  3. Low ecological disparity in Early Cretaceous birds

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    Mitchell, Jonathan S.; Makovicky, Peter J.

    2014-01-01

    Ecological divergence is thought to be coupled with evolutionary radiations, yet the strength of this coupling is unclear. When birds diversified ecologically has received much less attention than their hotly debated crown divergence time. Here, we quantify how accurately skeletal morphology can predict ecology in living and extinct birds, and show that the earliest known assemblage of birds (= pygostylians) from the Jehol Biota (≈ 125 Ma) was substantially impoverished ecologically. The Jehol avifauna has few representatives of highly preservable ecomorphs (e.g. aquatic forms) and a notable lack of ecomorphological overlap with the pterosaur assemblage (e.g. no large or aerially foraging pygostylians). Comparisons of the Jehol functional diversity with modern and subfossil avian assemblages show that taphonomic bias alone cannot explain the ecomorphological impoverishment. However, evolutionary simulations suggest that the constrained ecological diversity of the Early Cretaceous pygostylians is consistent with what is expected from a relatively young radiation. Regardless of the proximate biological explanation, the anomalously low functional diversity of the Jehol birds is evidence both for ecological vacancies in Cretaceous ecosystems, which were subsequently filled by the radiation of crown Aves, and for discordance between taxonomic richness and ecological diversity in the best-known Mesozoic ecosystem. PMID:24870044

  4. Early Cretaceous climate change (Hauterivian - Early Aptian): Learning from the past to prevent modern reefs decline

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    Godet, Alexis; Bodin, Stéphane; Adatte, Thierry; Föllmi, Karl B.

    2010-05-01

    In the last decades, the anthropogenic increase pCO2atm has been considered as one of the main contributors for the decline of modern coral reefs, and nearly 60% of these marine ecosystems are presently threatened (Bryant et al., 1998). Interactions between anthropogenic change and reef growth can, however, not be reduced to a single factor, and it is essential to look at the Earth's history to understand and counterbalance. During the Early Cretaceous, enhanced pCO2atm may have been responsible, at least in part, for the demise of the carbonate platform along the northern margin of the Tethys through climatic feedback mechanisms. From the Hauterivian to the Early Aptian, increased rainfalls are documented from the clay-mineral association, by a change from a smectite-dominated (most of the Hauterivian), to a kaolinite-dominated assemblage (latest Hauterivian up to the early Late Barremian). This switch is dated to the Pseudothurmannia ohmi ammonozone in the Vocontian Trough of southeastern France (Angles section, Godet et al., 2008). It is immediately followed in time by major nutrient input, as is illustrated by the substantial increase in phosphorus accumulation rates (PAR), not only in this section, but also in the Ultrahelvetic area of Switzerland and in the Umbria-Marche basin of Italy (Bodin et al., 2006). On the other hand, the remainder of the Hauterivian is characterized by PAR mean values characteristic of mesotrophic conditions, whereas the Late Barremian witnesses the return to oligotrophic environments (lower PAR values). Synchronously, these perturbations are mirrored on the platform by changes in the type of carbonate ecosystems. Indeed, a stronger continental runoff, and a subsequent input in the oceanic domain of nutrients (e.g., phosphorus) and clastic material modified marine palaeoenvironmental conditions and triggered changes in ecosystems. A unique archive of the Early Cretaceous carbonate platform is preserved in the Helvetic Alps, where the

  5. Early cretaceous dinosaurs from the sahara.

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    Sereno, P C; Wilson, J A; Larsson, H C; Dutheil, D B; Sues, H D

    1994-10-14

    A major question in Mesozoic biogeography is how the land-based dinosaurian radiation responded to fragmentation of Pangaea. A rich fossil record has been uncovered on northern continents that spans the Cretaceous, when continental isolation reached its peak. In contrast, dinosaur remains on southern continents are scarce. The discovery of dinosaurian skeletons from Lower Cretaceous beds in the southern Sahara shows that several lineages of tetanuran theropods and broad-toothed sauropods had a cosmopolitan distribution across Pangaea before the onset of continental fragmentation. The distinct dinosaurian faunas of Africa, South America, and Asiamerica arose during the Cretaceous by differential survival of once widespread lineages on land masses that were becoming increasingly isolated from one another.

  6. Rates of morphological evolution are heterogeneous in Early Cretaceous birds

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    Lloyd, Graeme T.

    2016-01-01

    The Early Cretaceous is a critical interval in the early history of birds. Exceptional fossils indicate that important evolutionary novelties such as a pygostyle and a keeled sternum had already arisen in Early Cretaceous taxa, bridging much of the morphological gap between Archaeopteryx and crown birds. However, detailed features of basal bird evolution remain obscure because of both the small sample of fossil taxa previously considered and a lack of quantitative studies assessing rates of morphological evolution. Here we apply a recently available phylogenetic method and associated sensitivity tests to a large data matrix of morphological characters to quantify rates of morphological evolution in Early Cretaceous birds. Our results reveal that although rates were highly heterogeneous between different Early Cretaceous avian lineages, consistent patterns of significantly high or low rates were harder to pinpoint. Nevertheless, evidence for accelerated evolutionary rates is strongest at the point when Ornithuromorpha (the clade comprises all extant birds and descendants from their most recent common ancestors) split from Enantiornithes (a diverse clade that went extinct at the end-Cretaceous), consistent with the hypothesis that this key split opened up new niches and ultimately led to greater diversity for these two dominant clades of Mesozoic birds. PMID:27053742

  7. Tribosphenic mammal from the North American Early Cretaceous.

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    Cifelli, R L

    1999-09-23

    The main groups of living mammals, marsupials and eutherians, are presumed to have diverged in the Early Cretaceous, but their early history and biogeography are poorly understood. Dental remains have suggested that the eutherians may have originated in Asia, spreading to North America in the Late Cretaceous, where an endemic radiation of marsupials was already well underway. Here I describe a new tribosphenic mammal (a mammal with lower molar heels that are three-cusped and basined) from the Early Cretaceous of North America, based on an unusually complete specimen. The new taxon bears characteristics (molarized last premolar, reduction to three molars) otherwise known only for Eutheria among the tribosphenic mammals. Morphometric analysis and character comparisons show, however, that its molar structure is primitive (and thus phylogenetically uninformative), emphasizing the need for caution in interpretation of isolated teeth. The new mammal is approximately contemporaneous with the oldest known Eutheria from Asia. If it is a eutherian, as is indicated by the available evidence, then this group was far more widely distributed in the Early Cretaceous than previously appreciated. An early presence of Eutheria in North America offers a potential source for the continent's Late Cretaceous radiations, which have, in part, proven difficult to relate to contemporary taxa in Asia.

  8. Late Cretaceous scleractinian corals from the rocky shore of Ivö Klack, southern Sweden, including some of the northernmost zooxanthellate corals

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Sørensen, Anne Mehlin; Floris, S; Surlyk, Finn

    2011-01-01

    A relatively low diversity coral fauna comprising eight zooxanthellate, three azooxanthellate, and one unidentified species is described from a Late Cretaceous rocky shore at Ivö Klack, southern Sweden. All species, except the solitary azooxanthellate Paracyathus? sp., are represented by one or two...

  9. Early Cretaceous greenhouse pumped higher taxa diversification in spiders.

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    Shao, Lili; Li, Shuqiang

    2018-05-24

    The Cretaceous experienced one of the most remarkable greenhouse periods in geological history. During this time, ecosystem reorganizations significantly impacted the diversification of many groups of organisms. The rise of angiosperms marked a major biome turnover. Notwithstanding, relatively little remains known about how the Cretaceous global ecosystem impacted the evolution of spiders, which constitute one of the most abundant groups of predators. Herein, we evaluate the transcriptomes of 91 taxa representing more than half of the spider families. We add 23 newly sequenced taxa to the existing database to obtain a robust phylogenomic assessment. Phylogenetic reconstructions using different datasets and methods obtain novel placements of some groups, especially in the Synspermiata and the group having a retrolateral tibial apophysis (RTA). Molecular analyses indicate an expansion of the RTA clade at the Early Cretaceous with a hunting predatory strategy shift. Fossil analyses show a 7-fold increase of diversification rate at the same period, but this likely owes to the first occurrences spider in amber deposits. Additional analyses of fossil abundance show an accumulation of spider lineages in the Early Cretaceous. We speculate that the establishment of a warm greenhouse climate pumped the diversification of spiders, in particular among webless forms tracking the abundance of insect prey. Our study offers a new pathway for future investigations of spider phylogeny and diversification. Copyright © 2018. Published by Elsevier Inc.

  10. Middle Jurassic - Early Cretaceous rifting of the Danish Central Graben

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    Moeller, J.J.; Rasmussen, E.S.

    1998-12-01

    During the Jurassic-early Cretaceous, the Danish Central Graben developed as a N-S to NNW-SSE trending Graben bounded by the Ringkoebing-Fyn High towards the east and the Mid North Sea High towards the west. The Graben consists of a system of half-Grabens and evolved by fault-controlled subsidence; three main rift pulses have been recognized. The first pulse ranged from the Callovian to the early Oxfordian, the second pulse was initiated in the latest Late Kimmeridgian and Early Volgian, and the third and final pulse occurred within the Valanginian in the Early Cretaceous. The first pulse was characterized by subsidence along N-S trending faults. During the second pulse, in early Volgian times, subsidence was concentrated along new NNW-SSE trending faults and the main depocentre shifted westward, being most marked within the Tail End Graben, the Arne-Elin Graben, and the Feda Graben. This tectonic event was accompanied by the accumulation of a relatively thick sediment load resulting in the development of salt diapers, especially within the Salt Dome Province. The third tectonic pulse was essentially a reactivation of the NNW-SSE trending structures. This tectonic pulse also shows clear evidence of combined fault-controlled subsidence and salt movements. (EG) 12 figs.; 45 refs.

  11. Early Cretaceous Archaeamphora is not a carnivorous angiosperm

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    William Oki Wong

    2015-05-01

    Full Text Available Archaeamphora longicervia H.Q.Li was described as an herbaceous, Sarraceniaceae-like pitcher plant from the mid Early Cretaceous Yixian Formation of Liaoning Province, northeastern China. Here, a re-investigation of A. longicervia specimens from the Yixian Formation provides new insights into its identity and the morphology of pitcher plants claimed by Li. We demonstrate that putative pitchers of Archaeamphora are insect-induced leaf galls that consist of three components: (1 an innermost larval chamber with a distinctive outer wall; (2 an intermediate zone of nutritive tissue; and (3 an outermost zone of sclerenchyma. Archaeamphora is not a carnivorous, Sarraceniaceae-like angiosperm, but represents insect-galled leaves of the formerly reported gymnosperm Liaoningocladus boii G.Sun et al. from the Yixian Formation.

  12. The origin and early evolution of metatherian mammals: the Cretaceous record

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    Thomas E. Williamson

    2014-12-01

    Full Text Available Metatherians, which comprise marsupials and their closest fossil relatives, were one of the most dominant clades of mammals during the Cretaceous and are the most diverse clade of living mammals after Placentalia. Our understanding of this group has increased greatly over the past 20 years, with the discovery of new specimens and the application of new analytical tools. Here we provide a review of the phylogenetic relationships of metatherians with respect to other mammals, discuss the taxonomic definition and diagnosis of Metatheria, outline the Cretaceous history of major metatherian clades, describe the paleobiology, biogeography, and macroevolution of Cretaceous metatherians, and provide a physical and climatic background of Cretaceous metatherian faunas. Metatherians are a clade of boreosphendian mammals that must have originated by the Late Jurassic, but the first unequivocal metatherian fossil is from the Early Cretaceous of Asia. Metatherians have the distinctive tightly interlocking occlusal molar pattern of tribosphenic mammals, but differ from Eutheria in their dental formula and tooth replacement pattern, which may be related to the metatherian reproductive process which includes an extended period of lactation followed by birth of extremely altricial young. Metatherians were widespread over Laurasia during the Cretaceous, with members present in Asia, Europe, and North America by the early Late Cretaceous. In particular, they were taxonomically and morphologically diverse and relatively abundant in the Late Cretaceous of western North America, where they have been used to examine patterns of biogeography, macroevolution, diversification, and extinction through the Late Cretaceous and across the Cretaceous-Paleogene (K-Pg boundary. Metatherian diversification patterns suggest that they were not strongly affected by a Cretaceous Terrestrial Revolution, but they clearly underwent a severe extinction across the K-Pg boundary.

  13. A new genus and species of enantiornithine bird from the Early Cretaceous of Brazil

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    Ismar de Souza Carvalho

    Full Text Available The fossil record of birds in Gondwana is almost restricted to the Late Cretaceous. Herein we describe a new fossil from the Araripe Basin, Cratoavis cearensis nov. gen et sp., composed of an articulated skeleton with feathers attached to the wings and surrounding the body. The present discovery considerably extends the temporal record of the Enantiornithes birds at South America to the Early Cretaceous. For the first time, an almost complete and articulated skeleton of an Early Cretaceous bird from South America is documented.

  14. A new Early Cretaceous eutherian mammal from the Sasayama Group, Hyogo, Japan.

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    Kusuhashi, Nao; Tsutsumi, Yukiyasu; Saegusa, Haruo; Horie, Kenji; Ikeda, Tadahiro; Yokoyama, Kazumi; Shiraishi, Kazuyuki

    2013-05-22

    We here describe a new Early Cretaceous (early Albian) eutherian mammal, Sasayamamylos kawaii gen. et sp. nov., from the 'Lower Formation' of the Sasayama Group, Hyogo Prefecture, Japan. Sasayamamylos kawaii is characterized by a robust dentary, a distinct angle on the ventral margin of the dentary at the posterior end of the mandibular symphysis, a lower dental formula of 3-4 : 1 : 4 : 3, a robust lower canine, a non-molariform lower ultimate premolar, and a secondarily reduced entoconid on the molars. To date, S. kawaii is the earliest known eutherian mammal possessing only four premolars, which demonstrates that the reduction in the premolar count in eutherians started in the late Early Cretaceous. The occurrence of S. kawaii implies that the relatively rapid diversification of eutherians in the mid-Cretaceous had already started by the early Albian.

  15. A complete skull of an early cretaceous sauropod and the evolution of advanced titanosaurians.

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    Hussam Zaher

    Full Text Available Advanced titanosaurian sauropods, such as nemegtosaurids and saltasaurids, were diverse and one of the most important groups of herbivores in the terrestrial biotas of the Late Cretaceous. However, little is known about their rise and diversification prior to the Late Cretaceous. Furthermore, the evolution of their highly-modified skull anatomy has been largely hindered by the scarcity of well-preserved cranial remains. A new sauropod dinosaur from the Early Cretaceous of Brazil represents the earliest advanced titanosaurian known to date, demonstrating that the initial diversification of advanced titanosaurians was well under way at least 30 million years before their known radiation in the latest Cretaceous. The new taxon also preserves the most complete skull among titanosaurians, further revealing that their low and elongated diplodocid-like skull morphology appeared much earlier than previously thought.

  16. Dinosaur trackways from the early Late Cretaceous of western Cameroon

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    Martin, Jeremy E.; Menkem, Elie Fosso; Djomeni, Adrien; Fowe, Paul Gustave; Ntamak-Nida, Marie-Joseph

    2017-10-01

    Dinosaur trackways have rarely been reported in Cretaceous strata across the African continent. To the exception of ichnological occurrences in Morocco, Tunisia, Niger and Cameroon, our knowledge on the composition of Cretaceous dinosaur faunas mostly relies on skeletal evidence. For the first time, we document several dinosaur trackways from the Cretaceous of the Mamfe Basin in western Cameroon. Small and medium-size tridactyl footprints as well as numerous large circular footprints are present on a single horizon showing mudcracks and ripple marks. The age of the locality is considered Cenomanian-Turonian and if confirmed, this ichnological assemblage could be younger than the dinosaur footprints reported from northern Cameroon, and coeval with or younger than skeletal remains reported from the Saharan region. These trackways were left in an adjacent subsiding basin along the southern shore of the Benue Trough during a time of high-sea stand when the Trans-Saharan Seaway was already disconnecting West Africa from the rest of the continent. We predict that other similar track sites may be occurring along the margin of the Benue Trough and may eventually permit to test hypotheses related to provincialism among African dinosaur faunas.

  17. A nearly modern amphibious bird from the Early Cretaceous of northwestern China.

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    You, Hai-Lu; Lamanna, Matthew C; Harris, Jerald D; Chiappe, Luis M; O'connor, Jingmai; Ji, Shu-An; Lü, Jun-Chang; Yuan, Chong-Xi; Li, Da-Qing; Zhang, Xing; Lacovara, Kenneth J; Dodson, Peter; Ji, Qiang

    2006-06-16

    Three-dimensional specimens of the volant fossil bird Gansus yumenensis from the Early Cretaceous Xiagou Formation of northwestern China demonstrate that this taxon possesses advanced anatomical features previously known only in Late Cretaceous and Cenozoic ornithuran birds. Phylogenetic analysis recovers Gansus within the Ornithurae, making it the oldest known member of the clade. The Xiagou Formation preserves the oldest known ornithuromorph-dominated avian assemblage. The anatomy of Gansus, like that of other non-neornithean (nonmodern) ornithuran birds, indicates specialization for an amphibious life-style, supporting the hypothesis that modern birds originated in aquatic or littoral niches.

  18. Paleomagnetic tests for tectonic reconstructions of the Late Jurassic-Early Cretaceous Woyla Group, Sumatra

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    Advokaat, Eldert; Bongers, Mayke; van Hinsbergen, Douwe; Rudyawan, Alfend; Marshal, Edo

    2017-04-01

    SE Asia consists of multiple continental blocks, volcanic arcs and suture zones representing remnants of closing ocean basins. The core of this mainland is called Sundaland, and was formed by accretion of continental and arc fragments during the Paleozoic and Mesozoic. The former positions of these blocks are still uncertain but reconstructions based on tectonostratigraphic, palaeobiogeographic, geological and palaeomagnetic studies indicate the continental terranes separated from the eastern margin of Gondwana. During the mid-Cretaceous, more continental and arc fragments accreted to Sundaland, including the intra-oceanic Woyla Arc now exposed on Sumatra. These continental fragments were derived from Australia, but the former position of the Woyla Arc is unconstrained. Interpretations on the former position of the Woyla Arc fall in two end-member groups. The first group interprets the Woyla Arc to be separated from West Sumatra by a small back-arc basin. This back arc basin opened in the Late Jurassic, and closed mid-Cretaceous, when the Woyla Arc collided with West Sumatra. The other group interprets the Woyla Arc to be derived from Gondwana, at a position close to the northern margin of Greater India in the Late Jurassic. Subsequently the Woyla Arc moved northwards and collided with West Sumatra in the mid-Cretaceous. Since these scenarios predict very different plate kinematic evolutions for the Neotethyan realm, we here aim to place paleomagnetic constraints on paleolatitudinal evolution of the Woyla Arc. The Woyla Arc consists mainly of basaltic to andesitic volcanics and dykes, and volcaniclastic shales and sandstones. Associated limestones with volcanic debris are interpreted as fringing reefs. This assemblage is interpreted as remnants of an Early Cretaceous intra-oceanic arc. West Sumatra exposes granites, surrounded by quartz sandstones, shales and volcanic tuffs. These sediments are in part metamorphosed. This assemblage is interpreted as a Jurassic-Early

  19. Simulated NASA Satellite Data Products for the NOAA Integrated Coral Reef Observation Network/Coral Reef Early Warning System

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    Estep, Leland; Spruce, Joseph P.

    2007-01-01

    This RPC (Rapid Prototyping Capability) experiment will demonstrate the use of VIIRS (Visible/Infrared Imager/Radiometer Suite) and LDCM (Landsat Data Continuity Mission) sensor data as significant input to the NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) ICON/ CREWS (Integrated Coral Reef Observation System/Coral Reef Early Warning System). The project affects the Coastal Management Program Element of the Applied Sciences Program.

  20. Rhinochelys amaberti Moret (1935, a protostegid turtle from the Early Cretaceous of France

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    Isaure Scavezzoni

    2018-04-01

    Full Text Available Modern marine turtles (chelonioids are the remnants of an ancient radiation that roots in the Cretaceous. The oldest members of that radiation are first recorded from the Early Cretaceous and a series of species are known from the Albian-Cenomanian interval, many of which have been allocated to the widespread but poorly defined genus Rhinochelys, possibly concealing the diversity and the evolution of early marine turtles. In order to better understand the radiation of chelonioids, we redescribe the holotype and assess the taxonomy of Rhinochelys amaberti Moret (1935 (UJF-ID.11167 from the Late Albian (Stoliczkaia dispar Zone of the Vallon de la Fauge (Isère, France. We also make preliminary assessments of the phylogenetic relationships of Chelonioidea using two updated datasets that widely sample Cretaceous taxa, especially Rhinochelys. Rhinochelys amaberti is a valid taxon that is supported by eight autapomorphies; an emended diagnosisis proposed. Our phylogenetic analyses suggest that Rhinochelys could be polyphyletic, but constraining it as a monophyletic entity does not produce trees that are significantly less parsimonious. Moreover, support values and stratigraphic congruence indexes are fairly low for the recovered typologies, suggesting that missing data still strongly affect our understanding of the Cretaceous diversification of sea turtles.

  1. Early Cretaceous trypanosomatids associated with fossil sand fly larvae in Burmese amber

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    George Poinar Jr

    2007-08-01

    Full Text Available Early Cretaceous flagellates with characters typical of trypanosomatids were found in the gut of sand fly larvae, as well as in surrounding debris, in Burmese amber. This discovery supports a hypothesis in which free-living trypanosomatids could have been acquired by sand fly larvae in their feeding environment and then carried transtadially into the adult stage. At some point in time, specific genera were introduced into vertebrates, thus establishing a dixenous life cycle.

  2. Late cretaceous to early eocene foraminiferal biostratigraphy of the Rakhi Nala area, Sulaiman Range, Pakistan

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Afzal, J.

    1996-01-01

    Shaly intervals from late cretaceous to early eocene sediments of the Rakhi Nala Section (Sulaiman Range) were analysed for the foraminiferal micro fauna (Planktons, smaller and larger benthics). The faunal record is interpreted for the precise age and paleo environments. These fresh results, in the light of modern bio stratigraphic knowledge, are compared with the previous bio stratigraphic information available about this area. Several discrepancies regarding the litho and biostratigraphy from the previous literature were addressed and tried to remove. (author)

  3. Modern mammal origins: evolutionary grades in the Early Cretaceous of North America.

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    Jacobs, L L; Winkler, D A; Murry, P A

    1989-01-01

    Major groups of modern mammals have their origins in the Mesozoic Era, yet the mammalian fossil record is generally poor for that time interval. Fundamental morphological changes that led to modern mammals are often represented by small samples of isolated teeth. Fortunately, functional wear facets on teeth allow prediction of the morphology of occluding teeth that may be unrepresented by fossils. A major step in mammalian evolution occurred in the Early Cretaceous with the evolution of tribo...

  4. A New Sail-Backed Styracosternan (Dinosauria: Ornithopoda) from the Early Cretaceous of Morella, Spain.

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    Gasulla, José Miguel; Escaso, Fernando; Narváez, Iván; Ortega, Francisco; Sanz, José Luis

    2015-01-01

    A new styracosternan ornithopod genus and species is here described based on a partial postcranial skeleton and an associated dentary tooth of a single specimen from the Arcillas de Morella Formation (Early Cretaceous, late Barremian) at the Morella locality, (Castellón, Spain). Morelladon beltrani gen. et sp. nov. is diagnosed by eight autapomorphic features. The set of autapomorphies includes: very elongated and vertical neural spines of the dorsal vertebrae, midline keel on ventral surface of the second to fourth sacral vertebrae restricted to the anterior half of the centrum, a posterodorsally inclined medial ridge on the postacetabular process of the ilium that meets its dorsal margin and distal end of the straight ischial shaft laterally expanded, among others. Phylogenetic analyses reveal that the new Iberian form is more closely related to its synchronic and sympatric contemporary European taxa Iguanodon bernissartensis and Mantellisaurus atherfieldensis, known from Western Europe, than to other Early Cretaceous Iberian styracosternans (Delapparentia turolensis and Proa valdearinnoensis). The recognition of Morelladon beltrani gen. et sp. nov. indicates that the Iberian Peninsula was home to a highly diverse medium to large bodied styracosternan assemblage during the Early Cretaceous.

  5. A Cretaceous eutriconodont and integument evolution in early mammals.

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    Martin, Thomas; Marugán-Lobón, Jesús; Vullo, Romain; Martín-Abad, Hugo; Luo, Zhe-Xi; Buscalioni, Angela D

    2015-10-15

    The Mesozoic era (252-66 million years ago), known as the domain of dinosaurs, witnessed a remarkable ecomorphological diversity of early mammals. The key mammalian characteristics originated during this period and were prerequisite for their evolutionary success after extinction of the non-avian dinosaurs 66 million years ago. Many ecomorphotypes familiar to modern mammal fauna evolved independently early in mammalian evolutionary history. Here we report a 125-million-year-old eutriconodontan mammal from Spain with extraordinary preservation of skin and pelage that extends the record of key mammalian integumentary features into the Mesozoic era. The new mammalian specimen exhibits such typical mammalian features as pelage, mane, pinna, and a variety of skin structures: keratinous dermal scutes, protospines composed of hair-like tubules, and compound follicles with primary and secondary hairs. The skin structures of this new Mesozoic mammal encompass the same combination of integumentary features as those evolved independently in other crown Mammalia, with similarly broad structural variations as in extant mammals. Soft tissues in the thorax and abdomen (alveolar lungs and liver) suggest the presence of a muscular diaphragm. The eutriconodont has molariform tooth replacement, ossified Meckel's cartilage of the middle ear, and specialized xenarthrous articulations of posterior dorsal vertebrae, convergent with extant xenarthran mammals, which strengthened the vertebral column for locomotion.

  6. Micropaleontology and palaeoclimate during the early Cretaceous in the Lishu depression, Songliao basin, Northeast China

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    Wei Yan

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available Diverse and abundant microfossils, such as palynomorphs, algae and Ostracoda, were collected from lower Cretaceous strata of Lishu depression, located in southeastern Songliao basin, and were identified and classified in order to provide relevant, detailed records for paleoclimate research. The early Cretaceous vegetation and climate of southeastern Songliao basin have been inferred from the analysis of palynomorph genera, algae and Ostracoda of the LS1 and SW110 wells. The lower Cretaceous strata include, in ascending stratigraphic order, the Shahezi, Yingcheng and Denglouku formations. Palynological assemblages for each formation, based on biostratigraphic and statistical analyses, provide an assessment of their longitudinal variations. During deposition of the Shahezi Formation, the climate was mid-subtropical. Vegetation consisted of coniferous forest and herbage. During deposition of the Yingcheng Formation, the climate was south Asian tropical. Vegetation consisted mainly of coniferous forest and herbal shrub. In addition, fresh and saline non-marine water dominated the lacustrine setting during deposition of these formations. Deposition of the Denglouku Formation, however, occurred under a hot and dry tropical climate. The vegetation was mostly coniferous forest and lake waters became saline. Palaeoclimate variation is correlated by the lake level change and the development of sedimentary facies. Palaeoclimate contribute to the formation of hydrocarbon source rocks and reservoir.

  7. A diplodocid sauropod survivor from the early cretaceous of South America.

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    Pablo A Gallina

    Full Text Available Diplodocids are by far the most emblematic sauropod dinosaurs. They are part of Diplodocoidea, a vast clade whose other members are well-known from Jurassic and Cretaceous strata in Africa, Europe, North and South America. However, Diplodocids were never certainly recognized from the Cretaceous or in any other southern land mass besides Africa. Here we report a new sauropod, Leikupal laticauda gen. et sp. nov., from the early Lower Cretaceous (Bajada Colorada Formation of Neuquén Province, Patagonia, Argentina. This taxon differs from any other sauropod by the presence of anterior caudal transverse process extremely developed with lateroventral expansions reinforced by robust dorsal and ventral bars, very robust centroprezygapophyseal lamina in anterior caudal vertebra and paired pneumatic fossae on the postzygapophyses in anterior-most caudal vertebra. The phylogenetic analyses support its position not only within Diplodocidae but also as a member of Diplodocinae, clustering together with the African form Tornieria, pushing the origin of Diplodocoidea to the Middle Jurassic or even earlier. The new discovery represents the first record of a diplodocid for South America and the stratigraphically youngest record of this clade anywhere.

  8. The evolution of Early Cretaceous shallow-water carbonate platforms in times of frequent oceanic anoxia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Föllmi, Karl; Morales, Chloé; Stein, Melody; Bonvallet, Lucie; Antoine, Pictet

    2014-05-01

    The Early Cretaceous greenhouse world witnessed different episodes of pronounced paleoenvironmental change, which were associated with substantial shifts in the global carbon and phosphorus cycles. They impacted the growth of carbonate platforms on the shelf, lead to the development of widespread anoxic zones in deeper water, and influenced evolutionary pattern in general. A first phase (the Weissert episode) occurred during the Valanginian, which is indicated by a positive shift in the carbon-isotope record, widespread platform drowning, and evolutionary change. The spreading of anoxic conditions was limited to marginal basins and the positive change in carbon isotopes is linked to the storage of vegetal carbon in coal deposits rather than to organic matter in marine sediments. A second phase (the Faraoni episode) of important environmental change is observed near the end of the Hauterivian, where short and repetitive episodes of anoxia occurred in the Tethyan realm. This phase goes along with a decline in platform growth, but is barely documented in the carbon-isotope record. A third and most important episode (the Selli episode) took place in the early Aptian, and resulted in the widespread deposition of organic-rich sediments, a positive carbon-isotope excursion and the disappearance of Urgonian-type carbonate platforms. Often considered to represent short and singular events, these Early Cretaceous phases are in fact preceded by periods of warming, increased continental weathering, and increased nutrient throughput. These preludes in environmental change are important in that they put these three Early Cretaceous episodes into a longer-term, historic perspective, which allow us to better understand the mechanisms leading to these periods of pronounced global change.

  9. Early Cretaceous paleomagnetic results from Marie Byrd Land, West Antarctica: Implications for the Weddellia collage of crustal blocks

    Science.gov (United States)

    Divenere, Vic; Kent, Dennis V.; Dalziel, Ian W. D.

    1995-05-01

    A new approximately 117 Ma paleomagnetic pole has been defined from the study of volcanic and plutonic rocks from the eastern portion Marie Byrd Land (MBL). The new pole (185.6 deg E/56.8 deg S, A(sub 95) = 8.7 deg) implies that the eastern portion of MBL was an integral part of Weddellia, which included the ancestral Antarctic Peninsula, Thurston Island, and Ellsworth-Whitmore Mountains blocks of West Antarctica. This pole is generally similar to a approximately 125 Ma pole from Thurston Island. Both poles call for major clockwise rotation and poleward motion of eastern MBL and Thurston Island between the Early Cretaceous (125-117 Ma) and the mid-Cretaceous (110-100 Ma). We propose that in the Early Cretaceous, eastern MBL and the Eastern Province of New Zealand were part of a continuous active Pacific margin of Gondwana, connecting with the Antarctic Peninsula, and distinct from western MBL, the Western Province of New Zealand, and North Victoria Land. These western terranes are thought to have accreted to Gondwana in the Devonian. Eastern MBL and the Eastern Province of New Zealand amalgamated with western MBL and the Western Province of New Zealand by the mid-Cretaceous. Major Early Cretaceous motions of the Weddellia blocks postdate the estimated initiation of seafloor spreading in the Weddell Sea and therefore may be the result of plate reorganization during the Cretaceous Quiet Zone.

  10. Early Cretaceous ribbed aptychi - a proposal for a new systematic classification

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Měchová, L.; Vašíček, Zdeněk; Houša, Václav

    2010-01-01

    Roč. 85, č. 2 (2010), s. 219-274 ISSN 1214-1119 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z30860518; CEZ:AV0Z30130516 Keywords : Late Jurassic * J/K boundary * Early Cretaceous * aptychi Subject RIV: DB - Geology ; Mineralogy Impact factor: 1.202, year: 2010 http://apps.isiknowledge.com/full_record.do?product=WOS&search_mode=GeneralSearch&qid=6&SID=Z1P9aiFnKb7Ka2PiKmk&page=1&doc=2

  11. Early cretaceous zircon SHRIMP U-Pb age of the trachyte and its significances of the Gan-Hang belt

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Liu Feiyu; Wu Jianhua; Liu Shuai

    2009-01-01

    The Shixi basin was located at Gan-Hang tectonic volcanic uranium deposit of rock-magma belt which belong to a part of the Mesozoic volcanic rocks in the northeastern of China. The appearance of the trachyte in Shixi basin have the majoy elements characteristic of the shoshonite series volcanic rocks. To determine the geological age of trachyte have very important significance on the geodynamics research and the study on the cause of uranium mineralization. The zircons of the trachyte have clear ring and high Th/U ratio which belong to the typical magmatic zircons. The zircon SHRIMP U-Pb dating resules show that 14points' age range is very smaller is 132-144 Ma and the weighted average age is (137.00±0.94)Ma which represents the diagenetic age of volcanic rocks. Accronding to the latest International Stratigraphic Chart the boundary of Jurassic and Cretaceous is (145.4±4.0)Ma. So the trachyte of Shixi Group belong to early Cretaceous. The large-scale acidic volcanic activity occurred in the Early Cretaceous in Southeastern China, and the Volcanic uranium deposit of Gan-Hang tectonic belt relate to Alkali metasomatism Uranium mineralization also occurred in the Early Cretaceous (120-130 Ma). The determined of trachyte in Shixi Group in the Early Cretaceous show that the acidic volcanic activity have connection with magma activity and the early Uranium mineralization consistent with the Alkali magma activity. (authors)

  12. EVOLUTION. A four-legged snake from the Early Cretaceous of Gondwana.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martill, David M; Tischlinger, Helmut; Longrich, Nicholas R

    2015-07-24

    Snakes are a remarkably diverse and successful group today, but their evolutionary origins are obscure. The discovery of snakes with two legs has shed light on the transition from lizards to snakes, but no snake has been described with four limbs, and the ecology of early snakes is poorly known. We describe a four-limbed snake from the Early Cretaceous (Aptian) Crato Formation of Brazil. The snake has a serpentiform body plan with an elongate trunk, short tail, and large ventral scales suggesting characteristic serpentine locomotion, yet retains small prehensile limbs. Skull and body proportions as well as reduced neural spines indicate fossorial adaptation, suggesting that snakes evolved from burrowing rather than marine ancestors. Hooked teeth, an intramandibular joint, a flexible spine capable of constricting prey, and the presence of vertebrate remains in the guts indicate that this species preyed on vertebrates and that snakes made the transition to carnivory early in their history. The structure of the limbs suggests that they were adapted for grasping, either to seize prey or as claspers during mating. Together with a diverse fauna of basal snakes from the Cretaceous of South America, Africa, and India, this snake suggests that crown Serpentes originated in Gondwana. Copyright © 2015, American Association for the Advancement of Science.

  13. Molecular evidence of keratin and melanosomes in feathers of the Early Cretaceous bird Eoconfuciusornis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pan, Yanhong; Zheng, Wenxia; Moyer, Alison E; O'Connor, Jingmai K; Wang, Min; Zheng, Xiaoting; Wang, Xiaoli; Schroeter, Elena R; Zhou, Zhonghe; Schweitzer, Mary H

    2016-12-06

    Microbodies associated with feathers of both nonavian dinosaurs and early birds were first identified as bacteria but have been reinterpreted as melanosomes. Whereas melanosomes in modern feathers are always surrounded by and embedded in keratin, melanosomes embedded in keratin in fossils has not been demonstrated. Here we provide multiple independent molecular analyses of both microbodies and the associated matrix recovered from feathers of a new specimen of the basal bird Eoconfuciusornis from the Early Cretaceous Jehol Biota of China. Our work represents the oldest ultrastructural and immunological recognition of avian beta-keratin from an Early Cretaceous (∼130-Ma) bird. We apply immunogold to identify protein epitopes at high resolution, by localizing antibody-antigen complexes to specific fossil ultrastructures. Retention of original keratinous proteins in the matrix surrounding electron-opaque microbodies supports their assignment as melanosomes and adds to the criteria employable to distinguish melanosomes from microbial bodies. Our work sheds new light on molecular preservation within normally labile tissues preserved in fossils.

  14. Modern mammal origins: evolutionary grades in the Early Cretaceous of North America.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jacobs, L L; Winkler, D A; Murry, P A

    1989-07-01

    Major groups of modern mammals have their origins in the Mesozoic Era, yet the mammalian fossil record is generally poor for that time interval. Fundamental morphological changes that led to modern mammals are often represented by small samples of isolated teeth. Fortunately, functional wear facets on teeth allow prediction of the morphology of occluding teeth that may be unrepresented by fossils. A major step in mammalian evolution occurred in the Early Cretaceous with the evolution of tribosphenic molars, which characterize marsupials and placentals, the two most abundant and diverse extant groups of mammals. A tooth from the Early Cretaceous (110 million years before present) of Texas tests previous predictions (based on lower molars) of the morphology of upper molars in early tribosphenic dentitions. The lingual cusp (protocone) is primitively without shear facets, as expected, but the cheek side of the tooth is derived (advanced) in having distinctive cusps along the margin. The tooth, although distressingly inadequate to define many features of the organism, demonstrates unexpected morphological diversity at a strategic stage of mammalian evolution and falsifies previous claims of the earliest occurrence of true marsupials.

  15. A gravid lizard from the Cretaceous of China and the early history of squamate viviparity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Yuan; Evans, Susan E.

    2011-09-01

    Although viviparity is most often associated with mammals, roughly one fifth of extant squamate reptiles give birth to live young. Phylogenetic analyses indicate that the trait evolved more than 100 times within Squamata, a frequency greater than that of all other vertebrate clades combined. However, there is debate as to the antiquity of the trait and, until now, the only direct fossil evidence of squamate viviparity was in Late Cretaceous mosasauroids, specialised marine lizards without modern equivalents. Here, we document viviparity in a specimen of a more generalised lizard, Yabeinosaurus, from the Early Cretaceous of China. The gravid female contains more than 15 young at a level of skeletal development corresponding to that of late embryos of living viviparous lizards. This specimen documents the first occurrence of viviparity in a fossil reptile that was largely terrestrial in life, and extends the temporal distribution of the trait in squamates by at least 30 Ma. As Yabeinosaurus occupies a relatively basal position within crown-group squamates, it suggests that the anatomical and physiological preconditions for viviparity arose early within Squamata.

  16. Phylogenetic diversification of Early Cretaceous seed plants: The compound seed cone of Doylea tetrahedrasperma.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rothwell, Gar W; Stockey, Ruth A

    2016-05-01

    Discovery of cupulate ovules of Doylea tetrahedrasperma within a compact, compound seed cone highlights the rich diversity of fructification morphologies, pollination biologies, postpollination enclosure of seeds, and systematic diversity of Early Cretaceous gymnosperms. Specimens were studied using the cellulose acetate peel technique, three-dimensional reconstructions (in AVIZO), and morphological phylogenetic analyses (in TNT). Doylea tetrahedrasperma has bract/fertile short shoot complexes helically arranged within a compact, compound seed cone. Complexes diverge from the axis as a single unit and separate distally into a free bract tip and two sporophylls. Each sporophyll bears a single, abaxial seed, recurved toward the cone axis, that is enveloped after pollinaton by sporophyll tissue, forming a closed cupule. Ovules are pollinated by bisaccate grains captured by micropylar pollination horns. The unique combination of characters shown by D. tetrahedrasperma includes the presence of cupulate seeds borne in conifer-like compound seed cones, an ovuliferous scale analogue structurally equivalent to the ovulate stalk of Ginkgo biloba, gymnospermous pollination, and nearly complete enclosure of mature seeds. These features characterize the Doyleales ord. nov., clearly distinguish it from the seed fern order Corystospermales, and allow for recognition of another recently described Early Cretaceous seed plant as a second species in genus Doylea. A morphological phylogenetic analysis highlights systematic relationships of the Doyleales ord. nov. and emphasizes the explosive phylogenetic diversification of gymnosperms that was underway at the time when flowering plants may have originated and/or first began to radiate. © 2016 Botanical Society of America.

  17. Exploring Early Angiosperm Fire Feedbacks using Coupled Experiments and Modelling Approaches to Estimate Cretaceous Palaeofire Behaviour

    Science.gov (United States)

    Belcher, Claire; Hudpsith, Victoria

    2016-04-01

    Using the fossil record we are typically limited to exploring linkages between palaeoecological changes and palaeofire activity by assessing the abundance of charcoals preserved in sediments. However, it is the behaviour of fires that primarily governs their ecological effects. Therefore, the ability to estimate variations in aspects of palaeofire behaviour such as palaeofire intensity and rate of spread would be of key benefit toward understanding the coupled evolutionary history of ecosystems and fire. The Cretaceous Period saw major diversification in land plants. Previously, conifers (gymnosperms) and ferns (pteridophytes) dominated Earth's ecosystems until flowering plants (angiosperms) appear in the fossil record of the Early Cretaceous (~135Ma). We have created surface fire behaviour estimates for a variety of angiosperm invasion scenarios and explored the influence of Cretaceous superambient atmospheric oxygen levels on the fire behaviour occurring in these new Cretaceous ecosystems. These estimates are then used to explore the hypothesis that the early spread of the angiosperms was promoted by the novel fire regimes that they created. In order to achieve this we tested the flammability of Mesozoic analogue fuel types in controlled laboratory experiments using an iCone calorimeter, which measured the ignitability as well as the effective heat of combustion of the fuels. We then used the BehavePlus fire behaviour modelling system to scale up our laboratory results to the ecosystem scale. Our results suggest that fire-angiosperm feedbacks may have occurred in two phases: The first phase being a result of weedy angiosperms providing an additional easily ignitable fuel that enhanced both the seasonality and frequency of surface fires. In the second phase, the addition of shrubby understory fuels likely expanded the number of ecosystems experiencing more intense surface fires, resulting in enhanced mortality and suppressed post-fire recruitment of gymnosperms

  18. Insight on the anatomy, systematic relationships, and age of the Early Cretaceous ankylopollexian dinosaur Dakotadon lakotaensis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Clint A. Boyd

    2015-09-01

    Full Text Available Knowledge regarding the early evolution within the dinosaurian clade Ankylopollexia drastically increased over the past two decades, in part because of an increase in described taxa from the Early Cretaceous of North America. These advances motivated the recent completion of extensive preparation and conservation work on the holotype and only known specimen of Dakotadon lakotaensis, a basal ankylopollexian from the Lakota Formation of South Dakota. That specimen (SDSM 8656 preserves a partial skull, lower jaws, a single dorsal vertebra, and two caudal vertebrae. That new preparation work exposed several bones not included in the original description and revealed that other bones were previously misidentified. The presence of extensive deformation in areas of the skull is also noted that influenced inaccuracies in prior descriptions and reconstructions of this taxon. In addition to providing an extensive re-description of D. lakotaensis, this study reviews previously proposed diagnoses for this taxon, identifies two autapomorphies, and provides an extensive differential diagnosis. Dakotadon lakotaensis is distinct from the only other ankylopollexian taxon known from the Lakota Formation, Osmakasaurus depressus, in the presence of two prominent, anteroposteriorly oriented ridges on the ventral surfaces of the caudal vertebrae, the only overlapping material preserved between these taxa. The systematic relationships of D. lakotaensis are evaluated using both the parsimony and posterior probability optimality criteria, with both sets of analyses recovering D. lakotaensis as a non-hadrosauriform ankylopollexian that is more closely related to taxa from the Early Cretaceous (e.g., Iguanacolossus, Hippodraco, and Theiophytalia than to more basally situated taxa from the Jurassic (e.g., Camptosaurus, Uteodon. This taxonomic work is supplemented by field work that relocated the type locality, confirming its provenance from unit L2 (lower Fuson Member

  19. The earliest evidence for a supraorbital salt gland in dinosaurs in new Early Cretaceous ornithurines.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Xia; Huang, Jiandong; Hu, Yuanchao; Liu, Xiaoyu; Peteya, Jennifer; Clarke, Julia A

    2018-03-05

    Supraorbital fossae occur when salt glands are well developed, a condition most pronounced in marine and desert-dwelling taxa in which salt regulation is key. Here, we report the first specimens from lacustrine environments of the Jehol Biota that preserve a distinct fossa above the orbit, where the salt gland fossa is positioned in living birds. The Early Cretaceous ornithurine bird specimens reported here are about 40 million years older than previously reported Late Cretaceous marine birds and represent the earliest described occurrence of the fossa. We find no evidence of avian salt gland fossae in phylogenetically earlier stem birds or non-avialan dinosaurs, even in those argued to be predominantly marine or desert dwelling. The apparent absence of this feature in more basal dinosaurs may indicate that it is only after miniaturization close to the origin of flight that excretory mechanisms were favored over exclusively renal mechanisms of salt regulation resulting in an increase in gland size leaving a bony trace. The ecology of ornithurine birds is more diverse than in other stem birds and may have included seasonal shifts in foraging range, or, the environments of some of the Jehol lakes may have included more pronounced periods of high salinity.

  20. Early and late cretaceous magmatism from Sao Sebastiao island (SE-Brazil): geochemistry and petrology

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bellieni, G.; Cavazzini, G.; Montes-Lauar, C.R.; Melfi, A.J.; Pacca, I.G.; De Min, A.; Piccirillo, E.M.

    1990-01-01

    The Sao Sebastiao island (236 km 2 ), located along the coast of the Sao Paulo State (Southern Brazil), is characterized by precambrian granitic affected by the Brasiliano tectonic-metamorphic cycle. This crystalline basement is intruded by Early Cretaceous (EC) sub alkaline basic and acid dykes, as well as by Late Cretaceous (LC) alkaline stocks (syenites) and dykes (basanite to phonolite). Geochemical, Sr-isotopic and mineral chemistry data point out that: EC-dykes reveal a basic-acid bimodal character, similar to that of the 'coeval' Parana basin flood volcanics; the acid dykes correspond, in composition, to the acid volcanics of the northern Parana basin: the EC-dykes can represent the eastern extension of the inland Santos-Rio de Janeiro dyke swarm, and LC alkaline stocks and dykes constitute distinct groups, characterized by different Sr-isotope initial ratios (syenites: av. 0.7052 and basanites + tephrites = av. 0.7045), which indicate that they are related to different time-integrated mantle source materials. (author)

  1. Basement control in the development of the early cretaceous West and Central African rift system

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maurin, Jean-Christophe; Guiraud, René

    1993-12-01

    The structural framework of the Precambrian basement of the West and Central African Rift System (WCARS) is described in order to examine the role of ancient structures in the development of this Early Cretaceous rift system. Basement structures are represented in the region by large Pan-African mobile belts (built at ca. 600 Ma) surrounding the > 2 Ga West African, Congo and Sao Francisco cratons. Except for the small Gao trough (eastern Mali) located near the contact nappe of the Pan-African Iforas suture zone along the edge of the West African craton, the entire WCARS is located within the internal domains of the Pan-African mobile belts. Within these domains, two main structural features occur as the main basement control of the WCARS: (1) an extensive network of near vertical shear zones which trend north-south through the Congo, Brazil, Nigeria, Niger and Algeria, and roughly east-west through northeastern Brazil and Central Africa. The shear zones correspond to intra-continental strike-slip faults which accompanied the oblique collision between the West African, Congo, and Sao Francisco cratons during the Late Proterozoic; (2) a steep metamorphic NW-SE-trending belt which corresponds to a pre-Pan-African (ca. 730 Ma) ophiolitic suture zone along the eastern edge of the Trans-Saharian mobile belt. The post-Pan-African magmatic and tectonic evolution of the basement is also described in order to examine the state of the lithosphere prior to the break-up which occurred in the earliest Cretaceous. After the Pan-African thermo-tectonic event, the basement of the WCARS experienced a long period of intra-plate magmatic activity. This widespread magmatism in part relates to the activity of intra-plate hotspots which have controlled relative uplift, subsidence and occasionally block faulting. During the Paleozoic and the early Mesozoic, this tectonic activity was restricted to west of the Hoggar, west of Aïr and northern Cameroon. During the Late Jurassic-Early

  2. Vertebrate assemblages from the early Late Cretaceous of southeastern Morocco: An overview

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cavin, L.; Tong, H.; Boudad, L.; Meister, C.; Piuz, A.; Tabouelle, J.; Aarab, M.; Amiot, R.; Buffetaut, E.; Dyke, G.; Hua, S.; Le Loeuff, J.

    2010-07-01

    Fossils of vertebrates have been found in great abundance in the continental and marine early Late Cretaceous sediments of Southeastern Morocco for more than 50 years. About 80 vertebrate taxa have so far been recorded from this region, many of which were recognised and diagnosed for the first time based on specimens recovered from these sediments. In this paper, we use published data together with new field data to present an updated overview of Moroccan early Late Cretaceous vertebrate assemblages. The Cretaceous series we have studied encompasses three Formations, the Ifezouane and Aoufous Formations, which are continental and deltaic in origin and are often grouped under the name "Kem Kem beds", and the Akrabou Formation which is marine in origin. New field observations allow us to place four recognised vertebrate clusters, corresponding to one compound assemblage and three assemblages, within a general temporal framework. In particular, two ammonite bioevents characterise the lower part of the Upper Cenomanian ( Calycoceras guerangeri Zone) at the base of the Akrabou Formation and the upper part of the Lower Turonian ( Mammites nodosoides Zone), that may extend into the Middle Turonian within the Akrabou Formation, and allow for more accurate dating of the marine sequence in the study area. We are not yet able to distinguish a specific assemblage that characterises the Ifezouane Formation when compared to the similar Aoufous Formation, and as a result we regard the oldest of the four vertebrate "assemblages" in this region to be the compound assemblage of the "Kem Kem beds". This well-known vertebrate assemblage comprises a mixture of terrestrial (and aerial), freshwater and brackish vertebrates. The archosaur component of this fauna appears to show an intriguingly high proportion of large-bodied carnivorous taxa, which may indicate a peculiar trophic chain, although collecting biases alter this palaeontological signal. A small and restricted assemblage, the

  3. Palaeomagnetic time and space constraints of the Early Cretaceous Rhenodanubian Flysch zone (Eastern Alps)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dallanave, Edoardo; Kirscher, Uwe; Hauck, Jürgen; Hesse, Reinhard; Bachtadse, Valerian; Wortmann, Ulrich Georg

    2018-06-01

    The Rhenodanubian Flysch zone (RDF) is a Lower Cretaceous-lower Palaeocene turbidite succession extending for ˜500 km from the Danube at Vienna to the Rhine Valley (Eastern Alps). It consists of calcareous and siliciclastic turbidite systems deposited in a trench abyssal plain. The age of deposition has been estimated through micropalaeontologic dating. However, palaeomagnetic studies constraining the age and the palaeolatitude of deposition of the RDF are still missing. Here, we present palaeomagnetic data from the Early Cretaceous Tristel and Rehbreingraben Formations of the RDF from two localities in the Bavarian Alps (Rehbrein Creek and Lainbach Valley, southern Germany), and from the stratigraphic equivalent of the Falknis Nappe (Liechtenstein). The quality of the palaeomagnetic signal has been assessed by either fold test (FT) or reversal test (RT). Sediments from the Falknis Nappe are characterized by a pervasive syntectonic magnetic overprint as tested by negative FT, and are thus excluded from the study. The sediments of the Rehbreingraben Formation at Rehbrein Creek, with positive RT, straddle magnetic polarity Chron M0r and the younger M΄-1r΄ reverse event, with an age of ˜127-123 Ma (late Barremian-early Aptian). At Lainbach Valley, no polarity reversals have been observed, but a positive FT gives confidence on the reliability of the data. The primary palaeomagnetic directions, after correction for inclination shallowing, allow to precisely constrain the depositional palaeolatitude of the Tristel and Rehbreingraben Formations around ˜28°N. In a palaeogeographic reconstruction of the Alpine Tethys at the Barremian/Aptian boundary, the RDF is located on the western margin of the Briançonnais terrain, which was separated from the European continent by the narrow Valais Ocean.

  4. Growth ring analysis of fossil coniferous woods from early cretaceous of Araripe Basin (Brazil

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Etiene F. Pires

    2011-06-01

    Full Text Available Growth ring analysis on silicified coniferous woods from the Missão Velha Formation (Araripe Basin - Brazil has yielded important information about periodicity of wood production during the Early Cretaceous in the equatorial belt. Despite warm temperatures, dendrological data indicate that the climate was characterized by cyclical alternation of dry and rainy periods influenced by cyclical precipitations, typical of tropical wet and dry or savanna climate. The abundance of false growth rings can be attributed to both occasional droughts and arthropod damage. The present climate data agree with palaeoclimatic models that inferred summer-wet biomes for the Late Jurassic/Early Cretaceous boundary in the southern equatorial belt.A partir de análise de anéis de crescimento em lenhos de coníferas silicificadas provenientes da Formação Missão Velha(Bacia do Araripe - Brasil, obteve-se importantes informações a respeito da periodicidade de produção lenhosa duranteo início do Cretáceo, na região do equador. Apesar das estimativas de temperatura apresentarem-se elevadas, os dados dendrológicos indicam que o clima foi caracterizado pela alternância cíclica de períodos secos e chuvosos, influenciado por precipitações periódicas, típico das condições atuais de climatropical úmido e seco ou savana. A abundância de falsosanéis de crescimento pode ser atribuída tanto a secas ocasionais quanto a danos causados por artrópodes. Os dados paleoclimáticos aqui obtidos corroboram com modelos paleoclimáticos que inferem a ocorrência de um bioma de verões úmidos para o limite Neojurássico/Eocretáceo ao sul do equador.

  5. Early evolution of the angiosperm clade Asteraceae in the Cretaceous of Antarctica.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barreda, Viviana D; Palazzesi, Luis; Tellería, Maria C; Olivero, Eduardo B; Raine, J Ian; Forest, Félix

    2015-09-01

    The Asteraceae (sunflowers and daisies) are the most diverse family of flowering plants. Despite their prominent role in extant terrestrial ecosystems, the early evolutionary history of this family remains poorly understood. Here we report the discovery of a number of fossil pollen grains preserved in dinosaur-bearing deposits from the Late Cretaceous of Antarctica that drastically pushes back the timing of assumed origin of the family. Reliably dated to ∼76-66 Mya, these specimens are about 20 million years older than previously known records for the Asteraceae. Using a phylogenetic approach, we interpreted these fossil specimens as members of an extinct early diverging clade of the family, associated with subfamily Barnadesioideae. Based on a molecular phylogenetic tree calibrated using fossils, including the ones reported here, we estimated that the most recent common ancestor of the family lived at least 80 Mya in Gondwana, well before the thermal and biogeographical isolation of Antarctica. Most of the early diverging lineages of the family originated in a narrow time interval after the K/P boundary, 60-50 Mya, coinciding with a pronounced climatic warming during the Late Paleocene and Early Eocene, and the scene of a dramatic rise in flowering plant diversity. Our age estimates reduce earlier discrepancies between the age of the fossil record and previous molecular estimates for the origin of the family, bearing important implications in the evolution of flowering plants in general.

  6. A large parasitengonid mite (Acari, Erythraeoidea from the Early Cretaceous Crato Formation of Brazil

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    J. A. Dunlop

    2007-08-01

    Full Text Available A new large, fossil mite (Arachnida: Acari, Pararainbowia martilli n. gen. n. sp., is described from the Early Cretaceous (Aptian Crato Formation from Ceará State, Brazil. It is assigned to the Cohort Parasitengona and the superfamily Erythraeoidea, some extant members of which can reach up to seven millimetres in body length. Given that doubts have been raised about the identity of putative Crato feather mite eggs, this new fossil represents the first unequivocal record of Acari from the Crato Formation, the first non-amber record of an erythraeoid mite and the oldest named example of this superfamily. Fossil erythraeoids from Mesozoic and Tertiary ambers are briefly reviewed – including a widely overlooked Late Cretaceous species – with comments on Mesozoic mites in general. Thirteen Baltic amber erythraeoids have been formally described, but much unstudied material from various amber sources remains. Ein neues großes Milbenfossil (Arachnida: Acari, Pararainbowia martilli n. gen. n. sp., wird aus der Crato Formation (Unterkreide, Aptium des Ceará Gebietes in Brasilien beschrieben. Es wird der Kohorte Parasitengona und der Überfamilie Erythraeoidea zugeordnet; die modernen Vertreter erreichen eine Körperlänge bis zu sieben mm. Weil die Identität von Federmilbeneiern aus der Crato Formation in Frage gestellt wurde, ist dieser Neufund der erste klare Hinweis von Acari aus der Crato Formation. Es ist die erste erythraeoide Milbe, die nicht aus dem Bernstein stammt sowie das älteste genannte Beispiel dieser Überfamilie. Fossile erythraeoide Milben aus dem Bernstein des Mesozoikum und des Tertiärs werden kurz zusammengefasst – u. a. eine weitgehend übersehene Art aus der Oberkreide – mit allgemeinen Anmerkungen zu den mesozoischen Milben. Dreizehn erythraeoide Milbenarten sind aus dem baltischen Bernstein genannt und beschrieben worden, aber weiteres unbearbeitetes Material von verschiedenen Bernstein-Fundpunkten liegt noch vor

  7. Expression of putative immune response genes during early ontogeny in the coral Acropora millepora.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Eneour Puill-Stephan

    Full Text Available Corals, like many other marine invertebrates, lack a mature allorecognition system in early life history stages. Indeed, in early ontogeny, when corals acquire and establish associations with various surface microbiota and dinoflagellate endosymbionts, they do not efficiently distinguish between closely and distantly related individuals from the same population. However, very little is known about the molecular components that underpin allorecognition and immunity responses or how they change through early ontogeny in corals.Patterns in the expression of four putative immune response genes (apextrin, complement C3, and two CELIII type lectin genes were examined in juvenile colonies of Acropora millepora throughout a six-month post-settlement period using quantitative real-time PCR (qPCR. Expression of a CELIII type lectin gene peaked in the fourth month for most of the coral juveniles sampled and was significantly higher at this time than at any other sampling time during the six months following settlement. The timing of this increase in expression levels of putative immune response genes may be linked to allorecognition maturation which occurs around this time in A. millepora. Alternatively, the increase may represent a response to immune challenges, such as would be involved in the recognition of symbionts (such as Symbiodinium spp. or bacteria during winnowing processes as symbioses are fine-tuned.Our data, although preliminary, are consistent with the hypothesis that lectins may play an important role in the maturation of allorecognition responses in corals. The co-expression of lectins with apextrin during development of coral juveniles also raises the possibility that these proteins, which are components of innate immunity in other invertebrates, may influence the innate immune systems of corals through a common pathway or system. However, further studies investigating the expression of these genes in alloimmune-challenged corals are

  8. Expression of putative immune response genes during early ontogeny in the coral Acropora millepora.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Puill-Stephan, Eneour; Seneca, François O; Miller, David J; van Oppen, Madeleine J H; Willis, Bette L

    2012-01-01

    Corals, like many other marine invertebrates, lack a mature allorecognition system in early life history stages. Indeed, in early ontogeny, when corals acquire and establish associations with various surface microbiota and dinoflagellate endosymbionts, they do not efficiently distinguish between closely and distantly related individuals from the same population. However, very little is known about the molecular components that underpin allorecognition and immunity responses or how they change through early ontogeny in corals. Patterns in the expression of four putative immune response genes (apextrin, complement C3, and two CELIII type lectin genes) were examined in juvenile colonies of Acropora millepora throughout a six-month post-settlement period using quantitative real-time PCR (qPCR). Expression of a CELIII type lectin gene peaked in the fourth month for most of the coral juveniles sampled and was significantly higher at this time than at any other sampling time during the six months following settlement. The timing of this increase in expression levels of putative immune response genes may be linked to allorecognition maturation which occurs around this time in A. millepora. Alternatively, the increase may represent a response to immune challenges, such as would be involved in the recognition of symbionts (such as Symbiodinium spp. or bacteria) during winnowing processes as symbioses are fine-tuned. Our data, although preliminary, are consistent with the hypothesis that lectins may play an important role in the maturation of allorecognition responses in corals. The co-expression of lectins with apextrin during development of coral juveniles also raises the possibility that these proteins, which are components of innate immunity in other invertebrates, may influence the innate immune systems of corals through a common pathway or system. However, further studies investigating the expression of these genes in alloimmune-challenged corals are needed to further

  9. The Jurassic-early Cretaceous Ilo batholith of southern coastal Peru: geology, geochronology and geochemistry

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boekhout, Flora; Sempere, Thierry; Spikings, Richard; Schaltegger, Urs

    2010-05-01

    The Ilo batholith (17°00 - 18°30 S) crops out in an area of about 20 by 100 km, along the coast of southern Peru. This batholith is emplaced into the ‘Chocolate‘ Formation of late Permian to middle Jurassic age, which consists of more than 1000 m of basaltic and andesitic lavas, with interbedded volcanic agglomerates and breccias. The Ilo Batholith is considered to be a rarely exposed fragment of the Jurassic arc in Peru. Our aim is to reconstruct the magmatic evolution of this batholith, and place it within the context of long-lasting magma genesis along the active Andean margin since the Paleozoic. Sampling for dating and geochemical analyses was carried out along several cross sections through the batholith that were exposed by post-intrusion eastward tilting of 20-30°. Sparse previous work postulates early to middle Jurassic and partially early Cretaceous emplacement, on the basis of conventional K/Ar and 40Ar/39Ar dating methods in the Ilo area. Twenty new U-Pb zircon ages (LA-ICP-MS and CA-ID-TIMS) accompanied by geochemical data suggests the Ilo batholith formed via the amalgamation of middle Jurassic and early Cretaceous, subduction-related plutons. Preliminary Hf isotope studies reveal a primitive mantle source for middle Jurassic intrusions. Additional Sr, Nd and Hf isotope analyses are planned to further resolve the source regions of different pulses of plutonic activity. We strongly suggest that batholith emplacement was at least partly coeval with the emplacement of the late Permian to middle Jurassic Chocolate Formation, which was deposited in an extensional tectonic regime. Our age results and geochemical signature fit into the scheme of episodic emplacement of huge amounts of subduction related magmatism that is observed throughout the whole Andean event, particularly during the middle Jurassic onset of the first Andean cycle (southern Peru, northern Chile and southern Argentina). Although the exact geodynamic setting remains to be precisely

  10. A new crested pterosaur from the Early Cretaceous of Spain: the first European tapejarid (Pterodactyloidea: Azhdarchoidea.

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    Romain Vullo

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: The Tapejaridae is a group of unusual toothless pterosaurs characterized by bizarre cranial crests. From a paleoecological point of view, frugivorous feeding habits have often been suggested for one of its included clades, the Tapejarinae. So far, the presence of these intriguing flying reptiles has been unambiguously documented from Early Cretaceous sites in China and Brazil, where pterosaur fossils are less rare and fragmentary than in similarly-aged European strata. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Europejara olcadesorum gen. et sp. nov. is diagnosed by a unique combination of characters including an unusual caudally recurved dentary crest. It represents the oldest known member of Tapejaridae and the oldest known toothless pterosaur. The new taxon documents the earliest stage of the acquisition of this anatomical feature during the evolutionary history of the Pterodactyloidea. This innovation may have been linked to the development of new feeding strategies. CONCLUSION/SIGNIFICANCE: The discovery of Europejara in the Barremian of the Iberian Peninsula reveals an earlier and broader global distribution of tapejarids, suggesting a Eurasian origin of this group. It adds to the poorly known pterosaur fauna of the Las Hoyas locality and contributes to a better understanding of the paleoecology of this Konservat-Lagerstätte. Finally, the significance of a probable contribution of tapejarine tapejarids to the early angiosperm dispersal is discussed.

  11. Laser Fluorescence Illuminates the Soft Tissue and Life Habits of the Early Cretaceous Bird Confuciusornis.

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    Amanda R Falk

    Full Text Available In this paper we report the discovery of non-plumage soft tissues in Confuciusornis, a basal beaked bird from the Early Cretaceous Jehol Biota in northeastern China. Various soft tissues are visualized and interpreted through the use of laser-stimulated fluorescence, providing much novel anatomical information about this early bird, specifically reticulate scales covering the feet, and the well-developed and robust pro- and postpatagium. We also include a direct comparison between the forelimb soft tissues of Confuciusornis and modern avian patagia. Furthermore, apparently large, fleshy phalangeal pads are preserved on the feet. The reticulate scales, robust phalangeal pads as well as the highly recurved pedal claws strongly support Confuciusornis as an arboreal bird. Reticulate scales are more rounded than scutate scales and do not overlap, thus allowing for more flexibility in the toe. The extent of the pro- and postpatagium and the robust primary feather rachises are evidence that Confuciusornis was capable of powered flight, contrary to previous reports suggesting otherwise. A unique avian wing shape is also reconstructed based on plumage preserved. These soft tissues combined indicate an arboreal bird with the capacity for short-term (non-migratory flight, and suggest that, although primitive, Confuciusornis already possessed many relatively advanced avian anatomical characteristics.

  12. Geomagnetic Reversals of the Late Jurassic and Early Cretaceous Captured in a North China Core

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kuhn, T.; Fu, R. R.; Kent, D. V.; Olsen, P. E.

    2016-12-01

    The Tuchengzi formation in North China nominally spans nearly 20 million years of the Late Jurassic and Early Cretaceous, an interval during which age calibration of the Geomagnetic Polarity Time Scale (GPTS) based on seafloor magnetic anomalies is poorly known. The overlying Yixian formation is of special paleontological interest due to an abundance of spectacularly preserved macrofossils of feathered non-avian dinosaurs, birds, mammals, and insects. Scarce fossils in the Tuchengzi, sparse accurate radiometric dates on both the Tuchengzi and overlying Yixian formation, and scant previous paleomagnetic studies on these formations motivated our application of magnetostratigraphy as a geochronological tool. We constructed a geomagnetic reversal sequence from the upper 142m of a 200m core extracted in Liaoning Province at Huangbanjigou spanning the lower Yixian Formation and the unconformably underlying Tuchengzi Formation. Thermal demagnetization up to 680°C in steps of 25-50°C revealed predominantly normal overprints consistent with the modern day field with unblocking temperatures between 125°C and as high as 550°C, as well as normal and reverse characteristic components with unblocking temperatures between 500°C and 680°C. Going up from the base of the core, there is a reverse polarity magnetozone >6m thick, followed by a 5m normal magnetozone, a 10m reverse magnetozone, a 25m normal magnetozone, and a 6m reverse magnetozone truncated by the Yixian-Tuchengzi unconformity. Above the unconformity, all 81m of core were normal. These results indicate that a meaningful polarity stratigraphy can be recovered from the Tuchengzi and Yixian formations that will be invaluable for correlations across the Tuchengzi and potentially the Yixian formations, which span thousands of square kilometers and vary in thickness by many hundreds of meters. The results also demonstrate that, in combination with accurate and precise radiometric dates, the Tuchengzi Formation has the

  13. Post-early cretaceous landform evolution along the western margin of the banca~nnia trough, western nsw

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gibson, D.L.

    2000-01-01

    Previously undated post-Devonian sediments outcropping north of Fowlers Gap station near the western margin of the Bancannia Trough are shown by plant macro- and microfossil determinations to be of Early Cretaceous (most likely Neocomian and/or Aptian) age, and thus part of the Eromanga Basin. They are assigned to the previously defined Telephone Creek Formation. Study of the structural configuration of this unit and the unconformably underlying Devonian rocks suggests that the gross landscape architecture of the area results from post-Early Cretaceous monoclinal folding along blind faults at the western margin of the trough, combined with the effects of differential erosion. This study shows that, while landscape evolution in the area has been dynamic, the major changes that have occurred are on a geological rather than human timescale.

  14. Early Cretaceous marine sediments of the Lower Saxony Basin. The Gildehaus Sandstone

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Dellepiane, S.; Weiel, D. [Wintershall Holding GmbH, Barnstorf (Germany); Gerwert, D.; Mutterlose, J. [Bochum Univ. (Germany). Inst. fuer Geologie, Mineralogie und Geophysik

    2013-08-01

    During the Early Cretaceous (Berriasian - Aptian) the Lower Saxony Basin (LSB) formed the southernmost extension of the North Sea Basin. Sedimentation patterns of the LSB were controlled by divergent dextral shear movement causing differential subsidence related to early rifting in the North Sea. Up to 2000m of fine grained mudstones accumulated in the basin centre, while marginal marine, coarser grained siliciclastics were deposited along the western and southern margins of the LSB. The western marginal facies, outcropping along the Dutch-German border, is characterised by shallow marine sandstones of Valanginian - Hauterivian age. These units, which are separated by clay rich intervals, include the Bentheim Sdst., the Dichotomites Sdst., the Grenz Sdst., the Noricum Sdst. and the Gildehaus Sdst. These sandstones form a series of overall backstepping units, controlled by a main transgressive trend. Economically important are the Bentheim Sdst. and the Gildehaus Sdst., with a long oil producing history. The Bentheim Sdst. (early Valanginian) has been interpreted as an overall retrograding unit related to an incised valley infill with material mainly coming from the South. Tidal processes dominated the deposition of the Bentheim Sdst. The origin and genesis of the Gildehaus Sdst. (mid Hauterivian) is, however, less well understood. Here we present data from two wells drilled to the Gildehaus Sdst. (Emlichheim oil field) which provide evidence for a two fold subdivision of the unit. A well sorted massive quartz sandstone is followed by an interval composed of reworked coarse clastics of massflow origin. Micropalaeontological evidence suggests a fully marine, hemi-pelagic origin of the mud dominated matrix throughout the Gildehaus Sdst. These findings indicate a depositional environment quite different from that of the Bentheim Sdst. Short termed pulses of substantial input of clastic material from two different sources in the West to Southwest punctuated the overall

  15. Early cretaceous Obernirchen and Bentheim sandstones from Germany used as dimension stone in the Netherlands: geology physical properties, architectural use and comparative weathering

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Dubelaar, C.W.; Nijland, T.G.

    2015-01-01

    The Netherlands, with only scarce occurrences of outcropping or shallow buried natural stone, has over centuries imported huge quantities of Early Cretaceous Bentheim Sandstone and Obernkirchen Sandstone from Germany. The present paper provides an overview of their distribution and properties

  16. Previously Unrecognized Ornithuromorph Bird Diversity in the Early Cretaceous Changma Basin, Gansu Province, Northwestern China

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Ya-Ming; O'Connor, Jingmai K.; Li, Da-Qing; You, Hai-Lu

    2013-01-01

    Here we report on three new species of ornithuromorph birds from the Lower Cretaceous Xiagou Formation in the Changma Basin of Gansu Province, northwestern China: Yumenornis huangi gen. et sp. nov., Changmaornis houi gen. et sp. nov., and Jiuquanornis niui gen. et sp. nov.. The last of these is based on a previously published but unnamed specimen: GSGM-05-CM-021. Although incomplete, the specimens can be clearly distinguished from each other and from Gansus yumenensis Hou and Liu, 1984. Phylogenetic analysis resolves the three new taxa as basal ornithuromorphs. This study reveals previously unrecognized ornithuromorph diversity in the Changma avifauna, which is largely dominated by Gansus but with at least three other ornithuromorphs. Body mass estimates demonstrate that enantiornithines were much smaller than ornithuromorphs in the Changma avifauna. In addition, Changma enantiornithines preserve long and recurved pedal unguals, suggesting an arboreal lifestyle; in contrast, Changma ornithuromorphs tend to show terrestrial or even aquatic adaptions. Similar differences in body mass and ecology are also observed in the Jehol avifauna in northeastern China, suggesting niche partitioning between these two clades developed early in their evolutionary history. PMID:24147058

  17. Trap architecture of the Early Cretaceous Sarir Sandstone in the eastern Sirt Basin, Libya

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Gras, R. [Schlumberger GeoQuest, Cedex (France); Thusu, B. [Arabian Gulf Oil Company, Benghazi (Libyan Arab Jamahiriya)

    1998-12-31

    The Sarir Sandstone is the principal reservoir for oil accumulations in the eastern Sirt Basin in Libya. The main phase of the rifting in this area took place in the Late Jurassic-Early Cretaceous, during which time the Sarir Sandstone was deposited as a non-marine, intra-continental clastic syn-rift sequence. Although successfully explored from 1959 onwards, the prolific eastern Sirt Basin is in a relatively immature stage of exploration regarding wildcat drilling and 3D seismic data acquisition. The most recent phase of exploration, utilizing 3D seismic techniques, revealed a complex structural development. The trap geometries are often related to E-W trending, basement-controlled fault systems, oblique to the NNW-SSE Sirt Basin trend. The fault systems were active during the Sarir Sandstone deposition, giving rise to structural as well as combined structural-traps. An increased understanding of trap architecture has led to both re-evaluation of older fields and new discoveries. (author)

  18. Late Jurassic–Early Cretaceous oysters from Siberia: A systematic review

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Igor N. Kosenko

    2017-11-01

    Full Text Available The present study reviews the taxonomy of Late Jurassic–Early Cretaceous oysters from the Northern and the Subpolar Urals (Western Siberia and northern East Siberia. Previous studies have documented 10 species from the genus Liostrea (L. delta, L. cucurbita, L. praeanabarensis, L. anabarensis, L. plastica, L. gibberosa, L. planoconvexa, L. siberica, L. uralensis, L. lyapinensis, and 3 species from the genus Gryphaea (G. borealis and 2 species in open nomenclature. Liostrea gibberosa, L. planoconvexa, L. uralensis, and L. cucurbita are transferred in this study to the genus Pernostrea. Furthermore, two new species of Pernostrea are described: P. mesezhnikovi sp. nov. and P.? robusta sp. nov. Liostrea siberica is transferred to the genus Praeexogyra. Liostrea praeanabarensis and L. anabarensis are attributed to the subgenus Boreiodeltoideum (genus Deltoideum as well as L. delta sensu Zakharov (1966 which is described here as new species Deltoideum (Boreiodeltoideum borealis sp. nov. The similar shell morphology of the genera Deltoideum and Pernostrea provides a basis to establish the new tribe Pernostreini trib. nov. in the subfamily Gryphaeinae. Three species are recorded for the first time from Siberia: Nanogyra? cf. thurmanni, “Ostrea” cf. moreana and Gryphaea (Gryphaea curva.

  19. Petrogenesis of early cretaceous silicic volcanism in SE Uruguay. The role of mantle and crustal sources

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Lustrino, Michele; Morbidelli, Lucio; Marrazzo, Marianna; Melluso, Leone; Brotzu, Pietro; Tassinari, Colombo C.G.; Gomes, Celso B.; Ruberti, Excelso

    2010-01-01

    Early Cretaceous (∼129 Ma) silicic rocks crop out in SE Uruguay between the Laguna Merin and Santa Lucia basins in the Lascano, Sierra Sao Miguel, Salamanca and Minas areas. They are mostly rhyolites with minor quartz-trachytes and are nearly contemporaneous with the Parana-Etendeka igneous province and with the first stages of South Atlantic Ocean opening. A strong geochemical variability (particularly evident from Rb/Nb, Nb/Y trace element ratios) and a wide range of Sr-Nd isotopic ratios ( 143 Nd/ 144 Nd (129) =0.51178-0.51209; 87 Sr/ 86 Sr (129) =0.70840-0.72417) characterize these rocks. Geochemistry allows to distinguish two compositional groups, corresponding to the north-eastern (Lascano and Sierra Sao Miguel, emplaced on the Neo-Proterozoic southern sector of the Dom Feliciano mobile belt) and south-eastern localities (Salamanca, Minas, emplaced on the much older (Archean) Nico Perez terrane or on the boundary between the Dom Feliciano and Nico Perez terranes). These compositional differences between the two groups are explained by variable mantle source and crust contributions. The origin of the silicic magmas is best explained by complex processes involving assimilation and fractional crystallization and mixing of a basaltic magma with upper crustal lithologies, for Lascano and Sierra Sao Miguel rhyolites. In the Salamanca and Minas rocks genesis, a stronger contribution from lower crust is indicated. (author)

  20. Glendonites as a paleoenvironmental tool: Implications for early Cretaceous high latitudinal climates in Australia

    Science.gov (United States)

    De Lurio, Jennifer L.; Frakes, L. A.

    1999-04-01

    Glendonites, calcite pseudomorphs after the metastable mineral ikaite (CaCO 3 · 6H 2O), occur in the Late Aptian interval of the Bulldog Shale in the Eromanga Basin, Australia and in other Early Cretaceous basins at high paleolatitudes. Ikaite precipitation in the marine environment requires near-freezing temperatures (not higher than 4°C), high alkalinity, increased levels of orthophosphate, and high P CO2. The rapid and complete transformation of ikaite to calcite at temperatures between 5 and 8°C provides an upper limit on the oxygen isotopic composition of the pore waters: -2.6 ikaite precipitation. Data previously reported as 11 to 16°C (assuming δ w = 0.0‰SMOW) yield paleotemperatures ranging from -1 to 5°C, squarely in the range of ikaite stability. The low δ w indicates hyposaline conditions, most likely caused by mixing high latitude meteoric waters with seawater. The 18O depleted, low temperature waters suggest that the region was at least seasonally colder than previously accepted.

  1. Metamorphic history and geodynamic significance of the Early Cretaceous Sabzevar granulites (Sabzevar structural zone, NE Iran

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M. Nasrabady

    2011-11-01

    Full Text Available The Iranian ophiolites are part of the vast orogenic suture zones that mark the Alpine-Himalayan convergence zone. Few petrological and geochronological data are available from these ophiolitic domains, hampering a full assessment of the timing and regimes of subduction zone metamorphism and orogenic construction in the region. This paper describes texture, geochemistry, and the pressure-temperature path of the Early Cretaceous mafic granulites that occur within the Tertiary Sabzevar ophiolitic suture zone of NE Iran. Whole rock geochemistry indicates that the Sabzevar granulites are likely derived from a MORB-type precursor. They are thus considered as remnants of a dismembered dynamo-thermal sole formed during subduction of a back-arc basin (proto-Sabzevar Ocean formed in the upper-plate of the Neotethyan slab. The metamorphic history of the granulites suggests an anticlockwise pressure-temperature loop compatible with burial in a hot subduction zone, followed by cooling during exhumation. Transition from a nascent to a mature stage of oceanic subduction is the geodynamic scenario proposed to accomplish for the reconstructed thermobaric evolution. When framed with the regional scenario, results of this study point to diachronous and independent tectonic evolutions of the different ophiolitic domains of central Iran, for which a growing disparity in the timing of metamorphic equilibration and of pressure-temperature paths can be expected to emerge with further investigations.

  2. Pinaceae-like reproductive morphology in Schizolepidopsis canicularis sp. nov. from the Early Cretaceous (Aptian-Albian) of Mongolia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leslie, Andrew B; Glasspool, Ian; Herendeen, Patrick S; Ichinnorov, Niiden; Knopf, Patrick; Takahashi, Masamichi; Crane, Peter R

    2013-12-01

    Seed cone scales assigned to the genus Schizolepidopsis are widespread in Late Triassic to Cretaceous Eurasian deposits. They have been linked to the conifer family Pinaceae based on associated vegetative remains, but their exact affinities are uncertain. Recently discovered material from the Early Cretaceous of Mongolia reveals important new information concerning Schizolepidopsis cone scales and seeds, and provides support for a relationship between the genus and extant Pinaceae. Specimens were collected from Early Cretaceous (probable Aptian-Albian) lignite deposits in central Mongolia. Lignite samples were disaggregated, cleaned in hydrofluoric acid, and washed in water. Specimens were selected for further study using light and electron microscopy. Schizolepidopsis canicularis seed cones consist of loosely arranged, bilobed ovulate scales subtended by a small bract. A single inverted seed with an elongate micropyle is borne on each lobe of the ovulate scale. Each seed has a wing formed by the separation of the adaxial surface of the ovulate scale. Schizolepidopsis canicularis produced winged seeds that formed in a manner that is unique to Pinaceae among extant conifers. We do not definitively place this species in Pinaceae pending more complete information concerning its pollen cones and vegetative remains. Nevertheless, this material suggests that Schizolepidopsis may be important for understanding the early evolution of Pinaceae, and may potentially help reconcile the appearance of the family in the fossil record with results based on phylogenetic analyses of molecular data.

  3. Late Jurassic-Early Cretaceous continental convergence and intracontinental orogenesis in East Asia: A synthesis of the Yanshan Revolution

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dong, Shuwen; Zhang, Yueqiao; Zhang, Fuqin; Cui, Jianjun; Chen, Xuanhua; Zhang, Shuanhong; Miao, Laicheng; Li, Jianhua; Shi, Wei; Li, Zhenhong; Huang, Shiqi; Li, Hailong

    2015-12-01

    The basic tectonic framework of continental East Asia was produced by a series of nearly contemporaneous orogenic events in the late Middle Jurassic to Early Cretaceous. Commonly, the Late Mesozoic orogenic processes were characterized by continent-continent collision, large-scale thrusting, strike-slip faulting and intense crustal shortening, crustal thickening, regional anatexis and metamorphism, followed by large-scale lithospheric extension, rifting and magmatism. To better understand the geological processes, this paper reviews and synthesizes existing multi-disciplinary geologic data related to sedimentation, tectonics, magmatism, metamorphism and geochemistry, and proposes a two-stage tectono-thermal evolutionary history of East Asia during the late Middle Jurassic to Early Cretaceous (ca. 170-120 Ma). In the first stage, three orogenic belts along the continental margins were formed coevally at ca. 170-135 Ma, i.e., the north Mongol-Okhotsk orogen, the east paleo-Pacific coastal orogen, and the west Bangong-Nujiang orogen. Tectonism related to the coastal orogen caused extensive intracontinental folding and thrusting that resulted in a depositional hiatus in the Late Jurassic, as well as crustal anatexis that generated syn-kinematic granites, adakites and migmatites. The lithosphere of the East Asian continent was thickened, reaching a maximum during the latest Jurassic or the earliest Cretaceous. In the second stage (ca. 135-120 Ma), delamination of the thickened lithosphere resulted in a remarkable (>120 km) lithospheric thinning and the development of mantle-derived magmatism, mineralization, metamorphic core complexes and rift basins. The Middle Jurassic-Early Cretaceous subduction of oceanic plates (paleo-Pacific, meso-Tethys, and Mongol-Okhotsk) and continent-continent collision (e.g. Lhasa and Qiangtang) along the East Asian continental margins produced broad coastal and intracontinental orogens. These significant tectonic activities, marked by

  4. Early Cretaceous Ductile Deformation of Marbles from the Western Hills of Beijing, North China Craton

    Science.gov (United States)

    Feng, H.; Liu, J.

    2017-12-01

    During the Early Cretaceous tectonic lithosphere extension, the pre-mesozoic rocks from the Western Hills in the central part of the North China Craton suffered from weak metamorphism but intense shear deformation. The prominent features of the deformation structures are the coexisting layer-parallel shear zones and intrafolia folds, and the along-strike thickness variations of the marble layers from the highly sheared Mesoproterozoic Jing'eryu Formation. Platy marbles are well-developed in the thinner layers, while intrafolia folds are often observed in the thicker layers. Most folds are tight recumbent folds and their axial planes are parallel to the foliations and layerings of the marbles. The folds are A-type folds with hinges being always paralleling to the stretching lineations consistently oriented at 130°-310° directions throughout the entire area. SPO and microstructural analyses of the sheared marbles suggest that the thicker layers suffered from deformations homogeneously, while strain localization can be distinguished in the thinner layers. Calcite twin morphology and CPO analysis indicate that the deformation of marbles from both thinner and thicker layers happened at temperatures of 300 to 500°C. The above analysis suggests that marbles in the thicker layers experienced a progressive sequence of thermodynamic events: 1) regional metamorphism, 2) early ductile deformation dominated by relatively higher temperature conditions, during which all the mineral particles elongated and oriented limitedly and the calcite grains are deformed mainly by mechanical twinning, and 3) late superimposition of relatively lower temperature deformation and recrystallization, which superposed the early deformation, and made the calcites finely granulated, elongated and oriented by dynamical recrystallization along with other grains. Marbles from the thinner layers, however, experienced a similar, but different sequence of thermo-dynamic events, i.e. regional

  5. New Patagonian Cretaceous theropod sheds light about the early radiation of Coelurosauria

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Fernando E Novas

    2012-06-01

    Full Text Available Here we describe a new theropod, Bicentenaria argentina nov. gen. et nov. sp., from the early Late Cretaceous of Patagonia. It is represented by more than a hundred bones belonging to different sized individuals, which were buried together in disarticulation after little transportation. The available association of skeletal elements suggests a gregarious behaviour for Bicentenaria, an ethological trait also recorded among other theropod clades. Increasing documentation of monospecific assemblages of different groups of theropods suggests that a gregarious behaviour may have constituted the ancestral condition for Theropoda, at least. Bicentenaria characterizes for the surangular bone with a high dorsal margin and a prominent lateral shelf, a retroarticular process that is low, wide and spoon-shaped, and quadrate bone with its lateral condyle larger than the medial one. Phylogenetic analysis found the Chinese Tugulusaurus and the Patagonian Bicentenaria as successive sister taxa of all other coelurosaurs, thus revealing the importance of the new taxon in the understanding of the early diversification of Coelurosauria. In particular, Bicentenaria amplifies the array of basal coelurosaurs that inhabited Gondwana during the Cretaceous, also including compsognathids, Aniksosaurus and Santanaraptor. Although still restricted to a handful of forms, available information indicates that Gondwana was a cradle for the evolution of different lineages of basal coelurosaurs, different from those documented in Upper Cretaceous beds in the northern landmasses. Analysis of body size distribution in averostran theropods results in the identification of two main episodes of drastic size reduction in the evolutionary history of Coelurosauria: one occurred at the initial radiation of the group (as represented by Bicentenaria, Zuolong, Tugulusaurus, compsognathids, and Aniksosaurus, and a second episode occurred at the early diverification of Paraves or avialans

  6. Late Cretaceous origin of the rice tribe provides evidence for early diversification in Poaceae.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Prasad, V; Strömberg, C A E; Leaché, A D; Samant, B; Patnaik, R; Tang, L; Mohabey, D M; Ge, S; Sahni, A

    2011-09-20

    Rice and its relatives are a focal point in agricultural and evolutionary science, but a paucity of fossils has obscured their deep-time history. Previously described cuticles with silica bodies (phytoliths) from the Late Cretaceous period (67-65 Ma) of India indicate that, by the latest Cretaceous, the grass family (Poaceae) consisted of members of the modern subclades PACMAD (Panicoideae-Aristidoideae-Chloridoideae-Micrairoideae-Arundinoideae-Danthonioideae) and BEP (Bambusoideae-Ehrhartoideae-Pooideae), including a taxon with proposed affinities to Ehrhartoideae. Here we describe additional fossils and show that, based on phylogenetic analyses that combine molecular genetic data and epidermal and phytolith features across Poaceae, these can be assigned to the rice tribe, Oryzeae, of grass subfamily Ehrhartoideae. The new Oryzeae fossils suggest substantial diversification within Ehrhartoideae by the Late Cretaceous, pushing back the time of origin of Poaceae as a whole. These results, therefore, necessitate a re-evaluation of current models for grass evolution and palaeobiogeography.

  7. Redescription of Tijubina pontei, an Early Cretaceous lizard (Reptilia; Squamata from the Crato Formation of Brazil

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    Tiago R. Simões

    2012-03-01

    Full Text Available The record of Gondwanan Mesozoic lizards is very poor. Among the few species described for this region there is Tijubina pontei, an Early Cretaceous lizard from the Crato Formation (late Aptian of northeast Brazil. Its description is very brief and lacks most of its diagnostic characters and clear delimitation from other lizard species. Here, a full redescription of the holotype is provided. T. pontei is demonstrated to be a valid species and a new diagnosis is provided with reference to Olindalacerta brasiliensis, a contemporary species of the Crato Formation. It lacks the posteroventral and posterodorsal processes of the dentary; the tibial/fibular length equals the femoral length and its posterior dentary teeth are robust, cylindrically based, unsculptured and bear no cuspids. The systematic position of T. pontei still needs further clarification, but preliminary analyses indicate that it lies in a rather basal position among the Squamata, similarly to O. brasiliensis.O registro de lagartos do Mesozóico de Gondwana é extremamente limitado. Dentre as poucas espécies descritas para esta região está Tijubina pontei, um lagarto do Cretáceo Inferior da Formação Crato (Aptiano superior do nordeste do Brasil. A sua descrição é muito breve e não contém a maioria dos seus caracteres diagnósticos ou uma clara delimitação das outras espécies de lagartos. Neste trabalho, uma redescrição completa do holótipo, é provida. É demonstrado que T. pontei é espécie válida, e uma nova diagnose é provida com referência à Olindalacerta brasiliensis, uma espécie contemporânea da Formação Crato. Ele não possui os processos posteroventral e posterodorsal do dentário; o comprimento tibilar/fibular é relativamente igual ao comprimento do fêmur e os seus dentes posteriores no dentário são robustos, de base cilindrica, sem ornamentações e sem cúspides. Embora a posição sistemática de T. pontei ainda necessite de maiores

  8. Under Cover at Pre-Angiosperm Times: A Cloaked Phasmatodean Insect from the Early Cretaceous Jehol Biota

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Maomin; Béthoux, Olivier; Bradler, Sven; Jacques, Frédéric M. B.; Cui, Yingying; Ren, Dong

    2014-01-01

    Background Fossil species that can be conclusively identified as stem-relatives of stick- and leaf-insects (Phasmatodea) are extremely rare, especially for the Mesozoic era. This dearth in the paleontological record makes assessments on the origin and age of the group problematic and impedes investigations of evolutionary key aspects, such as wing development, sexual size dimorphism and plant mimicry. Methodology/Principal Findings A new fossil insect species, Cretophasmomima melanogramma Wang, Béthoux and Ren sp. nov., is described on the basis of one female and two male specimens recovered from the Yixian Formation (Early Cretaceous, ca. 126±4 mya; Inner Mongolia, NE China; known as ‘Jehol biota’). The occurrence of a female abdominal operculum and of a characteristic ‘shoulder pad’ in the forewing allows for the interpretation of a true stem-Phasmatodea. In contrast to the situation in extant forms, sexual size dimorphism is only weakly female-biased in this species. The peculiar wing coloration, viz. dark longitudinal veins, suggests that the leaf-shaped plant organ from the contemporaneous ‘gymnosperm’ Membranifolia admirabilis was used as model for crypsis. Conclusions/Significance As early as in the Early Cretaceous, some stem-Phasmatodea achieved effective leaf mimicry, although additional refinements characteristic of recent forms, such as curved fore femora, were still lacking. The diversification of small-sized arboreal insectivore birds and mammals might have triggered the acquisition of such primary defenses. PMID:24646906

  9. Palaeoecology and depositional environments of the Tendaguru Beds (Late Jurassic to Early Cretaceous, Tanzania

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    M. Aberhan

    2002-01-01

    Full Text Available The Late Jurassic to Early Cretaceous Tendaguru Beds (Tanzania, East Africa have been well known for nearly a century for their diverse dinosaur assemblages. Here, we present sedimentological and palaeontological data collected by the German-Tanzanian Tendaguru Expedition 2000 in an attempt to reconstruct the palaeo-ecosystems of the Tendaguru Beds at their type locality. Our reconstructions are based on sedimentological data and on a palaeoecological analysis of macroinvertebrates, microvertebrates, plant fossils and microfossils (ostracods, foraminifera, charophytes, palynomorphs. In addition, we included data from previous expeditions, particularly those on the dinosaur assemblages. The environmental model of the Tendaguru Beds presented herein comprises three broad palaeoenvironmental units in a marginal marine setting: (1 Lagoon-like, shallow marine environments above fair weather wave base and with evidence of tides and storms. These formed behind barriers such as ooid bar and siliciclastic sand bar complexes and were generally subject to minor salinity fluctuations. (2 Extended tidal flats and low-relief coastal plains. These include low-energy, brackish coastal lakes and ponds as well as pools and small fluvial channels of coastal plains in which the large dinosaurs were buried. Since these environments apparently were, at best, poorly vegetated, the main feeding grounds of giant sauropods must have been elsewhere. Presumably, tidal flats and coastal plains were visited by dinosaurs primarily during periods of drought. (3 Vegetated hinterland. Vegetation of this environment can only be inferred indirectly from plant material transported into the other depositional environments. Vegetation was dominated by a diverse conifer flora, which apparently formed part of the food source of large herbivorous sauropods. Evidence from various sources suggests a subtropical to tropical palaeoclimate, characterised by seasonal rainfall alternating with

  10. Inversion of the Erlian Basin (NE China) in the early Late Cretaceous: Implications for the collision of the Okhotomorsk Block with East Asia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guo, Zhi-Xin; Shi, Yuan-Peng; Yang, Yong-Tai; Jiang, Shuan-Qi; Li, Lin-Bo; Zhao, Zhi-Gang

    2018-04-01

    A significant transition in tectonic regime from extension to compression occurred throughout East Asia during the mid-Cretaceous and has stimulated much attention. However, the timing and driving mechanisms of the transition remain disputed. The Erlian Basin, a giant late Mesozoic intracontinental petroliferous basin located in the Inner Mongolia, Northeast China, contains important sedimentary and structural records related to the mid-Cretaceous compressional event. The stratigraphical, sedimentological and structural analyses reveal that a NW-SE compressional inversion occurred in the Erlian Basin between the depositions of the Lower Cretaceous Saihan and Upper Cretaceous Erlian formations, causing intense folding of the Saihan Formation and underlying strata, and the northwestward migration of the depocenters of the Erlian Formation. Based on the newly obtained detrital zircon U-Pb data and previously published paleomagnetism- and fossil-based ages, the Saihan and Erlian formations are suggested as latest Aptian-Albian and post-early Cenomanian in age, respectively, implying that the inversion in the Erlian Basin occurred in the early Late Cretaceous (Cenomanian time). Apatite fission-track thermochronological data record an early Late Cretaceous cooling/exhuming event in the basin, corresponding well with the aforementioned sedimentary, structural and chronological analyses. Combining with the tectono-sedimentary evolutions of the neighboring basins of the Erlian Basin, we suggest that the early Late Cretaceous inversional event in the Erlian Basin and the large scale tectonic transition in East Asia shared the common driving mechanism, probably resulting from the Okhotomorsk Block-East Asia collisional event at about 100-89 Ma.

  11. Late Cenomanian - Early Turonian Hardgrounds and nearshore Depositional Environments (Bohemian Cretaceous Basin)

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Žítt, Jiří; Bosák, Pavel; Hradecká, L.; Svobodová, Marcela

    Colloque sur le Cénomanien/Colloquium on the Cenomanian Stage, - (2001), s. 105-107 ISSN 0766-5946. [Colloque sur le Cénomanien/Colloquium on the Cenomanian Stage. Rouen, 20.10.2001-21.10.2001] R&D Projects: GA ČR GA205/99/1315 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z3013912 Keywords : Upper Cretaceous * Hardgrounds Subject RIV: DB - Geology ; Mineralogy

  12. Impacts of ocean acidification on early life-history stages and settlement of the coral-eating sea star Acanthaster planci.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Uthicke, Sven; Pecorino, Danilo; Albright, Rebecca; Negri, Andrew Peter; Cantin, Neal; Liddy, Michelle; Dworjanyn, Symon; Kamya, Pamela; Byrne, Maria; Lamare, Miles

    2013-01-01

    Coral reefs are marine biodiversity hotspots, but their existence is threatened by global change and local pressures such as land-runoff and overfishing. Population explosions of coral-eating crown of thorns sea stars (COTS) are a major contributor to recent decline in coral cover on the Great Barrier Reef. Here, we investigate how projected near-future ocean acidification (OA) conditions can affect early life history stages of COTS, by investigating important milestones including sperm motility, fertilisation rates, and larval development and settlement. OA (increased pCO2 to 900-1200 µatm pCO2) significantly reduced sperm motility and, to a lesser extent, velocity, which strongly reduced fertilization rates at environmentally relevant sperm concentrations. Normal development of 10 d old larvae was significantly lower under elevated pCO2 but larval size was not significantly different between treatments. Settlement of COTS larvae was significantly reduced on crustose coralline algae (known settlement inducers of COTS) that had been exposed to OA conditions for 85 d prior to settlement assays. Effect size analyses illustrated that reduced settlement may be the largest bottleneck for overall juvenile production. Results indicate that reductions in fertilisation and settlement success alone would reduce COTS population replenishment by over 50%. However, it is unlikely that this effect is sufficient to provide respite for corals from other negative anthropogenic impacts and direct stress from OA and warming on corals.

  13. The conchostracan subgenus Orthestheria (Migransia) from the Tacuarembó Formation (Late Jurassic-?Early Cretaceous, Uruguay) with notes on its geological age

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yanbin, Shen; Gallego, Oscar F.; Martínez, Sergio

    2004-04-01

    Conchostracans from the Tacuarembó Formation s.s. of Uruguay are reassigned to the subgenus Orthestheria (Migransia) Chen and Shen. They show more similarities to genera of Late Jurassic age in the Congo Basin and China than to those of Early Cretaceous age. On the basis of the character of the conchostracans, we suggest that the Tacuarembó Formation is unlikely to be older than Late Jurassic. It is probably Kimmeridgian, but an Early Cretaceous age cannot be excluded. This finding is consistent with isotopic dating of the overlying basalts, as well as the age range of recently described fossil freshwater sharks.

  14. A new ornithurine from the Early Cretaceous of China sheds light on the evolution of early ecological and cranial diversity in birds

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    Jiandong Huang

    2016-03-01

    Full Text Available Despite the increasing number of exceptional feathered fossils discovered in the Late Jurassic and Cretaceous of northeastern China, representatives of Ornithurae, a clade that includes comparatively-close relatives of crown clade Aves (extant birds and that clade, are still comparatively rare. Here, we report a new ornithurine species Changzuiornis ahgmi from the Early Cretaceous Jiufotang Formation. The new species shows an extremely elongate rostrum so far unknown in basal ornithurines and changes our understanding of the evolution of aspects of extant avian ecology and cranial evolution. Most of this elongate rostrum in Changzuiornis ahgmi is made up of maxilla, a characteristic not present in the avian crown clade in which most of the rostrum and nearly the entire facial margin is made up by premaxilla. The only other avialans known to exhibit an elongate rostrum with the facial margin comprised primarily of maxilla are derived ornithurines previously placed phylogenetically as among the closest outgroups to the avian crown clade as well as one derived enantiornithine clade. We find that, consistent with a proposed developmental shift in cranial ontogeny late in avialan evolution, this elongate rostrum is achieved through elongation of the maxilla while the premaxilla remains only a small part of rostral length. Thus, only in Late Cretaceous ornithurine taxa does the premaxilla begin to play a larger role. The rostral and postcranial proportions of Changzuiornis suggest an ecology not previously reported in Ornithurae; the only other species with an elongate rostrum are two marine Late Cretacous taxa interpreted as showing a derived picivorous diet.

  15. Identification of a New Hesperornithiform from the Cretaceous Niobrara Chalk and Implications for Ecologic Diversity among Early Diving Birds.

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    Alyssa Bell

    Full Text Available The Smoky Hill Member of the Niobrara Chalk in Kansas (USA has yielded the remains of numerous members of the Hesperornithiformes, toothed diving birds from the late Early to Late Cretaceous. This study presents a new taxon of hesperornithiform from the Smoky Hill Member, Fumicollis hoffmani, the holotype of which is among the more complete hesperornithiform skeletons. Fumicollis has a unique combination of primitive (e.g. proximal and distal ends of femur not expanded, elongate pre-acetabular ilium, small and pyramidal patella and derived (e.g. dorsal ridge on metatarsal IV, plantarly-projected curve in the distal shaft of phalanx III:1 hesperornithiform characters, suggesting it was more specialized than small hesperornithiforms like Baptornis advenus but not as highly derived as the larger Hesperornis regalis. The identification of Fumicollis highlights once again the significant diversity of hesperornithiforms that existed in the Late Cretaceous Western Interior Seaway. This diversity points to the existence of a complex ecosystem, perhaps with a high degree of niche partitioning, as indicated by the varying degrees of diving specializations among these birds.

  16. Angolan ichnosite in a diamond mine shows the presence of a large terrestrial mammaliamorph, a crocodylomorph, and sauropod dinosaurs in the Early Cretaceous of Africa

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Mateus, Octávio; Marzola, Marco; Schulp, Anne S.; Jacobs, Louis L.; Polcyn, Michael J.; Pervov, Vladimir; Gonçalves, António Olímpio; Morais, Maria Luisa

    2017-01-01

    We report here new and the first mammaliamorph tracks from the Early Cretaceous of Africa. The tracksite, that also bears crocodylomorph and sauropod dinosaurian tracks, is in the Catoca diamond mine, Lunda Sul Province, Angola. The mammaliamorph tracks have a unique morphology, attributed to

  17. Middle Jurassic-Early Cretaceous foraminiferal biozonation of the Amran Group, eastern Sana'a Basin, Yemen

    Science.gov (United States)

    Al-Wosabi, Mohammed; El-Anbaawy, Mohammed; Al-Thour, Khalid

    2017-06-01

    Two sections of strata assigned to the Amran Group at Jabal Salab and Jabal Yam in the eastern Sana'a governorate were sampled and correlated. These sections are part of a carbonate platform that extends from the city of Marib in the east to Naqil Ibn Ghailan, 20 km east of the city of Sana'a to the west. Palaeontological analysis of samples recovered has resulted in identification of 123 foraminiferal species, which are used to subdivide the sequence of the Amran Group into five biostratigraphic zones, aged between Bathonian (Middle Jurassic) and Berriasian (Early Cretaceous). The proposed biozones are those of Riyadhella rotundata, Kurnubia jurassica, Ammomarginulina sinaica, Alveosepta jaccardi and Pseudocyclammina sulaiyana/Furitilla caspianseis. These biozones were constructed and correlated with the equivalent zones reported from several localities.

  18. Middle Jurassic–Early Cretaceous foraminiferal biozonation of the Amran Group, eastern Sana’a Basin, Yemen

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Al-Wosabi Mohammed

    2017-06-01

    Full Text Available Two sections of strata assigned to the Amran Group at Jabal Salab and Jabal Yam in the eastern Sana’a governorate were sampled and correlated. These sections are part of a carbonate platform that extends from the city of Marib in the east to Naqil Ibn Ghailan, 20 km east of the city of Sana’a to the west. Palaeontological analysis of samples recovered has resulted in identification of 123 foraminiferal species, which are used to subdivide the sequence of the Amran Group into five biostratigraphic zones, aged between Bathonian (Middle Jurassic and Berriasian (Early Cretaceous. The proposed biozones are those of Riyadhella rotundata, Kurnubia jurassica, Ammomarginulina sinaica, Alveosepta jaccardi and Pseudocyclammina sulaiyana/Furitilla caspianseis. These biozones were constructed and correlated with the equivalent zones reported from several localities.

  19. New toothed flying reptile from Asia: close similarities between early Cretaceous pterosaur faunas from China and Brazil.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Xiaolin; Kellner, Alexander W A; Jiang, Shunxing; Cheng, Xin

    2012-04-01

    Despite the great increase in pterosaur diversity in the last decades, particularly due to discoveries made in western Liaoning (China), very little is known regarding pterosaur biogeography. Here, we present the description of a new pterosaur from the Jiufotang Formation that adds significantly to our knowledge of pterosaur distribution and enhances the diversity of cranial anatomy found in those volant creatures. Guidraco venator gen. et sp. nov. has an unusual upward-directed frontal crest and large rostral teeth, some of which surpass the margins of the skull and lower jaw when occluded. The new species is closely related to a rare taxon from the Brazilian Crato Formation, posing an interesting paleobiogeographic problem and supporting the hypothesis that at least some early Cretaceous pterosaur clades, such as the Tapejaridae and the Anhangueridae, might have originated in Asia. The association of the new specimen with coprolites and the cranial morphology suggest that G. venator preyed on fish.

  20. Evolution of volcanically-induced palaeoenvironmental changes leading to the onset of OAE1a (early Aptian, Cretaceous)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Keller, Christina E.; Hochuli, Peter A.; Giorgioni, Martino; Garcia, Therese I.; Bernasconi, Stefano M.; Weissert, Helmut

    2010-05-01

    During the Cretaceous, several major volcanic events occurred that initiated climate warming, altered marine circulation and increased marine productivity, which in turn often resulted in the widespread black shale deposits of the Oceanic Anoxic Events (OAE). In the sediments underlying the early Aptian OAE1a black shales, a prominent negative carbon isotope excursion is recorded. Its origin had long been controversial (e.g. Arthur, 2000; Jahren et al., 2001) before recent studies attributed it to the Ontong Java volcanism (Méhay et al., 2009; Tejada et al., 2009). Therefore the negative C-isotope excursion covers the interval between the time, when volcanic activity became important enough to be recorded in the C-isotope composition of the oceans to the onset of widespread anoxic conditions (OAE1a). We chose this interval at the locality of Pusiano (N-Italy) to study the effect of a volcanically-induced increase in pCO2 on the marine palaeoenvironment and to observe the evolving palaeoenvironmental conditions that finally led to OAE1a. The Pusiano section (Maiolica Formation) was deposited at the southern continental margin of the alpine Tethys Ocean and has been bio- and magnetostratigraphically dated by Channell et al. (1995). We selected 18 samples from 12 black shale horizons for palynofacies analyses. Palynofacies assemblages consist of several types of particulate organic matter, providing information on the origin of the organic matter (terrestrial/marine) and conditions during deposition (oxic/anoxic). We then linked the palynofacies results to high-resolution inorganic and organic C-isotope values and total organic carbon content measurements. The pelagic Pusiano section consists of repeated limestone-black shale couplets, which are interpreted to be the result of changes in oxygenation of bottom waters. Towards the end of the negative C-isotope excursion we observe enhanced preservation of the fragile amorphous organic matter resulting in increased

  1. Early Cretaceous terrestrial ecosystems in East Asia based on food-web and energy-flow models

    Science.gov (United States)

    Matsukawa, M.; Saiki, K.; Ito, M.; Obata, I.; Nichols, D.J.; Lockley, M.G.; Kukihara, R.; Shibata, K.

    2006-01-01

    In recent years, there has been global interest in the environments and ecosystems around the world. It is helpful to reconstruct past environments and ecosystems to help understand them in the present and the future. The present environments and ecosystems are an evolving continuum with those of the past and the future. This paper demonstrates the contribution of geology and paleontology to such continua. Using fossils, we can make an estimation of past population density as an ecosystem index based on food-web and energy-flow models. Late Mesozoic nonmarine deposits are distributed widely on the eastern Asian continent and contain various kinds of fossils such as fishes, amphibians, reptiles, dinosaurs, mammals, bivalves, gastropods, insects, ostracodes, conchostracans, terrestrial plants, and others. These fossil organisms are useful for late Mesozoic terrestrial ecosystem reconstruction using food-web and energy-flow models. We chose Early Cretaceous fluvio-lacustrine basins in the Choyr area, southeastern Mongolia, and the Tetori area, Japan, for these analyses and as a potential model for reconstruction of other similar basins in East Asia. The food-web models are restored based on taxa that occurred in these basins. They form four or five trophic levels in an energy pyramid consisting of rich primary producers at its base and smaller biotas higher in the food web. This is the general energy pyramid of a typical ecosystem. Concerning the population densities of vertebrate taxa in 1 km2 in these basins, some differences are recognized between Early Cretaceous and the present. For example, Cretaceous estimates suggest 2.3 to 4.8 times as many herbivores and 26.0 to 105.5 times the carnivore population. These differences are useful for the evaluation of past population densities of vertebrate taxa. Such differences may also be caused by the different metabolism of different taxa. Preservation may also be a factor, and we recognize that various problems occur in

  2. Petroleum system elements within the Late Cretaceous and Early Paleogene sediments of Nigeria's inland basins: An integrated sequence stratigraphic approach

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dim, Chidozie Izuchukwu Princeton; Onuoha, K. Mosto; Okeugo, Chukwudike Gabriel; Ozumba, Bertram Maduka

    2017-06-01

    Sequence stratigraphic studies have been carried out using subsurface well and 2D seismic data in the Late Cretaceous and Early Paleogene sediments of Anambra and proximal onshore section of Niger Delta Basin in the Southeastern Nigeria. The aim was to establish the stratigraphic framework for better understanding of the reservoir, source and seal rock presence and distribution in the basin. Thirteen stratigraphic bounding surfaces (consisting of six maximum flooding surfaces - MFSs and seven sequence boundaries - SBs) were recognized and calibrated using a newly modified chronostratigraphic chart. Stratigraphic surfaces were matched with corresponding foraminiferal and palynological biozones, aiding correlation across wells in this study. Well log sequence stratigraphic correlation reveals that stratal packages within the basin are segmented into six depositional sequences occurring from Late Cretaceous to Early Paleogene age. Generated gross depositional environment maps at various MFSs show that sediment packages deposited within shelfal to deep marine settings, reflect continuous rise and fall of sea levels within a regressive cycle. Each of these sequences consist of three system tracts (lowstand system tract - LST, transgressive system tract - TST and highstand system tract - HST) that are associated with mainly progradational and retrogradational sediment stacking patterns. Well correlation reveals that the sand and shale units of the LSTs, HSTs and TSTs, that constitute the reservoir and source/seal packages respectively are laterally continuous and thicken basinwards, due to structural influences. Result from interpretation of seismic section reveals the presence of hanging wall, footwall, horst block and collapsed crest structures. These structural features generally aid migration and offer entrapment mechanism for hydrocarbon accumulation. The combination of these reservoirs, sources, seals and trap elements form a good petroleum system that is viable

  3. A stem acrodontan lizard in the Cretaceous of Brazil revises early lizard evolution in Gondwana.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Simões, Tiago R; Wilner, Everton; Caldwell, Michael W; Weinschütz, Luiz C; Kellner, Alexander W A

    2015-08-26

    Iguanians are one of the most diverse groups of extant lizards (>1,700 species) with acrodontan iguanians dominating in the Old World, and non-acrodontans in the New World. A new lizard species presented herein is the first acrodontan from South America, indicating acrodontans radiated throughout Gondwana much earlier than previously thought, and that some of the first South American lizards were more closely related to their counterparts in Africa and Asia than to the modern fauna of South America. This suggests both groups of iguanians achieved a worldwide distribution before the final breakup of Pangaea. At some point, non-acrodontans replaced acrodontans and became the only iguanians in the Americas, contrary to what happened on most of the Old World. This discovery also expands the diversity of Cretaceous lizards in South America, which with recent findings, suggests sphenodontians were not the dominant lepidosaurs in that continent as previously hypothesized.

  4. Localization of early germ cells in a stony coral, Euphyllia ancora: potential implications for a germline stem cell system in coral gametogenesis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shikina, Shinya; Chung, Yi-Jou; Wang, Hsiang-Ming; Chiu, Yi-Ling; Shao, Zih-Fang; Lee, Yan-Horn; Chang, Ching-Fong

    2015-06-01

    Most corals exhibit annual or multiple gametogenic cycles. Thus far, coral gametogenesis has been studied in many species and locations during the past three decades; however, currently, only a few papers exist that describe the origin of germ cells, such as germline stem cells (GSCs), which support the continuous production of gametes in every reproductive cycle. To address this issue, in this study, we focused on and identified piwi gene, which has been used as a marker of germline cells, including GSCs, in various metazoans, in a scleractinian coral, Euphyllia ancora. Reverse-transcription PCR and Western blotting analyses revealed that E. ancora piwi-like ( Eapiwi) is expressed in mesentery tissues where the sites of gametogenesis are located for both sexes. Immunohistochemistry with a specific antibody against Eapiwi revealed strong immunoreactivity in the spermatogonia in males and in the oogonia and early oocytes in females, demonstrating that Eapiwi could be used as an early germ cell marker in E. ancora. Subsequent immunohistochemical analyses regarding the spatial and temporal distribution patterns of early germ cells in mesentery tissues revealed that early germ cells were present throughout the year in the mesentery tissue we examined, regardless of the sexual reproductive cycle. In particular, small numbers of early germ cells were observed in specific sites of mesentery tissues with fully matured gonads in both sexes. These early germ cells were not released together with mature gametes during the spawning period and remained in the mesentery tissues. These results suggested that these early germ cells most likely serve as a reservoir of germline cells and that some of these cells would produce differentiated germ cells for the upcoming sexual reproduction period; hence, these cells would function as GSCs. Our data provide new information for understanding continuous gamete production in corals.

  5. Cumulative Effects of Nutrient Enrichment and Elevated Temperature Compromise the Early Life History Stages of the Coral Acropora tenuis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Humanes, Adriana; Noonan, Sam H C; Willis, Bette L; Fabricius, Katharina E; Negri, Andrew P

    2016-01-01

    Inshore coral reefs are experiencing the combined pressures of excess nutrient availability associated with coastal activities and warming seawater temperatures. Both pressures are known to have detrimental effects on the early life history stages of hard corals, but studies of their combined effects on early demographic stages are lacking. We conducted a series of experiments to test the combined effects of nutrient enrichment (three levels) and elevated seawater temperature (up to five levels) on early life history stages of the inshore coral Acropora tenuis, a common species in the Indo-Pacific and Red Sea. Gamete fertilization, larval survivorship and larval settlement were all significantly reduced as temperature increased, but only fertilization was further affected by simultaneous nutrient enrichment. Combined high temperatures and nutrient enrichment affected fertilization in an additive manner, whereas embryo abnormalities increased synergistically. Higher than normal temperatures (32°C) increased coral juvenile growth rates 1.6-fold, but mortality also increased by 50%. The co-occurrence of nutrient enrichment with high temperatures reduced juvenile mortality to 36%, ameliorating temperature stress (antagonistic interaction). Overall, the types of effect (additive vs synergistic or antagonistic) and their magnitude varied among life stages. Gamete and embryo stages were more affected by temperature stress and, in some cases, also by nutrient enrichment than juveniles. The data suggest that coastal runoff events might exacerbate the impacts of warming temperatures on fertilization if these events co-occur during corals spawning. The cumulative impacts of simultaneous exposure to nutrient enrichment and elevated temperatures over all early life history stages increases the likelihood for failure of larval supply and recruitment for this coral species. Our results suggest that improving the water quality of river discharges into coastal areas might help to

  6. Cumulative Effects of Nutrient Enrichment and Elevated Temperature Compromise the Early Life History Stages of the Coral Acropora tenuis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Noonan, Sam H. C.; Willis, Bette L.; Fabricius, Katharina E.; Negri, Andrew P.

    2016-01-01

    Inshore coral reefs are experiencing the combined pressures of excess nutrient availability associated with coastal activities and warming seawater temperatures. Both pressures are known to have detrimental effects on the early life history stages of hard corals, but studies of their combined effects on early demographic stages are lacking. We conducted a series of experiments to test the combined effects of nutrient enrichment (three levels) and elevated seawater temperature (up to five levels) on early life history stages of the inshore coral Acropora tenuis, a common species in the Indo-Pacific and Red Sea. Gamete fertilization, larval survivorship and larval settlement were all significantly reduced as temperature increased, but only fertilization was further affected by simultaneous nutrient enrichment. Combined high temperatures and nutrient enrichment affected fertilization in an additive manner, whereas embryo abnormalities increased synergistically. Higher than normal temperatures (32°C) increased coral juvenile growth rates 1.6-fold, but mortality also increased by 50%. The co-occurrence of nutrient enrichment with high temperatures reduced juvenile mortality to 36%, ameliorating temperature stress (antagonistic interaction). Overall, the types of effect (additive vs synergistic or antagonistic) and their magnitude varied among life stages. Gamete and embryo stages were more affected by temperature stress and, in some cases, also by nutrient enrichment than juveniles. The data suggest that coastal runoff events might exacerbate the impacts of warming temperatures on fertilization if these events co-occur during corals spawning. The cumulative impacts of simultaneous exposure to nutrient enrichment and elevated temperatures over all early life history stages increases the likelihood for failure of larval supply and recruitment for this coral species. Our results suggest that improving the water quality of river discharges into coastal areas might help to

  7. Stable Isotopes Reveal Rapid Enamel Elongation (Amelogenesis) Rates for the Early Cretaceous Iguanodontian Dinosaur Lanzhousaurus magnidens.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Suarez, Celina A; You, Hai-Lu; Suarez, Marina B; Li, Da-Qing; Trieschmann, J B

    2017-11-10

    Lanzhousaurus magnidens, a large non-hadrosauriform iguanodontian dinosaur from the Lower Cretaceous Hekou Group of Gansu Province, China has the largest known herbivorous dinosaur teeth. Unlike its hadrosauriform relatives possessing tooth batteries of many small teeth, Lanzhousaurus utilized a small number (14) of very large teeth (~10 cm long) to create a large, continuous surface for mastication. Here we investigate the significance of Lanzhousaurus in the evolutionary history of iguanodontian-hadrosauriform transition by using a combination of stable isotope analysis and CT imagery. We infer that Lanzhousaurus had a rapid rate of tooth enamel elongation or amelogenesis at 0.24 mm/day with dental tissues common to other Iguanodontian dinosaurs. Among ornithopods, high rates of amelogenesis have been previously observed in hadrosaurids, where they have been associated with a sophisticated masticatory apparatus. These data suggest rapid amelogenesis evolved among non-hadrosauriform iguanodontians such as Lanzhousaurus, representing a crucial step that was exapted for the evolution of the hadrosaurian feeding mechanism.

  8. An early cretaceous phase of accelerated erosion on the south-western margin of Africa: evidence from apatite fission track analysis and the offshore sedimentary record

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Brown, R.W.; Gleadow, A.J.W.; Rust, D.J.; Summerfield, M.A.; De Wit, M.C.J.

    1990-01-01

    Apatite fission track ages and confined track length distributions have been determined for rock samples from the south-western continental margin of Africa. The apatite ages fall into two groups, one having early Cretaceous ages and mean confined track lengths of ∼ 14 μm with very few short tracks, and the other having older ages with confined track length distributions containing a significant proportion of strongly annealed tracks (<10 μm). In any particular area the older apatite ages only occur above a critical threshold elevation, forming a regional pattern in the data and indicating cooling of the upper few kilometres of the crust during the early cretaceous. This episode of cooling is shown to have been the consequence of an accelerated phase of erosion associated with the early stages of rifting and break-up of Gondwana, and correlates with sedimentation patterns derived from borehole data for the adjacent offshore basin. (author)

  9. An early cretaceous phase of accelerated erosion on the south-western margin of Africa: evidence from apatite fission track analysis and the offshore sedimentary record

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Brown, R.W.; Gleadow, A.J.W. (La Trobe Univ., Bundoora (Australia)); Rust, D.J.; Summerfield, M.A. (Edinburgh Univ. (UK)); De Wit, M.C.J. (De Beers Consolidated Mines Ltd., Kimberley (South Africa))

    1990-01-01

    Apatite fission track ages and confined track length distributions have been determined for rock samples from the south-western continental margin of Africa. The apatite ages fall into two groups, one having early Cretaceous ages and mean confined track lengths of {approx} 14 {mu}m with very few short tracks, and the other having older ages with confined track length distributions containing a significant proportion of strongly annealed tracks (<10 {mu}m). In any particular area the older apatite ages only occur above a critical threshold elevation, forming a regional pattern in the data and indicating cooling of the upper few kilometres of the crust during the early cretaceous. This episode of cooling is shown to have been the consequence of an accelerated phase of erosion associated with the early stages of rifting and break-up of Gondwana, and correlates with sedimentation patterns derived from borehole data for the adjacent offshore basin. (author).

  10. Decline of coral reefs during late Paleocene to early Eocene global warming

    OpenAIRE

    Scheibner , C.; Speijer , R. P.

    2007-01-01

    International audience; Since the 1980s the frequency of warming events has intensified and simultaneously widespread coral bleaching, and enhanced coral mortality have been observed. Yet, it remains unpredictable how tropical coral reef communities will react to prolonged adverse conditions. Possibly, coral reef systems are sufficiently robust to withstand continued environmental pressures. But if coral mortality increases, what will platform communities of the future look like? The co-evolu...

  11. A new Early Cretaceous relative of Gnetales: Siphonospermum simplex gen. et sp. nov. from the Yixian Formation of Northeast China

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Friis Else

    2010-06-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Knowledge on fossil and evolutionary history of the Gnetales has expanded rapidly; Ephedra and ephedroids as well as the Gnetum-Welwitschia clade are now well documented in the Early Cretaceous. However, hypotheses on evolutionary relationships among living and fossil species are hampered by restricted knowledge of morphological variation in living groups and recent studies indicate that gnetalean diversity and character evolution may be more complex than previously assumed and involve additional extinct groups (Bennettitales, Erdtmanithecales and unassigned fossil taxa. Results Here we describe a new fossil related to Gnetales, Siphonospermum simplex from the Early Cretaceous Yixian Formation, an impression/compression of a reproductive shoot. The slender main axis bears one pair of opposite and linear leaves with primary parallel venation. The reproductive units are ovoid, without supporting bracts and borne on one median and two lateral branches. The most conspicuous feature of the fossil is the long, thread-like micropylar tube formed by the integument. Each ovule is surrounded by two different layers representing one or two seed envelopes; an inner sclerenchymatous layer and an outer probably parenchymatous layer. Conclusions The vegetative and reproductive features of Siphonospermum simplex exclude a relationship to any other group than the Gnetales. A combination of opposite phyllotaxis, linear leaves and ovules surrounded by seed envelope(s and with a long exposed micropylar tube are known only for extant and extinct Gnetales. Siphonospermum simplex constitutes a new lineage within the Gnetales. Its morphology cannot be directly linked to any previously known plant, but the organization of the reproductive units indicates that it belongs to the Gnetum-Welwitschia clade. Based on the absence of cone bracts and the inferred histology of the seed envelope(s it could be related to Gnetum, however, there are also

  12. Tectonic Mechanism for the Mid-Cretaceous - Early Paleogene Intraplate Magmatism from the Gulf of Mexico to Northwestern Canada

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Y.; Murphy, M. A.; Snow, J. E.; van Wijk, J.; Cannon, J. M.; Parsons, C.

    2017-12-01

    Tectonic mechanisms have remained controversial for a number of intraplate igneous suites of mid-Cretaceous - early Paleogene age across North America. They span the northern Gulf of Mexico (GoM), through Arkansas and Kansas in the US, to Saskatchewan and Northwestern Territories in Canada, resembling a belt that is located 1000+ km inboard from, and aligned sub-parallel to, the western margin of North America. The northern GoM magmatism is characterized by lamproites, carbonatites, nephelinites, with other alkaline rocks, whereas the rest igneous provinces are dominated by kimberlites. Their geochemical signatures, in general, point to a sub-lithospheric mantle origin. Hypotheses that explain the tectonic origin of these magmatic rocks include: (1) hotspots and mantle plumes, (2) edge-driven convection, (3) lithospheric reactivation, and (4) low-angle subduction. Evaluation based on our integration of published geological and geophysical data shows that contradictions exist in each model between observations and predictions. To explain this plate-scale phenomenon, we propose that the Farallon slab may have stagnated within or around the mantle transition zone during the Early Cretaceous, with its leading edge reaching ca. 1600 km inland beneath the North American plate. Dehydration and decarbonation of the slab produces sporadic, dense, low-degree partial melts at the mantle transition zone depths. As the slab descends into the lower mantle, Rayleigh-Taylor instabilities are induced at slab edges, causing passive upwelling that brings alkali-rich carbonate silicate melts to the base of the overriding plate. Subsequently, the North American lithosphere with varying thicknesses, discontinuities, and compositions interacts with the rising partial melts, generating a spectrum of igneous rocks. Fragments of the once-stagnated slab may still be detectable in the lower mantle beneath eastern US in seismic tomography models. This study highlights a profound plate

  13. Early Cretaceous dextral transpressional deformation within the Median Batholith, Stewart Island, New Zealand

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Allibone, A.H.; Tulloch, A.J.

    2008-01-01

    The character, timing, and significance of deformation within the Median Batholith has been debated since at least 1967, with allochthonous and autochthonous models proposed to account for internal variations in the character of the batholith. Stewart Island provides excellent exposures of intrabatholithic structures, allowing many aspects of the deformation history within the batholith to be analysed, far removed from the effects of later deformation related to the current plate boundary. Median Batholith rocks in northern and central Stewart Island are deformed by three major structures: the Freshwater Fault System, Escarpment Fault, and Gutter Shear Zone. Lineation orientations, Al in hornblende geobarometry, and Ar-Ar thermochronology indicate up to c. 7 km of NNE-directed uplift of the hanging wall of the Escarpment Fault between c. 110 and 105 Ma. Unlike the Escarpment Fault, a wide range of mineral elongation lineation orientations, including many oblique to the strike and dip of related foliations, characterise both the Gutter Shear Zone and Freshwater Fault System. Lineation and limited sense of shear data indicate dextral-reverse movement on both structures during development of their dominant ductile fabrics. Crosscutting and intrusive relationships indicate movement on the Freshwater Fault System after c. 130 Ma and on the Gutter Shear Zone between 120 and 112 Ma. The amount of movement on the Freshwater Fault System and Gutter Shear Zone remains largely unconstrained. However, the 342 ± 24 Ma age of a granite clast in a Paterson Group lithic tuff horizon at Abrahams Bay overlaps that of Carboniferous plutons in the block immediately south of the Freshwater Fault System, implying that the Paterson Group is little displaced from the basement rocks through which it was erupted. The three structures mapped on Stewart Island form part of a narrow transpressional mobile belt active within the Jurassic-Cretaceous arc on the outboard margin of the Western

  14. Biotic and environmental dynamics through the Late Jurassic-Early Cretaceous transition: evidence for protracted faunal and ecological turnover.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tennant, Jonathan P; Mannion, Philip D; Upchurch, Paul; Sutton, Mark D; Price, Gregory D

    2017-05-01

    The Late Jurassic to Early Cretaceous interval represents a time of environmental upheaval and cataclysmic events, combined with disruptions to terrestrial and marine ecosystems. Historically, the Jurassic/Cretaceous (J/K) boundary was classified as one of eight mass extinctions. However, more recent research has largely overturned this view, revealing a much more complex pattern of biotic and abiotic dynamics than has previously been appreciated. Here, we present a synthesis of our current knowledge of Late Jurassic-Early Cretaceous events, focusing particularly on events closest to the J/K boundary. We find evidence for a combination of short-term catastrophic events, large-scale tectonic processes and environmental perturbations, and major clade interactions that led to a seemingly dramatic faunal and ecological turnover in both the marine and terrestrial realms. This is coupled with a great reduction in global biodiversity which might in part be explained by poor sampling. Very few groups appear to have been entirely resilient to this J/K boundary 'event', which hints at a 'cascade model' of ecosystem changes driving faunal dynamics. Within terrestrial ecosystems, larger, more-specialised organisms, such as saurischian dinosaurs, appear to have suffered the most. Medium-sized tetanuran theropods declined, and were replaced by larger-bodied groups, and basal eusauropods were replaced by neosauropod faunas. The ascent of paravian theropods is emphasised by escalated competition with contemporary pterosaur groups, culminating in the explosive radiation of birds, although the timing of this is obfuscated by biases in sampling. Smaller, more ecologically diverse terrestrial non-archosaurs, such as lissamphibians and mammaliaforms, were comparatively resilient to extinctions, instead documenting the origination of many extant groups around the J/K boundary. In the marine realm, extinctions were focused on low-latitude, shallow marine shelf-dwelling faunas

  15. Colorimetric Detection of Caspase 3 Activity and Reactive Oxygen Derivatives: Potential Early Indicators of Thermal Stress in Corals

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mickael Ros

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available There is an urgent need to develop and implement rapid assessments of coral health to allow effective adaptive management in response to coastal development and global change. There is now increasing evidence that activation of caspase-dependent apoptosis plays a key role during coral bleaching and subsequent mortality. In this study, a “clinical” approach was used to assess coral health by measuring the activity of caspase 3 using a commercial kit. This method was first applied while inducing thermal bleaching in two coral species, Acropora millepora and Pocillopora damicornis. The latter species was then chosen to undergo further studies combining the detection of oxidative stress-related compounds (catalase activity and glutathione concentrations as well as caspase activity during both stress and recovery phases. Zooxanthellae photosystem II (PSII efficiency and cell density were measured in parallel to assess symbiont health. Our results demonstrate that the increased caspase 3 activity in the coral host could be detected before observing any significant decrease in the photochemical efficiency of PSII in the algal symbionts and/or their expulsion from the host. This study highlights the potential of host caspase 3 and reactive oxygen species scavenging activities as early indicators of stress in individual coral colonies.

  16. Highly resolved early Eocene food webs show development of modern trophic structure after the end-Cretaceous extinction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dunne, Jennifer A; Labandeira, Conrad C; Williams, Richard J

    2014-05-07

    Generalities of food web structure have been identified for extant ecosystems. However, the trophic organization of ancient ecosystems is unresolved, as prior studies of fossil webs have been limited by low-resolution, high-uncertainty data. We compiled highly resolved, well-documented feeding interaction data for 700 taxa from the 48 million-year-old latest early Eocene Messel Shale, which contains a species assemblage that developed after an interval of protracted environmental and biotal change during and following the end-Cretaceous extinction. We compared the network structure of Messel lake and forest food webs to extant webs using analyses that account for scale dependence of structure with diversity and complexity. The Messel lake web, with 94 taxa, displays unambiguous similarities in structure to extant webs. While the Messel forest web, with 630 taxa, displays differences compared to extant webs, they appear to result from high diversity and resolution of insect-plant interactions, rather than substantive differences in structure. The evidence presented here suggests that modern trophic organization developed along with the modern Messel biota during an 18 Myr interval of dramatic post-extinction change. Our study also has methodological implications, as the Messel forest web analysis highlights limitations of current food web data and models.

  17. Structure of an inverted basin from subsurface and field data: the Late Jurassic-Early Cretaceous Maestrat Basin (Iberian Chain)

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Nebot, M.; Guimera, J.

    2016-07-01

    The Maestrat Basin experienced two main rifting events: Late Permian-Late Triassic and Late Jurassic-Early Cretaceous, and was inverted during the Cenozoic Alpine orogeny. During the inversion, an E-W-trending, N-verging fold-and-thrust belt developed along its northern margin, detached in the Triassic evaporites, while southwards it also involved the Variscan basement. A structural study of the transition between these two areas is presented, using 2D seismic profiles, exploration wells and field data, to characterize its evolution during the Mesozoic extension and the Cenozoic contraction. The S-dipping Maestrat basement thrust traverses the Maestrat Basin from E to W; it is the result of the Cenozoic inversion of the lower segment–within the acoustic basement–of the Mesozoic extensional fault system that generated the Salzedella sub-basin. The syn-rift Lower Cretaceous rocks filling the Salzedella sub-basin thicken progressively northwards, from 350m to 1100m. During the inversion, a wide uplifted area –40km wide in the N-S direction– developed in the hanging wall of the Maestrat basement thrust. This uplifted area is limited to the North by the E-W-trending Calders monocline, whose limb is about 13km wide in its central part, dips about 5ºN, and generates a vertical tectonic step of 800-1200m. We interpreted the Calders monocline as a fault-bend fold; therefore, a flat-ramp-flat geometry is assumed in depth for the Maestrat basement thrust. The northern synformal hinge of the Calders monocline coincides with the transition from thick-skinned to thin-skinned areas. The vast uplifted area and the low-dip of the monocline suggest a very low-dip for the basement ramp, rooted in the upper crust. The Calders monocline narrows and disappears laterally, in coincidence with the outcrop of the Maestrat basement thrust. The evaporitic Middle Muschelkalk detachment conditioned the structural style. Salt structures are also related to it; they developed during the

  18. The Role of Maternal Nutrition on Oocyte Size and Quality, with Respect to Early Larval Development in The Coral-Eating Starfish, Acanthaster planci.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ciemon Frank Caballes

    Full Text Available Variation in local environmental conditions can have pronounced effects on the population structure and dynamics of marine organisms. Previous studies on crown-of-thorns starfish, Acanthaster planci, have primarily focused on effects of water quality and nutrient availability on larval growth and survival, while the role of maternal nutrition on reproduction and larval development has been overlooked. To examine the effects of maternal nutrition on oocyte size and early larval development in A. planci, we pre-conditioned females for 60 days on alternative diets of preferred coral prey (Acropora abrotanoides versus non-preferred coral prey (Porites rus and compared resulting gametes and progeny to those produced by females that were starved over the same period. Females fed ad libitum with Acropora increased in weight, produced heavier gonads and produced larger oocytes compared to Porites-fed and starved females. Fed starfish (regardless of whether it was Acropora or Porites produced bigger larvae with larger stomachs and had a higher frequency of normal larvae that reached the late bipinnaria / early brachiolaria stage compared to starved starfish. Females on Acropora diet also produced a higher proportion of larvae that progressed to more advanced stages faster compared to Porites-fed starfish, which progressed faster than starved starfish. These results suggest that maternal provisioning can have important consequences for the quality and quantity of progeny. Because food quality (coral community structure and quantity (coral abundance varies widely among reef locations and habitats, local variation in maternal nutrition of A. planci is likely to moderate reproductive success and may explain temporal and spatial fluctuations in abundance of this species.

  19. The Role of Maternal Nutrition on Oocyte Size and Quality, with Respect to Early Larval Development in The Coral-Eating Starfish, Acanthaster planci.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Caballes, Ciemon Frank; Pratchett, Morgan S; Kerr, Alexander M; Rivera-Posada, Jairo A

    2016-01-01

    Variation in local environmental conditions can have pronounced effects on the population structure and dynamics of marine organisms. Previous studies on crown-of-thorns starfish, Acanthaster planci, have primarily focused on effects of water quality and nutrient availability on larval growth and survival, while the role of maternal nutrition on reproduction and larval development has been overlooked. To examine the effects of maternal nutrition on oocyte size and early larval development in A. planci, we pre-conditioned females for 60 days on alternative diets of preferred coral prey (Acropora abrotanoides) versus non-preferred coral prey (Porites rus) and compared resulting gametes and progeny to those produced by females that were starved over the same period. Females fed ad libitum with Acropora increased in weight, produced heavier gonads and produced larger oocytes compared to Porites-fed and starved females. Fed starfish (regardless of whether it was Acropora or Porites) produced bigger larvae with larger stomachs and had a higher frequency of normal larvae that reached the late bipinnaria / early brachiolaria stage compared to starved starfish. Females on Acropora diet also produced a higher proportion of larvae that progressed to more advanced stages faster compared to Porites-fed starfish, which progressed faster than starved starfish. These results suggest that maternal provisioning can have important consequences for the quality and quantity of progeny. Because food quality (coral community structure) and quantity (coral abundance) varies widely among reef locations and habitats, local variation in maternal nutrition of A. planci is likely to moderate reproductive success and may explain temporal and spatial fluctuations in abundance of this species.

  20. Taxonomic diversity dynamics of early cretaceous brachiopods and gastropods in the Azerbaijanian domains of the Lesser Caucasus (Neo-Tethys Ocean

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ruban Dmitry A.

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available Palaeontological data available from the Azerbaijanian domains (Somkhit-Agdam, Sevan-Karabakh, and Miskhan-Kafan tectonic zones of the Lesser Caucasus permit reconstruction of the regional taxonomic diversity dynamics of two groups of Early Cretaceous marine benthic invertebrates. Stratigraphical ranges of 31 species and 14 genera of brachiopods and 40 species and 31 genera of gastropods are considered. The total number of species and genera of brachiopods was low in the Berriasian-Valanginian and then rose to peak in the Barremian. Then, the diversity declined in the Aptian, and brachiopods are not known regionally from the Albian. Gastropods appeared in the Hauterivian and experienced a strong radiation in the Barremian. The diversity of species and genera declined in the Aptian (with a minor radiation in the Middle Aptian, and no gastropods are reported from the Albian. Globally, the number of brachiopod genera remained stable through the Early Cretaceous, and the number of gastropod genera increased stepwise with the maximum in the Albian. The regional and global patterns of the diversity dynamics differed for the both groups of marine benthic invertebrates. The Barremian maximum of the taxonomic diversity coincided with the regional flourishing of reefal ecosystems. The taxonomic diversity dynamics of brachiopods in the Azerbaijanian domains of the Lesser Caucasus is very similar to those of the Northern Caucasus, which is an evidence of proximity of these regions during the Early Cretaceous.

  1. Early Cretaceous I-type granites in the Tengchong terrane: New constraints on the late Mesozoic tectonic evolution of southwestern China

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yi Fang

    2018-03-01

    Full Text Available The Early Cretaceous granitoids that are widespread in the Tengchong terrane of Southwest China play a critical role in understanding the tectonic framework associated with the Tethyan oceans. In this study, we present a detailed description of zircon U–Pb ages, whole-rock geochemistry and Hf isotopes for the Laoxiangkeng pluton in the eastern Tengchong terrane and elucidate their petrogenesis and geodynamic implications. Zircon U–Pb dating of the Laoxiangkeng pluton yields ages of 114 ± 1 Ma and 115 ± 1 Ma, which imply an Early Cretaceous magmatic event. The Laoxiangkeng pluton enriched in Si and Na, is calc-alkaline and metaluminous, and has the characteristics of highly fractionated I-type granites. Zircons from the pluton have calculated εHf(t values of −12.7 to −3.7 and two-stage model ages of 1327–1974 Ma, respectively, indicating a mixed source of partial melting of Paleo-Neoproterozoic crust-derived compositions with some inputs of mantle-derived magmas. By integrating all available data for the regional tectonic evolution of the eastern Tethys tectonic domain, we conclude that the Early Cretaceous magmatism in the Tengchong terrane was produced by the northeastward subduction of the Meso-Tethyan Bangong–Nujiang Ocean.

  2. Early Cretaceous MORB-type basalt and A-type rhyolite in northern Tibet: Evidence for ridge subduction in the Bangong-Nujiang Tethyan Ocean

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fan, Jian-Jun; Li, Cai; Sun, Zhen-Ming; Xu, Wei; Wang, Ming; Xie, Chao-Ming

    2018-04-01

    New zircon U-Pb ages, major- and trace-element data, and Hf isotopic compositions are presented for bimodal volcanic rocks of the Zhaga Formation (ZF) in the western-middle segment of the Bangong-Nujiang suture zone (BNSZ), northern Tibet. The genesis of these rocks is described, and implications for late-stage evolution of the Bangong-Nujiang Tethyan Ocean (BNTO) are considered. Detailed studies show that the ZF bimodal rocks, which occur as layers within a typical bathyal to abyssal flysch deposit, comprise MORB-type basalt that formed at a mid-ocean ridge, and low-K calc-alkaline A-type rhyolite derived from juvenile crust. The combination of MORB-type basalt, calc-alkaline A-type rhyolite, and bathyal to abyssal flysch deposits in the ZF leads us to propose that they formed as a result of ridge subduction. The A-type ZF rhyolites yield LA-ICP-MS zircon U-Pb ages of 118-112 Ma, indicating formation during the Early Cretaceous. Data from the present study, combined with regional geological data, indicate that the BNTO underwent conversion from ocean opening to ocean closure during the Late Jurassic-Early Cretaceous. The eastern segment of the BNTO closed during this period, while the western and western-middle segments were still at least partially open and active during the Early Cretaceous, accompanied by ridge subduction within the Bangong-Nujiang Tethyan Ocean.

  3. Definition, age, and correlation of the Clarence Series stages in New Zealand (late Early to early Late Cretaceous)

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Crampton, J.S.; Tulloch, A.J.; Wilson, G.J.; Ramezani, J.; Speden, I.G.

    2004-01-01

    The New Zealand local Clarence Series spans the Lower/Upper Cretaceous boundary and includes three stages, in ascending order, the Urutawan, Motuan, and Ngaterian. All three were defined originally from a type section at Motu Falls, Raukumara Peninsula. To address problems with their original definitions and to improve correlations between the New Zealand time-scale and Global Chronostratigraphic Scale, four key sections have been re-studied: the Motu Falls and adjacent Te Waka sections, and the Coverham and Seymour sections in the Clarence valley, Marlborough. The sections contain locally abundant macrofossils and have been sampled at a reconnaissance level for dinoflagellates. In addition, a middle Motuan tuff bed in the Motu Falls section has yielded a zircon U-Pb age of 101.6 ± 0.2 Ma, and an upper Ngaterian basalt flow in the Seymour section has yielded a plagioclase Ar/Ar age of 96.1 ± 0.6 Ma. The older of these dates allows, for the first time, direct age correlation of Clarence Series stages that are based on marine strata in eastern New Zealand, with non-marine rocks in the west. Thus, the Stitts Tuff, at the base of the Pororari Group in the western South Island, is shown to be middle Motuan. Based on the new data, we emend the definitions of the Clarence Series stages. The base of the Urutawan is defined using the lowest occurrence of the inoceramid bivalve Mytiloides ipuanus in the Motu Falls section. The base of the Motuan is defined using the lowest occurrence of the bivalve Aucellina euglypha in the same section. The base of the Ngaterian is defined using the lowest occurrence of the inoceramid 'I.' tawhanus in the Te Waka section. In all three cases, the placements of the lowest occurrence datums are subject to uncertainties that can only be resolved by further biostratigraphic and/or taxonomic study. Based on biostratigraphic data and the new radiometric dates, the following international correlations are proposed: Urutawan Stage = lower

  4. Early Cretaceous paleomagnetic and geochronologic results from the Tethyan Himalaya: Insights into the Neotethyan paleogeography and the India–Asia collision

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ma, Yiming; Yang, Tianshui; Bian, Weiwei; Jin, Jingjie; Zhang, Shihong; Wu, Huaichun; Li, Haiyan

    2016-01-01

    To better understand the Neotethyan paleogeography, a paleomagnetic and geochronological study has been performed on the Early Cretaceous Sangxiu Formation lava flows, which were dated from ~135.1 Ma to ~124.4 Ma, in the Tethyan Himalaya. The tilt-corrected site-mean characteristic remanent magnetization (ChRM) direction for 26 sites is Ds = 296.1°, Is = −65.7°, ks = 51.7, α95 = 4.0°, corresponding to a paleopole at 5.9°S, 308.0°E with A95 = 6.1°. Positive fold and reversal tests prove that the ChRM directions are prefolding primary magnetizations. These results, together with reliable Cretaceous-Paleocene paleomagnetic data observed from the Tethyan Himalaya and the Lhasa terrane, as well as the paleolatitude evolution indicated by the apparent polar wander paths (APWPs) of India, reveal that the Tethyan Himalaya was a part of Greater India during the Early Cretaceous (135.1–124.4 Ma) when the Neotethyan Ocean was up to ~6900 km, it rifted from India sometime after ~130 Ma, and that the India-Asia collision should be a dual-collision process including the first Tethyan Himalaya-Lhasa terrane collision at ~54.9 Ma and the final India-Tethyan Himalaya collision at ~36.7 Ma. PMID:26883692

  5. Early Cretaceous paleomagnetic and geochronologic results from the Tethyan Himalaya: Insights into the Neotethyan paleogeography and the India-Asia collision.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ma, Yiming; Yang, Tianshui; Bian, Weiwei; Jin, Jingjie; Zhang, Shihong; Wu, Huaichun; Li, Haiyan

    2016-02-17

    To better understand the Neotethyan paleogeography, a paleomagnetic and geochronological study has been performed on the Early Cretaceous Sangxiu Formation lava flows, which were dated from ~135.1 Ma to ~124.4 Ma, in the Tethyan Himalaya. The tilt-corrected site-mean characteristic remanent magnetization (ChRM) direction for 26 sites is Ds = 296.1°, Is = -65.7°, ks = 51.7, α95 = 4.0°, corresponding to a paleopole at 5.9°S, 308.0°E with A95 = 6.1°. Positive fold and reversal tests prove that the ChRM directions are prefolding primary magnetizations. These results, together with reliable Cretaceous-Paleocene paleomagnetic data observed from the Tethyan Himalaya and the Lhasa terrane, as well as the paleolatitude evolution indicated by the apparent polar wander paths (APWPs) of India, reveal that the Tethyan Himalaya was a part of Greater India during the Early Cretaceous (135.1-124.4 Ma) when the Neotethyan Ocean was up to ~6900 km, it rifted from India sometime after ~130 Ma, and that the India-Asia collision should be a dual-collision process including the first Tethyan Himalaya-Lhasa terrane collision at ~54.9 Ma and the final India-Tethyan Himalaya collision at ~36.7 Ma.

  6. Effects of coal contamination on early life history processes of a reef-building coral, Acropora tenuis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Berry, Kathryn L E; Hoogenboom, Mia O; Brinkman, Diane L; Burns, Kathryn A; Negri, Andrew P

    2017-01-15

    Successful reproduction and larval dispersal are important for the persistence of marine invertebrate populations, and these early life history processes can be sensitive to marine pollution. Coal is emerging as a contaminant of interest due to the proximity of ports and shipping lanes to coral reefs. To assess the potential hazard of this contaminant, gametes, newly developed embryos, larvae and juveniles of the coral Acropora tenuis were exposed to a range of coal leachate, suspended coal, and coal smothering treatments. Fertilisation was the most sensitive reproductive process tested. Embryo survivorship decreased with increasing suspended coal concentrations and exposure duration, effects on larval settlement varied between treatments, while effects on juvenile survivorship were minimal. Leachate exposures had negligible effects on fertilisation and larval settlement. These results indicate that coral recruitment could be affected by spills that produce plumes of suspended coal particles which interact with gametes and embryos soon after spawning. Copyright © 2016 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd.. All rights reserved.

  7. Gene Expression Patterns during the Early Stages of Chemically Induced Larval Metamorphosis and Settlement of the Coral Acropora millepora

    Science.gov (United States)

    Siboni, Nachshon; Abrego, David; Motti, Cherie A.; Tebben, Jan; Harder, Tilmann

    2014-01-01

    The morphogenetic transition of motile coral larvae into sessile primary polyps is triggered and genetically programmed upon exposure to environmental biomaterials, such as crustose coralline algae (CCA) and bacterial biofilms. Although the specific chemical cues that trigger coral larval morphogenesis are poorly understood there is much more information available on the genes that play a role in this early life phase. Putative chemical cues from natural biomaterials yielded defined chemical samples that triggered different morphogenetic outcomes: an extract derived from a CCA-associated Pseudoalteromonas bacterium that induced metamorphosis, characterized by non-attached metamorphosed juveniles; and two fractions of the CCA Hydrolithon onkodes (Heydrich) that induced settlement, characterized by attached metamorphosed juveniles. In an effort to distinguish the genes involved in these two morphogenetic transitions, competent larvae of the coral Acropora millepora were exposed to these predictable cues and the expression profiles of 47 coral genes of interest (GOI) were investigated after only 1 hour of exposure using multiplex RT–qPCR. Thirty-two GOI were differentially expressed, indicating a putative role during the early regulation of morphogenesis. The most striking differences were observed for immunity-related genes, hypothesized to be involved in cell recognition and adhesion, and for fluorescent protein genes. Principal component analysis of gene expression profiles resulted in separation between the different morphogenetic cues and exposure times, and not only identified those genes involved in the early response but also those which influenced downstream biological changes leading to larval metamorphosis or settlement. PMID:24632854

  8. Geochronology and geochemistry constraints of the Early Cretaceous Taibudai porphyry Cu deposit, northeast China, and its tectonic significance

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhou, Zhen-Hua; Mao, Jing-Wen; Wu, Xin-Li; Ouyang, Hen-Gen

    2015-05-01

    The southern Great Xing'an Range (SGXR), located in the southeastern part of Inner Mongolia, China, shows intense Mesozoic tectono-magmatic activity and hosts economically important polymetallic (Cu-Pb-Zn-Sn-Fe-Ag-Au-Mo) mineralization. Here, we present new zircon U-Pb ages, whole-rock geochemical data, Nd-Sr-Hf isotopic data and Re-Os ages for the Taibudai deposit in the SGXR. The Taibudai granitoids show high SiO2 (70.62-72.13 wt.%) and alkali (Na2O + K2O = 7.04-8.60 wt.%) concentrations, low MgO (0.89-1.37 wt.%) and Al2O3 (∼14 wt.%), ASI ratios molybdenite from the deposit yield an ore-forming age of 137.1 ± 1.4 Ma. Re contents range from 4.37 to 41.77 ppm, implying ore material components have a mixed crust-mantle origin. SHRIMP analysis of zircons show that the monzogranitic porphyry and biotite granite in the Taibudai deposit were formed at 137.0 ± 0.9 Ma and 138.3 ± 0.9 Ma, respectively, indicating a temporal link between granitic magmatism and Cu mineralization. This result, combined with the regional geology, tectonic evolution, and age data from the literature, suggests that the Early Cretaceous (∼140 Ma) was the peak metallogenic epoch for the Great Xing'an Range, and the mineralization in this period generally takes the form of porphyry, skarn, or hydrothermal polymetallic ore deposits in an active extensional continental margin environment. The Taibudai porphyry and associated mineralization provides a typical example of magmatism and metallogeny associated with a Paleo-Pacific plate subduction, continental margin, back-arc extensional setting.

  9. Ocean acidification alters early successional coral reef communities and their rates of community metabolism.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sam H C Noonan

    Full Text Available Ocean acidification is expected to alter community composition on coral reefs, but its effects on reef community metabolism are poorly understood. Here we document how early successional benthic coral reef communities change in situ along gradients of carbon dioxide (CO2, and the consequences of these changes on rates of community photosynthesis, respiration, and light and dark calcification. Ninety standardised benthic communities were grown on PVC tiles deployed at two shallow-water volcanic CO2 seeps and two adjacent control sites in Papua New Guinea. Along the CO2 gradient, both the upward facing phototrophic and the downward facing cryptic communities changed in their composition. Under ambient CO2, both communities were dominated by calcifying algae, but with increasing CO2 they were gradually replaced by non-calcifying algae (predominantly green filamentous algae, cyanobacteria and macroalgae, which increased from ~30% to ~80% cover. Responses were weaker in the invertebrate communities, however ascidians and tube-forming polychaetes declined with increasing CO2. Differences in the carbonate chemistry explained a far greater amount of change in communities than differences between the two reefs and successional changes from five to 13 months, suggesting community successions are established early and are under strong chemical control. As pH declined from 8.0 to 7.8, rates of gross photosynthesis and dark respiration of the 13-month old reef communities (upper and cryptic surfaces combined significantly increased by 10% and 20%, respectively, in response to altered community composition. As a consequence, net production remained constant. Light and dark calcification rates both gradually declined by 20%, and low or negative daily net calcification rates were observed at an aragonite saturation state of <2.3. The study demonstrates that ocean acidification as predicted for the end of this century will strongly alter reef communities, and

  10. Oxidation state inherited from the magma source and implications for mineralization: Late Jurassic to Early Cretaceous granitoids, Central Lhasa subterrane, Tibet

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cao, MingJian; Qin, KeZhang; Li, GuangMing; Evans, Noreen J.; McInnes, Brent I. A.; Li, JinXiang; Zhao, JunXing

    2018-03-01

    Arc magmas are more oxidized than mid-ocean ridge basalts; however, there is continuing debate as to whether this higher oxidation state is inherited from the source magma or developed during late-stage magmatic differentiation processes. Well-constrained Late Jurassic to Early Cretaceous arc-related intermediate to felsic rocks derived from distinct magma sources provide us with a good opportunity to resolve this enigma. A series of granitoids from the western Central Lhasa subterrane were analyzed for whole-rock magnetic susceptibility, Fe2O3/FeO ratios, and trace elements in zircon. Compared to Late Jurassic samples (1.8 ± 2.0 × 10-4 emu g-1 oe-1, Fe3+/Fetotal = 0.32 ± 0.07, zircon Ce4+/Ce3+* = 15.0 ± 13.4), Early Cretaceous rocks show higher whole-rock magnetic susceptibility (5.8 ± 2.5 × 10-4 emu g-1 oe-1), Fe3+/Fetotal ratios (0.43 ± 0.04), and zircon Ce4+/Ce3+* values (23.9 ± 22.3). In addition, positive correlations among whole-rock magnetic susceptibility, Fe3+/Fetotal ratios, and zircon Ce4+/Ce3+* reveal a slight increase in oxidation state from fO2 = QFM to NNO in the Late Jurassic to fO2 = ˜NNO in the Early Cretaceous. Obvious linear correlation between oxidation indices (whole-rock magnetic susceptibility, zircon Ce4+/Ce3+*) and source signatures (zircon ɛHf(t), TDM C ages) indicates that the oxidation state was predominantly inherited from the source with only a minor contribution from magmatic differentiation. Thus, the sources for both the Late Jurassic and Early Cretaceous rocks were probably influenced by mantle wedge-derived magma, contributing to the increased fO2. Compared to ore-forming rocks at giant porphyry Cu deposits, the relatively low oxidation state (QFM to NNO) and negative ɛHf(t) (-16 to 0) of the studied granitoids implies relative infertility. However, this study demonstrates two potential fast and effective indices ( fO2 and ɛHf(t)) to evaluate the fertility of granitoids for porphyry-style mineralization. In an

  11. Magnetic fabrics of arc plutons reveal a significant Late Jurassic to Early Cretaceous change in the relative plate motions of the Pacific Ocean basin and North America

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Žák, J.; Verner, K.; Tomek, Filip; Johnson, K.; Schwartz, J. J.

    2017-01-01

    Roč. 13, č. 1 (2017), s. 11-21 ISSN 1553-040X Grant - others:AV ČR(CZ) MSM100131601 Program:Program na podporu mezinárodní spolupráce začínajících výzkumných pracovníků Institutional support: RVO:67985831 Keywords : PB geochronology * Late Jurassic/Early Cretaceous * Blue Mountains province Subject RIV: DB - Geology ; Mineralogy OBOR OECD: Geology Impact factor: 2.304, year: 2016

  12. Petrological and zircon evidence for the Early Cretaceous granulite-facies metamorphism in the Dabie orogen, China

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gao, Xiao-Ying; Zhang, Qiang-Qiang; Zheng, Yong-Fei; Chen, Yi-Xiang

    2017-07-01

    . The spatial and temporal distribution of Early Cretaceous granulite-facies metamorphic rocks in this region is associated with the bimodal magmatism within a short period of 120-130 Ma in the postcollisional stage. This provides a direct link in petrogenesis between the granulitic, migmatic and magmatic rocks in the collisional orogen to active continental rifting, whereby high heat flow was transferred from the asthenospheric mantle into the thinned orogenic lithosphere for partial melting.

  13. High resolution chronology of late Cretaceous-early Tertiary events determined from 21,000 yr orbital-climatic cycles in marine sediments

    Science.gov (United States)

    Herbert, Timothy D.; Dhondt, Steven

    1988-01-01

    A number of South Atlantic sites cored by the Deep Sea Drilling Project (DSDP) recovered late Cretaceous and early Tertiary sediments with alternating light-dark, high-low carbonate content. The sedimentary oscillations were turned into time series by digitizing color photographs of core segments at a resolution of about 5 points/cm. Spectral analysis of these records indicates prominent periodicity at 25 to 35 cm in the Cretaceous intervals, and about 15 cm in the early Tertiary sediments. The absolute period of the cycles that is determined from paleomagnetic calibration at two sites is 20,000 to 25,000 yr, and almost certainly corresponds to the period of the earth's precessional cycle. These sequences therefore contain an internal chronometer to measure events across the K/T extinction boundary at this scale of resolution. The orbital metronome was used to address several related questions: the position of the K/T boundary within magnetic chron 29R, the fluxes of biogenic and detrital material to the deep sea immediately before and after the K/T event, the duration of the Sr anomaly, and the level of background climatic variability in the latest Cretaceous time. The carbonate/color cycles that were analyzed contain primary records of ocean carbonate productivity and chemistry, as evidenced by bioturbational mixing of adjacent beds and the weak lithification of the rhythmic sequences. It was concluded that sedimentary sequences that contain orbital cyclicity are capable of providing resolution of dramatic events in earth history with much greater precision than obtainable through radiometric methods. The data show no evidence for a gradual climatic deterioration prior to the K/T extinction event, and argue for a geologically rapid revolution at this horizon.

  14. Lower Cretaceous Puez key-section in the Dolomites - towards the mid-Cretaceous super-greenhouse

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lukeneder, A.; Halásová, E.; Rehákova, D.; Józsa, Š.; Soták, J.; Kroh, A.; Jovane, L.; Florindo, F.; Sprovieri, M.; Giorgioni, M.; Lukeneder, S.

    2012-04-01

    Investigations on different fossil groups in addition to isotopic, paleomagnetic and geochemical analysis are combined to extract the Early Cretaceous history of environmental changes, as displayed by the sea level and climate changes. Results on biostratigraphy are integrated with other dating methods as magnetostraigraphy, correlation and cyclostratigraphy. The main investigation topics of the submitted project within the above-described framework are the biostratigraphic (Lukeneder and Aspmair, 2006, 2012), palaeoecological (Lukeneder, 2008, 2012), palaeobiogeographic, lithostratigraphic (Lukeneder, 2010, 2011), cyclostratigraphic and magnetostratigraphic development of the Early Cretaceous in the Puez area. The main sections occur in expanded outcrops located on the southern margin of the Puez Plateau, within the area of the Puez-Geisler Natural Park, in the northern part of the Dolomites (South Tyrol, North Italy). The cephalopod, microfossil and nannofossil faunas and floras from the marly limestones to marls here indicates Hauterivian to Albian/Cenomanian age. Oxygen isotope values from the Lower Cretaceous Puez Formation show a decreasing trend throughout the log, from -1.5‰ in the Hauterivian to -4.5‰ in the Albian/Cenomanian. The decreasing values mirror an increasing trend in palaeotemperatures from ~ 15-18°C in the Hauterivian up to ~25-30 °C in the Albian/Cenomanian. The trend probably indicates the positive shift in temperature induced by the well known Mid Cretaceous Ocean warming (e.g., Super-Greenhouse). The cooperative project (FWF project P20018-N10; 22 international scientists): An integrative high resolution project. Macro- and microfossils, isotopes, litho-, cyclo-, magneto-and biostratigraphy as tools for investigating the Lower Cretaceous within the Dolomites (Southern Alps, Northern Italy) -The Puez area as a new key region of the Tethyan Realm), is on the way since 2008 by the Natural History Museum in Vienna and the 'Naturmuseum S

  15. Teeth of embryonic or hatchling sauropods from the Berriasian (Early Cretaceous of Cherves-de-Cognac, France

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Paul M. Barrett

    2016-08-01

    Full Text Available The Cherves-de-Cognac site (Charente, France has yielded a diverse continental microvertebrate fauna of Berriasian (earliest Cretaceous age. Dinosaur remains are rare, but include three teeth that are referrable to an indeterminate sauropod, which might represent either a titanosauriform, a non-titanosauriform macronarian or a non-neosauropod. The small size of these teeth (with a maximum length of 3 mm, as preserved and the almost complete absence of emanel wrinkling suggests that they pertained to embryonic or hatchling individuals. The Cherves-de-Cognac sauropod represents a rare occurrence of sauropod embryos/hatchlings, a new sauropod record from the poorly-known terrestrial Berriasian and another possible instance of the persistence of non-diplodocoid, non-titanosauriform sauropods into the Cretaceous.

  16. The reproductive biology and early life ecology of a common Caribbean brain coral, Diploria labyrinthiformis (Scleractinia: Faviinae)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chamberland, Valérie F.; Snowden, Skylar; Marhaver, Kristen L.; Petersen, Dirk; Vermeij, Mark J. A.

    2017-03-01

    Despite the fact that most of the severe demographic bottlenecks in coral populations occur during their earliest life stages, information on the reproductive biology and early life history traits of many coral species is limited and often inferred from adult traits only. This study reports on several atypical aspects of the reproductive biology and early life ecology of the grooved brain coral, Diploria labyrinthiformis (Linnaeus, 1758), a conspicuous reef-building species on Caribbean reefs. The timing of gamete release of D. labyrinthiformis was monitored in Curaçao over eight consecutive months, and embryogenesis, planulae behavior, and settlement rates were observed and quantified. We further studied growth and symbiont acquisition in juvenile D. labyrinthiformis for 3.5 yr and compared settler survival under ambient and nutrient-enriched conditions in situ. Notably, D. labyrinthiformis reproduced during daylight hours in six consecutive monthly spawning events between May and September 2013, with a peak in June. This is the largest number of reproductive events per year ever observed in a broadcast-spawning Caribbean coral species. In settlement experiments, D. labyrinthiformis planulae swam to the bottom of culture containers 13 h after spawning and rapidly settled when provided with settlement cues (42% within 14 h). After 5 months, the survival and growth rates of settled juveniles were 3.7 and 1.9 times higher, respectively, for settlers that acquired zooxanthellae within 1 month after settlement, compared to those that acquired symbionts later on. Nutrient enrichment increased settler survival fourfold, but only for settlers that had acquired symbionts within 1 month after settlement. With at least six reproductive events per year, a short planktonic larval phase, high settlement rates, and a positive response to nutrient enrichment, the broadcast-spawning species D. labyrinthiformis displays a range of reproductive and early life-history traits that

  17. Geological and technological characterization of the Late Jurassic-Early Cretaceous clay deposits (Jebel Ammar, northeastern Tunisia) for ceramic industry

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ben M'barek-Jemaï, Moufida; Sdiri, Ali; Ben Salah, Imed; Ben Aissa, Lassaad; Bouaziz, Samir; Duplay, Joelle

    2017-05-01

    Late Jurassic-Lower Cretaceous clays of the Jebel Ammar study site were used as raw materials for potential applications in ceramic industry. Physico-chemical characterization of the collected samples was performed using atomic absorption spectroscopy, X-ray diffraction, thermogravimetry and dilatometry (Bugot's curve). Geotechnical study was also undertaken by the assessment of plasticity and liquidity limits. It was found that high concentrations of silica, alumina with SiO2/Al2O3 ratio characterized the studied clays; its high amounts of CaO and Fe2O3 in the Late Jurassic clays indicated their calcareous nature. In addition, technological tests indicated moderate to low plasticity values for the Late Jurassic and Lower Cretaceous clays, respectively. Clay fraction (<2 μm) reached 50% of the natural clay in some cases. Mineralogical analysis showed that Jurassic clays were dominated by smectite, illite and kaolinite, as clay mineral species; calcite was the main associated mineral. Lower Cretaceous clays were mainly composed of abundant illite accompanied by well-crystallized smectite and kaolinite. Kaolinite gradually increased upwards, reaching 70% of the total clay fraction (i.e. <2 μm). Quartz, calcite and feldspar were the main non-clay minerals. Based on these analyses, the clays meet technological requirements that would allow their use in the ceramic industry and for the manufacturing of ceramic tiles.

  18. A long-lived Late Cretaceous-early Eocene extensional province in Anatolia? Structural evidence from the Ivriz Detachment, southern central Turkey

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gürer, Derya; Plunder, Alexis; Kirst, Frederik; Corfu, Fernando; Schmid, Stefan M.; van Hinsbergen, Douwe J. J.

    2018-01-01

    Central Anatolia exposes previously buried and metamorphosed, continent-derived rocks - the Kırşehir and Afyon zones - now covering an area of ∼300 × 400 km. So far, the exhumation history of these rocks has been poorly constrained. We show for the first time that the major, >120 km long, top-NE 'Ivriz' Detachment controlled the exhumation of the HP/LT metamorphic Afyon Zone in southern Central Anatolia. We date its activity at between the latest Cretaceous and early Eocene times. Combined with previously documented isolated extensional detachments found in the Kırşehir Block, our results suggest that a major province governed by extensional exhumation was active throughout Central Anatolia between ∼80 and ∼48 Ma. Although similar in dimension to the Aegean extensional province to the east, the Central Anatolian extensional province is considerably older and was controlled by a different extension direction. From this, we infer that the African slab(s) that subducted below Anatolia must have rolled back relative to the Aegean slab since at least the latest Cretaceous, suggesting that these regions were underlain by a segmented slab. Whether or not these early segments already corresponded to the modern Aegean, Antalya, and Cyprus slab segments remains open for debate, but slab segmentation must have occurred much earlier than previously thought.

  19. Effects of the herbicide diuron on the early life history stages of coral

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Negri, Andrew [Australian Institute of Marine Science, PMB 3 Townsville, QLD 4810 (Australia)]. E-mail: a.negri@aims.gov.au; Vollhardt, Claudia [Australian Institute of Marine Science, PMB 3 Townsville, QLD 4810 (Australia); Humphrey, Craig [Australian Institute of Marine Science, PMB 3 Townsville, QLD 4810 (Australia); Heyward, Andrew [Australian Institute of Marine Science, PMB 3 Townsville, QLD 4810 (Australia); Jones, Ross [Centre for Marine Studies, University of Queensland, St Lucia, QLD 4072 (Australia); Queensland Health Scientific Services, 39 Kessels Road, Coopers Plains 4108 (Australia); Eaglesham, Geoff [Bermuda Biological Station for Research, Inc, Ferry Reach, St George' s GE 01 (Bermuda); Fabricius, Katharina [Australian Institute of Marine Science, PMB 3 Townsville, QLD 4810 (Australia)

    2005-07-01

    The effects of the herbicide diuron on the early life history stages of broadcast spawning and brooding corals were examined in laboratory experiments. Fertilisation of Acropora millepora and Montipora aequituberculata oocytes were not inhibited at diuron concentrations of up to 1000{mu}gl{sup -1}. Metamorphosis of symbiont-free A. millepora larvae was only significantly inhibited at 300{mu}gl{sup -1} diuron. Pocillopora damicornis larvae, which contain symbiotic dinoflagellates, were able to undergo metamorphosis after 24h exposure to diuron at 1000{mu}gl{sup -1}. Two-week old P. damicornis recruits on the other hand were as susceptible to diuron as adult colonies, with expulsion of symbiotic dinoflagellates (bleaching) evident at 10{mu}gl{sup -1} diuron after 96h exposure. Reversible metamorphosis was observed at high diuron concentrations, with fully bleached polyps escaping from their skeletons. Pulse amplitude modulation (PAM) chlorophyll fluorescence techniques demonstrated a reduction in photosynthetic efficiency ({delta}F/F{sub m}{sup '}) in illuminated P. damicornis recruits after a 2h exposure to 1{mu}gl{sup -1} diuron. The dark-adapted quantum yields (F{sub v}/F{sub m}) also declined, indicating chronic photoinhibition and damage to photosystem II.

  20. Effects of the herbicide diuron on the early life history stages of coral

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Negri, Andrew; Vollhardt, Claudia; Humphrey, Craig; Heyward, Andrew; Jones, Ross; Eaglesham, Geoff; Fabricius, Katharina

    2005-01-01

    The effects of the herbicide diuron on the early life history stages of broadcast spawning and brooding corals were examined in laboratory experiments. Fertilisation of Acropora millepora and Montipora aequituberculata oocytes were not inhibited at diuron concentrations of up to 1000μgl -1 . Metamorphosis of symbiont-free A. millepora larvae was only significantly inhibited at 300μgl -1 diuron. Pocillopora damicornis larvae, which contain symbiotic dinoflagellates, were able to undergo metamorphosis after 24h exposure to diuron at 1000μgl -1 . Two-week old P. damicornis recruits on the other hand were as susceptible to diuron as adult colonies, with expulsion of symbiotic dinoflagellates (bleaching) evident at 10μgl -1 diuron after 96h exposure. Reversible metamorphosis was observed at high diuron concentrations, with fully bleached polyps escaping from their skeletons. Pulse amplitude modulation (PAM) chlorophyll fluorescence techniques demonstrated a reduction in photosynthetic efficiency (ΔF/F m ' ) in illuminated P. damicornis recruits after a 2h exposure to 1μgl -1 diuron. The dark-adapted quantum yields (F v /F m ) also declined, indicating chronic photoinhibition and damage to photosystem II

  1. Reproductive ecology and early life history traits of the brooding coral, Porites astreoides, from shallow to mesophotic zones

    Science.gov (United States)

    Goodbody-Gringley, Gretchen; Wong, Kevin H.; Becker, Danielle M.; Glennon, Keegan; de Putron, Samantha J.

    2018-06-01

    Early life history traits of brooding corals are often affected by the environmental conditions experienced by parental colonies. Such parental effects can impact offspring survival, which influences the overall success of a population as well as resilience to environmental challenges. This study examines the reproductive ecology and early life history traits of the brooding coral Porites astreoides across a depth gradient in Bermuda. Fecundity, larval size, larval Symbiodinium density, and settlement success, as well as post-metamorphic juvenile survival, growth, and Symbiodinium density were compared across three reef sites representing an inshore patch reef (2-5 m), an offshore rim reef (8-10 m), and an upper-mesophotic reef (30-33 m). Although fecundity did not differ across sites, larvae produced by colonies on the patch reef site were smaller, had lower Symbiodinium densities, and had lower rates of settlement and juvenile survival compared to larvae from colonies on the rim and upper-mesophotic reef sites. Larvae produced by colonies from the rim and upper-mesophotic sites did not differ in size or Symbiodinium densities; however, rates of settlement, growth, and survival were higher for larvae from the upper-mesophotic site compared to those from the rim reef site. These results indicate that offspring quality and success vary among sites with differing environmental conditions and may imply higher recruitment potential and resilience for upper-mesophotic corals.

  2. Reappraisal of Europe’s most complete Early Cretaceous plesiosaurian: Brancasaurus brancai Wegner, 1914 from the “Wealden facies” of Germany

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sven Sachs

    2016-12-01

    Full Text Available The holotype of Brancasaurus brancai is one of the most historically famous and anatomically complete Early Cretaceous plesiosaurian fossils. It derived from the Gerdemann & Co. brickworks clay pit near Gronau (Westfalen in North Rhine-Westphalia, northwestern Germany. Stratigraphically this locality formed part of the classic European “Wealden facies,” but is now more formally attributed to the upper-most strata of the Bückeberg Group (upper Berriasian. Since its initial description in 1914, the type skeleton of B. brancai has suffered damage both during, and after WWII. Sadly, these mishaps have resulted in the loss of substantial information, in particular many structures of the cranium and limb girdles, which are today only evidenced from published text and/or illustrations. This non-confirmable data has, however, proven crucial for determining the relationships of B. brancai within Plesiosauria: either as an early long-necked elasmosaurid, or a member of the controversial Early Cretaceous leptocleidid radiation. To evaluate these competing hypotheses and compile an updated osteological compendium, we undertook a comprehensive examination of the holotype as it is now preserved, and also assessed other Bückeberg Group plesiosaurian fossils to establish a morphological hypodigm. Phylogenetic simulations using the most species-rich datasets of Early Cretaceous plesiosaurians incorporating revised scores for B. brancai, together with a second recently named Bückeberg Group plesiosaurian Gronausaurus wegneri (Hampe, 2013, demonstrated that referral of these taxa to Leptocleididae was not unanimous, and that the topological stability of this clade is tenuous. In addition, the trait combinations manifested by B. brancai and G. wegneri were virtually identical. We therefore conclude that these monotypic individuals are ontogenetic morphs and G. wegneri is a junior synonym of B. brancai. Finally, anomalies detected in the diagnostic features

  3. Extending the fossil record of Polytrichaceae: Early Cretaceous Meantoinea alophosioides gen. et sp. nov., permineralized gametophytes with gemma cups from Vancouver Island.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bippus, Alexander C; Stockey, Ruth A; Rothwell, Gar W; Tomescu, Alexandru M F

    2017-04-01

    Diverse in modern ecosystems, mosses are dramatically underrepresented in the fossil record. Furthermore, most pre-Cenozoic mosses are known only from compression fossils, lacking detailed anatomical information. When preserved, anatomy vastly improves resolution in the systematic placement of fossils. Lower Cretaceous deposits at Apple Bay (Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada) contain a diverse anatomically preserved flora that includes numerous bryophytes, many of which have yet to be characterized. Among them is a polytrichaceous moss that is described here. Fossil moss gametophytes preserved in four carbonate concretions were studied in serial sections prepared using the cellulose acetate peel technique. We describe Meantoinea alophosioides gen. et sp. nov., a polytrichaceous moss with terminal gemma cups containing stalked, lenticular gemmae. Leaves with characteristic costal anatomy, differentiated into sheathing base and free lamina and bearing photosynthetic lamellae, along with a conducting strand in the stem, place Meantoinea in family Polytrichaceae. The bistratose leaf lamina with an adaxial layer of mamillose cells, short photosynthetic lamellae restricted to the costa, and presence of gemma cups indicate affinities with basal members of the Polytrichaceae, such as Lyellia , Bartramiopsis , and Alophosia . Meantoinea alophosioides enriches the documented moss diversity of an already-diverse Early Cretaceous plant fossil assemblage. This is the third moss described from the Apple Bay plant fossil assemblage and represents the first occurrence of gemma cups in a fossil moss. It is also the oldest unequivocal record of Polytrichaceae, providing a hard minimum age for the group of 136 million years. © 2017 Botanical Society of America.

  4. 118-115 Ma magmatism in the Tethyan Himalaya igneous province: Constraints on Early Cretaceous rifting of the northern margin of Greater India

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Sheng-Sheng; Fan, Wei-Ming; Shi, Ren-Deng; Liu, Xiao-Han; Zhou, Xue-Jun

    2018-06-01

    Understanding the dynamics of Large Igneous Provinces (LIPs) is critical to deciphering processes associated with rupturing continental lithosphere. Microcontinental calving, the rifting of microcontinents from mature continental rifted margins, is particularly poorly understood. Here we present new insights into these processes from geochronological and geochemical analyses of igneous rocks from the Tethyan Himalaya. Early Cretaceous mafic dikes are widely exposed in the eastern and western Tethyan Himalaya, but no such rocks have been reported from the central Tethyan Himalaya. Here we present an analysis of petrological, geochronological, geochemical, and Sr-Nd-Hf-Os isotopic data for bimodal magmatic rocks from the center-east Tethyan Himalaya. Zircon U-Pb dating yields six weighted-mean concordant 206Pb/238U ages of 118 ± 1.2 to 115 ± 1.3 Ma. Mafic rocks display MORB-like compositions with flat to depleted LREE trends, and positive εNd(t) (+2.76 to +5.39) and εHf(t) (+8.0 to +11.9) values. The negative Nb anomalies and relatively high 187Os/188Os ratios (0.15-0.19) of these rocks are related to variable degrees (up to 10%) of crustal contamination. Geochemical characteristics indicate that mafic rocks were generated by variable degrees (2-20%) of partial melting of spinel lherzolites in shallow depleted mantle. Felsic rocks are enriched in Th and LREE, with negative Nb anomalies and decoupling of Nd (εNd(t) = -13.39 to -12.78) and Hf (εHf(t) = -4.8 to -2.0), suggesting that they were derived mainly from garnet-bearing lower continental crust. The geochemical characteristics of the bimodal magmatic associations are comparable to those of associations that form in a continental rift setting. Results indicate that Early Cretaceous magmatism occurred across the whole Tethyan Himalaya, named here as the "Tethyan Himalaya igneous province". Separation of the Tethyan Himalaya from the Indian craton may have occurred during ongoing Early Cretaceous extension

  5. Petrogenesis of the late Early Cretaceous granodiorite - Quartz diorite from eastern Guangdong, SE China: Implications for tectono-magmatic evolution and porphyry Cu-Au-Mo mineralization

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jia, Lihui; Mao, Jingwen; Liu, Peng; Li, Yang

    2018-04-01

    Comprehensive petrological, zircon U-Pb dating, Hf-O isotopes, whole rock geochemistry and Sr-Nd isotopes data are presented for the Xinwei and Sanrao intrusions in the eastern Guangdong Province, Southeast (SE) China, with an aim to constrain the petrogenesis, tectono-magmatic evolution and evaluate the implication for porphyry Cu-Au-Mo mineralization. The Xinwei intrusion is composed of granodiorite and quartz diorite, whilst the Sanrao intrusion consists of granodiorite. Zircon U-Pb ages show that both intrusions were emplaced at ca. 106-102 Ma. All rocks are metaluminous to weakly peraluminous, high-K calc-alkaline in composition, and they are characterized by LREEs enrichment, depletion in Nb, Ta, P, and Ti, and strongly fractionated LREEs to HREEs. The initial 87Sr/86Sr ratios range from 0.7055 to 0.7059, and εNd(t) values range from -3.9 to -3.0. Together with the relatively high εHf(t) values (-3.2 to 3.3) and low δ18O values (4.9‰ to 6.6‰), these data suggest that the Xinwei and Sanrao intrusions were derived from a mixed source: including the mantle-derived mafic magmas and lower continental crustal magmas. Fractional crystallization played an important role in the magmatic evolution of the Xinwei and Sanrao intrusions. The elemental and isotopic compositions of the Xinwei and Sanrao intrusions, as well as the high water content and oxidation state of their parental magmas, are similar to those of the ore-bearing granodiorites of the Luoboling porphyry Cu-Mo deposit in the Fujian Province, neighbouring east to the Guangdong Province, indicating that the late Early Cretaceous granodioritic intrusions in the eastern Guangdong Province may also have Cu-Au-Mo mineralization potential. The late Early Cretaceous magmatic event is firstly reported in eastern Guangdong, and represents a positive response of large-scale lithosphere extension and thinning, triggered by the changing subduction direction of the Paleo-Pacific plate from oblique subduction to

  6. New information on the anatomy of the Chinese Early Cretaceous Bohaiornithidae (Aves: Enantiornithes from a subadult specimen of Zhouornis hani

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    Yuguang Zhang

    2014-05-01

    Full Text Available Enantiornithines are the most diverse avian clade in the Cretaceous. However, morphological specializations indicative of specific ecological roles are not well known for this clade. Here we report on an exquisitely well-preserved specimen from the Lower Cretaceous Jehol Group of northeastern China, which pedal morphology is suggestive of a unique ecological specialization within Enantiornithes. The morphology of the new specimen is largely indistinguishable from that of the holotype of the bohaiornithid enantiornithine Zhouornis hani, albeit the latter is somewhat larger. The new specimen provides important and previously unknown details of the skull of Zhouornis hani, which add to the limited knowledge about the cranial anatomy and evolution of enantiornithines. The information offered by the new specimen also augments our understanding of the postcranial morphology of bohaiornithid enantiornithines, a clade that has been only recently recognized. With the description of this specimen, Zhouornis hani becomes one of the most anatomically complete known enantiornithine species, which will facilitate future morphological studies.

  7. A new basal hadrosauroid dinosaur from the Late Cretaceous of Uzbekistan and the early radiation of duck-billed dinosaurs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sues, Hans-Dieter; Averianov, Alexander

    2009-01-01

    Levnesovia transoxiana gen. et sp. nov., from the Late Cretaceous (Middle–Late Turonian) of Uzbekistan, is the oldest well-documented taxon referable to Hadrosauroidea sensu Godefroit et al. It differs from a somewhat younger and closely related Bactrosaurus from Inner Mongolia (China) by a tall sagittal crest on the parietals and the absence of club-shaped dorsal neural spines in adult specimens. Levnesovia, Bactrosaurus and possibly Gilmoreosaurus represent the earliest radiation of Hadrosauroidea, which took place during the Cenomanian–Turonian and possibly in North America. The second, Santonian-age radiation of Hadrosauroidea included Aralosaurus, Hadrosauridae and lineages leading to Tanius (Campanian) and Telmatosaurus (Maastrichtian). Hadrosauridae appears to be monophyletic, but Hadrosaurinae and Lambeosaurinae originated in North America and Asia, respectively. PMID:19386651

  8. A new basal hadrosauroid dinosaur from the Late Cretaceous of Uzbekistan and the early radiation of duck-billed dinosaurs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sues, Hans-Dieter; Averianov, Alexander

    2009-07-22

    Levnesovia transoxiana gen. et sp. nov., from the Late Cretaceous (Middle-Late Turonian) of Uzbekistan, is the oldest well-documented taxon referable to Hadrosauroidea sensu Godefroit et al. It differs from a somewhat younger and closely related Bactrosaurus from Inner Mongolia (China) by a tall sagittal crest on the parietals and the absence of club-shaped dorsal neural spines in adult specimens. Levnesovia, Bactrosaurus and possibly Gilmoreosaurus represent the earliest radiation of Hadrosauroidea, which took place during the Cenomanian-Turonian and possibly in North America. The second, Santonian-age radiation of Hadrosauroidea included Aralosaurus, Hadrosauridae and lineages leading to Tanius (Campanian) and Telmatosaurus (Maastrichtian). Hadrosauridae appears to be monophyletic, but Hadrosaurinae and Lambeosaurinae originated in North America and Asia, respectively.

  9. Taxonomic composition and trophic structure of the continental bony fish assemblage from the early late cretaceous of Southeastern Morocco.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cavin, Lionel; Boudad, Larbi; Tong, Haiyan; Läng, Emilie; Tabouelle, Jérôme; Vullo, Romain

    2015-01-01

    The mid-Cretaceous vertebrate assemblage from south-eastern Morocco is one of the most diversified continental vertebrate assemblages of this time worldwide. The bony fish component (coelacanths, lungfishes and ray-finned fishes) is represented by relatively complete specimens and, mostly, by fragmentary elements scattered along 250 kilometres of outcrops. Here we revisit the bony fish assemblage by studying both isolated remains collected during several fieldtrips and more complete material kept in public collections. The assemblage comprises several lungfish taxa, with the first mention of the occurrence of Arganodus tiguidiensis, and possibly two mawsoniid coelacanths. A large bichir cf. Bawitius, is recorded and corresponds to cranial elements initially referred to 'Stromerichthys' from coeval deposits in Egypt. The ginglymodians were diversified with a large 'Lepidotes' plus two obaichthyids and a gar. We confirm here that this gar belongs to a genus distinctive from Recent gars, contrary to what was suggested recently. Teleosteans comprise a poorly known ichthyodectiform, a notopterid, a probable osteoglossomorph and a large tselfatiiform, whose cranial anatomy is detailed. The body size and trophic level for each taxon are estimated on the basis of comparison with extant closely related taxa. We plotted the average body size versus average trophic level for the Kem Kem assemblage, together with extant marine and freshwater assemblages. The Kem Kem assemblage is characterized by taxa of proportionally large body size, and by a higher average trophic level than the trophic level of the extant compared freshwater ecosystems, but lower than for the extant marine ecosystems. These results should be regarded with caution because they rest on a reconstructed assemblage known mostly by fragmentary remains. They reinforce, however, the ecological oddities already noticed for this mid-Cretaceous vertebrate ecosystem in North Africa.

  10. Early-phase dynamics in coral recovery following cyclone disturbance on the inshore Great Barrier Reef, Australia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sato, Yui; Bell, Sara C.; Nichols, Cassandra; Fry, Kent; Menéndez, Patricia; Bourne, David G.

    2018-06-01

    Coral recovery (the restoration of abundance and composition of coral communities) after disturbance is a key process that determines the resilience of reef ecosystems. To understand the mechanisms underlying the recovery process of coral communities, colony abundance and size distribution were followed on reefs around Pelorus Island, located in the inshore central region of the Great Barrier Reef, following a severe tropical cyclone in 2011 that caused dramatic loss of coral communities. Permanent quadrats (600 m2) were monitored biannually between 2012 and 2016, and individual coral colonies were counted, sized and categorized into morphological types. The abundance of coral recruits and coral cover were also examined using permanent quadrats and random line intercept transects, respectively. The number of colonies in the smallest size class (4-10 cm) increased substantially during the study period, driving the recovery of coral populations. The total number of coral colonies 5 yr post-cyclone reached between 73 and 122% of pre-cyclone levels though coral cover remained between 16 and 31% of pre-cyclone levels, due to the dominance of small coral colonies in the recovering communities. Temporal transitions of coral demography (i.e., colony-size distributions) illustrated that the number of recently established coral populations overtook communities of surviving colonies. Coral recruits (coral recovery. A shift in morphological composition of coral communities was also observed, with the relative abundance of encrusting corals reduced post-cyclone in contrast to their dominance prior to the disturbance. This study identifies the fine-scale processes involved in the initial recovery of coral reefs, providing insights into the dynamics of coral demography that are essential for determining coral reef resilience following major disturbance.

  11. Early diagenetic dolomitization and dedolomitization of Late Jurassic and earliest Cretaceous platform carbonates: A case study from the Jura Mountains (NW Switzerland, E France)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rameil, Niels

    2008-12-01

    Early diagenetic dolomitization is a common feature in cyclic shallow-water carbonates throughout the geologic record. After their generation, dolomites may be subject to dedolomitization (re-calcification of dolomites), e.g. by contact with meteoric water during emersion. These patterns of dolomitization and subsequent dedolomitization frequently play a key role in unravelling the development and history of a carbonate platform. On the basis of excellent outcrops, detailed logging and sampling and integrating sedimentological work, high-resolution sequence stratigraphic interpretations, and isotope analyses (O, C), conceptual models on early diagenetic dolomitization and dedolomitization and their underlying mechanisms were developed for the Upper Jurassic / Lower Cretaceous Jura platform in north-western Switzerland and eastern France. Three different types of early diagenetic dolomites and two types of dedolomites were observed. Each is defined by a distinct petrographic/isotopic signature and a distinct spatial distribution pattern. Different types of dolomites are interpreted to have been formed by different mechanisms, such as shallow seepage reflux, evaporation on tidal flats, and microbially mediated selective dolomitization of burrows. Depending on the type of dolomite, sea water with normal marine to slightly enhanced salinities is proposed as dolomitizing fluid. Based on the data obtained, the main volume of dolomite was precipitated by a reflux mechanism that was switched on and off by high-frequency sea-level changes. It appears, however, that more than one dolomitization mechanism was active (pene)contemporaneously or several processes alternated in time. During early diagenesis, percolating meteoric waters obviously played an important role in the dedolomitization of carbonate rocks that underlie exposure surfaces. Cyclostratigraphic interpretation of the sedimentary succession allows for estimates on the timing of early diagenetic (de

  12. Late Jurassic-Early Cretaceous episodic development of the Bangong Meso-Tethyan subduction: Evidence from elemental and Sr-Nd isotopic geochemistry of arc magmatic rocks, Gaize region, central Tibet, China

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Yu-Xiu; Li, Zhi-Wu; Yang, Wen-Guang; Zhu, Li-Dong; Jin, Xin; Zhou, Xiao-Yao; Tao, Gang; Zhang, Kai-Jun

    2017-03-01

    The Bangong Meso-Tethys plays a critical role in the development of the Tethyan realm and the initial elevation of the Tibetan Plateau. However, its precise subduction polarity, and history still remain unclear. In this study, we synthesize a report for the Late Jurassic-Early Cretaceous two-phase magmatic rocks in the Gaize region at the southern margin of the Qiangtang block located in central Tibet. These rocks formed during the Late Jurassic-earliest Cretaceous (161-142 Ma) and Early Cretaceous (128-106 Ma), peaking at 146 Ma and 118 Ma, respectively. The presence of inherited zircons indicates that an Archean component exists in sediments in the shallow Qiangtang crust, and has a complex tectonomagmatic history. Geochemical and Sr-Nd isotopic data show that the two-phase magmatic rocks exhibit characteristics of arc magmatism, which are rich in large-ion incompatible elements (LIIEs), but are strongly depleted in high field strength elements (HFSEs). The Late Jurassic-earliest Cretaceous magmatic rocks mixed and mingled among mantle-derived mafic magmas, subduction-related sediments, or crustally-derived felsic melts and fluids, formed by a northward and steep subduction of the Bangong Meso-Tethys ocean crust. The magmatic gap at 142-128 Ma marks a flat subduction of the Meso-Tethys. The Early Cretaceous magmatism experienced a magma MASH (melting, assimilation, storage, and homogenization) process among mantle-derived mafic magmas, or crustally-derived felsic melts and fluids, as a result of the Meso-Tethys oceanic slab roll-back, which triggered simultaneous back-arc rifting along the southern Qiangtang block margin.

  13. Non-marine carbonate facies, facies models and palaeogeographies of the Purbeck Formation (Late Jurassic to Early Cretaceous) of Dorset (Southern England).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gallois, Arnaud; Bosence, Dan; Burgess, Peter

    2015-04-01

    Non-marine carbonates are relatively poorly understood compared with their more abundant marine counterparts. Sedimentary facies and basin architecture are controlled by a range of environmental parameters such as climate, hydrology and tectonic setting but facies models are few and limited in their predictive value. Following the discovery of extensive Early Cretaceous, non-marine carbonate hydrocarbon reservoirs in the South Atlantic, the interest of understanding such complex deposits has increased during recent years. This study is developing a new depositional model for non-marine carbonates in a semi-arid climate setting in an extensional basin; the Purbeck Formation (Upper Jurassic - Lower Cretaceous) in Dorset (Southern England). Outcrop study coupled with subsurface data analysis and petrographic study (sedimentology and early diagenesis) aims to constrain and improve published models of depositional settings. Facies models for brackish water and hypersaline water conditions of these lacustrine to palustrine carbonates deposited in the syn-rift phase of the Wessex Basin will be presented. Particular attention focusses on the factors that control the accumulation of in-situ microbialite mounds that occur within bedded inter-mound packstones-grainstones in the lower Purbeck. The microbialite mounds are located in three units (locally known as the Skull Cap, the Hard Cap and the Soft Cap) separated by three fossil soils (locally known as the Basal, the Lower and the Great Dirt Beds) respectively within three shallowing upward lacustrine sequences. These complex microbialite mounds (up to 4m high), are composed of tabular small-scale mounds (flat and long, up to 50cm high) divided into four subfacies. Many of these small-scale mounds developed around trees and branches which are preserved as moulds (or silicified wood) which are surrounded by a burrowed mudstone-wackestone collar. Subsequently a thrombolite framework developed on the upper part only within

  14. Effects of alumina refinery wastewater and signature metal constituents at the upper thermal tolerance of: 2. The early life stages of the coral Acropora tenuis

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Negri, Andrew P.; Harford, Andrew J.; Parry, David L.; Dam, Rick A. van

    2011-01-01

    Research highlights: →Methodology to assess relevant toxicants to sensitive early life histories of coral. → Explored the thermal sensitivity of fertilisation and larval metamorphosis in a coral. → First study to identify IC 50 s for Al, Ga and V in corals (at summer temperature). → First study to test the effects of an alumina outfall wastewater on coral. → Found additive effects of wastewater and high SST on fertilisation and metamorphosis. - Abstract: The success of early life history transitions of the coral Acropora tenuis were used as endpoints to evaluate thermal stress and the effects of wastewater discharged to a tropical marine environment. The studies assessed the effects of: (i) temperature; (ii) three signature metals of the wastewater, aluminium (Al), vanadium (V) and gallium (Ga); and (iii) the wastewater (at 27 o C and 32 o C) on fertilisation and larval metamorphosis. The median inhibition temperatures for fertilisation and metamorphosis were 32.8 o C and 33.0 o C, respectively. Fertilisation IC 50 s for Al, V and Ga were 2997, 2884 and 3430 μg L -1 , respectively. Metamorphosis IC 50 s for Al, V and Ga were 1945, 675 and 3566 μg L -1 , respectively. The wastewater only affected fertilisation and metamorphosis at moderate concentrations (IC 50 s = 63% and 67%, v/v, respectively, at 27 o C), posing a low risk to this species in the field. The effects of wastewater and temperature on fertilisation and metamorphosis were additive.

  15. Red Lionfish (Pterois volitans Invade San Salvador, Bahamas: No Early Effects on Coral and Fish Communities

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    Alexander, Amanda K.

    2011-10-01

    Full Text Available Biological invaders are a leading contributor to global losses of biodiversity. A recent invader to the waters surrounding San Salvador, Bahamas, the red lionfish, Pterois volitans, was first reported in 2006; by 2009 they were common in waters 2-40 m deep around the island. Our study collected data on coral communities and fish assemblages at three patch reef complexes (Rice Bay, Rocky Point, Lindsay Reef in 2007, during the initial phase of the invasion, and compared the results to a nearly identical study done in 2001 before P. volitans colonized San Salvador. Prey selection and quantity of consumption by P. volitans were also examined. Coral and fish species richness, diversity, percent cover (corals and abundance (fish were similar in 2001 and 2007. Of the 5,078 fish recorded during our study on shallow patch reefs, only two were P. volitans, but they were more prevalent in deeper water along San Salvador’s “wall.” Captured P. volitans ranged in size from 19-32 cm, all longer than maturity length. Pallid goby (Coryphopterus eidolon, black cap basslet (Gramma melacara and red night shrimp (Rynchocienetes rigens were the most commonly identified stomach contents. The effects of the successful invasion and increasing population of P. volitans on San Salvador’s reef ecosystem are uncertain at this time; future monitoring of potential changes in coral and fish communities on the patch reefs of San Salvador is recommended to determine if population control measures need to be considered. Initial post-invasion data (2007, along with pre-invasion data (2001, are valuable benchmarks for future studies.

  16. A New Species of Pengornithidae (Aves: Enantiornithes) from the Lower Cretaceous of China Suggests a Specialized Scansorial Habitat Previously Unknown in Early Birds

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hu, Han; O’Connor, Jingmai K.; Zhou, Zhonghe

    2015-01-01

    We describe a new enantiornithine bird, Parapengornis eurycaudatus gen. et sp. nov. from the Lower Cretaceous Jiufotang Formation of Liaoning, China. Although morphologically similar to previously described pengornithids Pengornis houi, Pengornis IVPP V18632, and Eopengornis martini, morphological differences indicate it represents a new taxon of the Pengornithidae. Based on new information from this specimen we reassign IVPP V18632 to Parapengornis sp. The well preserved pygostyle of the new specimen elucidates the morphology of this element for the clade, which is unique in pengornithids among Mesozoic birds. Similarities with modern scansores such as woodpeckers may indicate a specialized vertical climbing and clinging behavior that has not previously been inferred for early birds. The new specimen preserves a pair of fully pennaceous rachis-dominated feathers like those in the holotype of Eopengornis martini; together with the unique morphology of the pygostyle, this discovery lends evidence to early hypotheses that rachis-dominated feathers may have had a functional significance. This discovery adds to the diversity of ecological niches occupied by enantiornithines and if correct reveals are remarkable amount of locomotive differentiation among Enantiornithes. PMID:26039693

  17. A new species of pengornithidae (aves: enantiornithes from the lower cretaceous of China suggests a specialized scansorial habitat previously unknown in early birds.

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    Han Hu

    Full Text Available We describe a new enantiornithine bird, Parapengornis eurycaudatus gen. et sp. nov. from the Lower Cretaceous Jiufotang Formation of Liaoning, China. Although morphologically similar to previously described pengornithids Pengornis houi, Pengornis IVPP V18632, and Eopengornis martini, morphological differences indicate it represents a new taxon of the Pengornithidae. Based on new information from this specimen we reassign IVPP V18632 to Parapengornis sp. The well preserved pygostyle of the new specimen elucidates the morphology of this element for the clade, which is unique in pengornithids among Mesozoic birds. Similarities with modern scansores such as woodpeckers may indicate a specialized vertical climbing and clinging behavior that has not previously been inferred for early birds. The new specimen preserves a pair of fully pennaceous rachis-dominated feathers like those in the holotype of Eopengornis martini; together with the unique morphology of the pygostyle, this discovery lends evidence to early hypotheses that rachis-dominated feathers may have had a functional significance. This discovery adds to the diversity of ecological niches occupied by enantiornithines and if correct reveals are remarkable amount of locomotive differentiation among Enantiornithes.

  18. Internal structure of the Supragetic Unit basement in the Serbian Carpathians and its significance for the late Early Cretaceous nappe-stacking

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    Krstekanić Nemanja

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available Fault-related folds and hanging-wall structures reflect the geometry of the main thrusts in foldthrust belts. The results of the structural analysis of the Supragetic Unit metamorphic basement in eastern Serbia at map-, outcrop- and thin-section scale, and its importance for the late Early Cretaceous nappe-stacking are presented in this paper. The Supragetic Unit metamorphic basement includes various volcano-sedimentary rocks of Ordovician-Silurian protolith age. They were metamorphosed to the low greenschist facies with temperatures reaching 300-350°C and pressure reaching 0.3-0.5 GPa. The microscale studies show that quartz and albite demonstrate dominantly bulging and locally subgrain rotation recrystallisation, while chlorite, sericite and muscovite define spaced to continuous foliation recognised both at the outcrop- and the thin-section-scale. The statistical analysis based on the available map data shows low- to high-angle west-dipping foliation which is interpreted as an indicator of flat-ramp geometry of the Supragetic thrust, rather than east-vergent tight to isoclinal folding. At the thin-section scale ductile to semi-ductile C’-S structures indicate top to ESE thrusting. Subsequent kinking, recognised both at the outcrop- and the thin-section-scale, deform the older foliation. Those kink bands are the result of WNW-ESE to NW-SE compression and could represent the later stage of a continuous deformation event during which C’-S structures were formed. The youngest, brittle deformation is represented by subvertical joints with no offset recognised in thin-sections. The structural characteristics of the Supragetic Unit low-grade metamorphic basement in the studied areas, combined with tectonothermal events recognised elsewhere in Dacia mega-unit, could imply a possible initiation of the late Early Cretaceous nappe-stacking in the ductile to semi-ductile/semi-brittle domain. [Project of the Serbian Ministry of Education, Science and

  19. Sedimentology and Reservoir Characteristics of Early Cretaceous Fluvio-Deltaic and Lacustrine Deposits, Upper Abu Gabra Formation, Sufyan Sub-basin, Muglad Rift Basin, Sudan

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yassin, Mohamed; Abdullatif, Osman; Hariri, Mustafa

    2017-04-01

    Sufyan Sub-basin is an East-West trending Sub-basin located in the northwestern part of the Muglad Basin (Sudan), in the eastern extension of the West and Central Africa Rift System (WCARS). The Early Cretaceous Abu Gabra Formation considered as the main source rock in the Muglad Basin. In Sufyan Sub-basin the Early Cretaceous Upper Abu Gabra Formation is the main oil-producing reservoir. It is dominated by sandstone and shales deposited in fluvio-deltaic and lacustrine environment during the first rift cycle in the basin. Depositional and post-depositional processes highly influenced the reservoir quality and architecture. This study investigates different scales of reservoir heterogeneities from macro to micro scale. Subsurface facies analysis was analyzed based on the description of six conventional cores from two wells. Approaches include well log analysis, thin sections and scanning electron microscope (SEM) investigations, grain-size, and X-ray diffraction (XRD) analysis of the Abu Gabra sandstone. The cores and well logs analyses revealed six lithofacies representing fluvio-deltaic and lacustrine depositional environment. The sandstone is medium to coarse-grained, poorly to moderately sorted and sub-angular to subrounded, Sub-feldspathic arenite to quartz arenite. On macro-scale, reservoir quality varies within Abu Gabra reservoir where it shows progressive coarsening upward tendencies with different degrees of connectivity. The upper part of the reservoir showed well connected and amalgamated sandstone bodies, the middle to lower parts, however, have moderate to low sandstone bodies' connectivity and amalgamation. On micro-scale, sandstone reservoir quality is directly affected by textures and diagenesis.The XRD and SEM analyses show that kaolinite and chlorite clay are the common clay minerals in the studied samples. Clay matrix and quartz overgrowth have significantly reduced the reservoir porosity and permeability, while the dissolution of feldspars

  20. On the systematic relationships of Cearadactylus atrox, an enigmatic Early Cretaceous pterosaur from the Santana Formation of Brazil

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    D. M. Unwin

    2002-01-01

    Full Text Available Cearadactylus atrox, a large pterodactyloid pterosaur represented by an incomplete skull and lower jaw from the Lower Cretaceous Santana Formation of Brazil, is a valid species. Diagnostic characters include a mandibular symphysis with a transversely expanded "spatulate" anterior end that is considerably wider than the rostral spatula, and a third rostral tooth that has a basal diameter more than three times that of the fifth tooth. Additional diagnostic characters, contingent upon assignment of Cearadactylus atrox to the Ctenochasmatidae, include: anterior ends of jaws divaricate and containing 7 pairs of rostral teeth and 6 pairs of mandibular teeth; marked dimorphodonty, with an abrupt change in tooth morphology; and a "high check". "Cearadactylus? ligabuei" Dalla Vecchia, 1993, based on an incomplete skull, also from the Santana Formation, is not related to Cearadactylus atrox, exhibits several ornithocheirid synapomorphies and is referred, tentatively, to Anhanguera. Cearadactylus atrox exhibits various synapomorphies of the Ctenochasmatidae (rostrum anterior to nasoantorbital fenestra greater than half total skull length, teeth in anterior part of dentition relatively elongate and pencil-shaped, premaxilla has at least 7 pairs of teeth, the defining synapomorphy of the Gnathosaurinae (rostrum with dorsoventrally compressed laterally expanded spatulate anterior expansion, and shares two synapomorphies with the Chinese gnathosaurine Huanhepterus quingyangensis (anterior tips of jaws divaricate, teeth restricted to anterior half of mandible. Two elongate cervical vertebrae, also from the Santana Formation and previously assigned to "Santanadactylus brasilensis", are tentatively referred to Cearadactylus. Reconstruction of the temporal history of the Ctenochasmatidae suggests that while ctenochasmatines became increasingly specialised for filter feeding, gnathosaurines changed from sieve feeding to piscivory, acquiring several cranial

  1. CARBONATE FACIES ZONATION OF THE UPPER JURASSIC-LOWER CRETACEOUS APULIA PLATFORM MARGIN (GARGANO PROMONTORY, SOUTHERN ITALY

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    MICHELE MORSILLI

    1997-07-01

    Full Text Available The Late Jurassic-Early Cretaceous Apulia platform margin and the transition to adjacent basinal deposits (inner platform to basin are well exposed in the Gargano Promontory. Detailed field work has allowed to recognize eight main facies associations which reflect various depositional environments, and which document a differentiated zonation, from the inner platform to the basin. A shallow lagoon existed in the internal part of the Gargano Promontory with a transition to tidal flat areas (F1. Oolitic shoals (F2 bordered this internal peritidal area passing seaward to a reef-flat with abundant corals (F3. A reef-front, associated with a coral rubble zone, has been found in some areas (F4. In the external margin zone, massive wackestones with Ellipsactinia occur (F5 and pass gradually to a rudstone facies on the proximal slope (F6. The base-of-slope facies association consists of pelagic sediments interbedded with gravity-displaced deposits (F7 and F8. The depositional profile of the Apulia Platform is typical of the Tethyan Jurassic-Early Cretaceous platforms, with slope declivities in the order of 25°-28°. The remarkable progradation of the platform in the northern tract of the Gargano (Lesina and Varano lakes area and its substantial stability east- and southwards (Mattinata area suggest a possible windward position of the margin in this latter portion and, in contrast, a leeward position of the northern portion.   

  2. Early development of zooxanthella-containing eggs of the corals Porites cylindrica and Montipora digitata: The endodermal localization of zooxanthellae.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hirose, Mamiko; Hidaka, Michio

    2006-10-01

    We studied the early development of zooxanthellae-containing eggs of the scleractinian corals Porites cylindrica and Montipora digitata to elucidate how zooxanthellae become localized to the endoderm of planulae during the course of development. In both species, zooxanthellae were distributed evenly in the oocytes and delivered almost equally to the blastomeres during cleavage. In P. cylindrica, gastrulation occurred via delamination or ingression, and blastomeres containing zooxanthellae dropped into the blastocoel during gastrulation. Thus, zooxanthellae were restricted to the endodermal cells at the gastrula or early planula stage in P. cylindrica. In M. digitata, gastrulation occurred by a combination of invagination and epiboly to form a somewhat concave gastrula. Zooxanthellae were present in both endodermal and ectodermal cells of early planulae, but they disappeared from the ectoderm as the planulae matured. In our previous study on two species of Pocillopora, we found that zooxanthellae were localized in eggs as well as in embryos, and that blastomeres containing zooxanthellae later dropped into the blastocoel to become restricted to the endoderm (Hirose et al., 2000). The timing and mechanism of zooxanthella localization and types of gastrulation differed among species belonging to the three genera. These results suggest that zooxanthella localization in the embryos reflects the timing of the determination of presumptive endoderm cells and/or specificity of zooxanthellae toward presumptive endoderm cells.

  3. A new specimen of the Early Cretaceous bird Hongshanornis longicresta: insights into the aerodynamics and diet of a basal ornithuromorph

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    Luis M. Chiappe

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available The discovery of Hongshanornis longicresta, a small ornithuromorph bird with unusually long hindlimb proportions, was followed by the discovery of two closely related species, Longicrusavis houi and Parahongshanornis chaoyangensis. Together forming the Hongshanornithidae, these species reveal important information about the early diversity and morphological specialization of ornithuromorphs, the clade that contains all living birds. Here we report on a new specimen (DNHM D2945/6 referable to Hongshanornis longicresta that contributes significant information to better understand the morphology, trophic ecology, and aerodynamics of this species, as well as the taxonomy of the Hongshanornithidae. Most notable are the well-preserved wings and feathered tail of DNHM D2945/6, which afford an accurate reconstruction of aerodynamic parameters indicating that as early as 125 million years ago, basal ornithuromorphs had evolved aerodynamic surfaces comparable in size and design to those of many modern birds, and flight modes alike to those of some small living birds.

  4. Highly resolved early Eocene food webs show development of modern trophic structure after the end-Cretaceous extinction

    OpenAIRE

    Dunne, Jennifer A.; Labandeira, Conrad C.; Williams, Richard J.

    2014-01-01

    Generalities of food web structure have been identified for extant ecosystems. However, the trophic organization of ancient ecosystems is unresolved, as prior studies of fossil webs have been limited by low-resolution, high-uncertainty data. We compiled highly resolved, well-documented feeding interaction data for 700 taxa from the 48 million-year-old latest early Eocene Messel Shale, which contains a species assemblage that developed after an interval of protracted environmental and biotal c...

  5. TRANSITION FROM CARBONATE PLATFORM TO PELAGIC DEPOSITION (MID JURASSIC- LATE CRETACEOUS, VOURINOS MASSIF, NORTHERN GREECE

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    NICOLAOS CARRAS

    2004-03-01

    Full Text Available A Jurassic- Cretaceous carbonate succession crops out along the Zyghosti Rema, Kozani (Northern Greece. The substratum consists of the ophiolitic succession of the Vourinos Massif (Pelagonian Domain: serpentinites tectonically overlain by basalts, with thin lenses of radiolarian cherts of middle Bathonian age. The contact with the overlying Jurassic limestones is tectonic. Eight informal units have been distinguished within the Mesozoic limestones, from the base upwards. (A bioclastic, intraclastic and oolitic packstone (Callovian- Oxfordian. (B bioclastic packstone and coral boundstone (Oxfordian . (C bioclastic and oncoidal wackestone with Clypeina jurassica (Oxfordian- Upper Kimmeridgian. (D (Upper Kimmeridgian- Portlandian: oncoidal packstone and rudstone (facies D1; intraclastic and bioclastic grainstone and packstone (facies D2; neptunian dykes with intraclastic and bioclastic wackestone and packstone filling (facies D3; neptunian dykes with Fe-Mn rich laterite filling and with pink silty filling of early Late Cretaceous age. An unconformity surface, due to emersion and erosion of the platform during the latest Jurassic- Early Cretaceous, is overlain by (E intraclastic, bioclastic packstone and grainstone (Cenomanian. (F massive body of debrites with coral, echinoderm, algae and rudist large clasts (facies F1 (Cenomanian; turbiditic beds of bioclastic, intraclastic and lithoclastic rudstone and grainstone (facies F2. (G thin bedded bioclastic mudstone and wackestone with planktonic foraminifers and radiolarians, alternating with turbiditic beds of bioclastic, intraclastic packstone and rudstone and with conglomeratic levels and slumped beds of the previous turbidites (upper Santonian- lower Campanian. (H: bioclastic packstone with planktonic foraminifers (facies H1 (lower Campanian - ?Maastrichtian; amalgamated turbiditic beds of bioclastic wackestone and packstone with planktonic foraminifers (facies H2; turbiditic beds of bioclastic

  6. Using Clumped Isotopes to Understand Early Diagenetic Processes in Carbonate Microbialites of Mid-Cretaceous Codó Formation, NE Brazil

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bahniuk, A. M.; Vasconcelos, C.; McKenzie, J. A.; Franca, A. B.; Matsuda, N.; Eiler, J.

    2010-12-01

    , the δ18O values of the bulk carbonate (-5.8 to -1.5 ‰ PDB) imply precipitation from water with calculated δ18O values ranging between approximately -2.5 and 1.5 ‰ SMOW, possibly reflecting precipitation from a variably modified Cretaceous sea water with a strong meteoric influence. The δ13C values of the bulk carbonate (-9.5 to -7.2 ‰ PDB) indicate a significant input of carbon derived from aerobic or anaerobic respiration of organic matter, suggesting precipitation in a semi-enclosed or isolated water body. These preliminary results demonstrate that a combination of clumped isotope and stable isotope methods can provide new insights to study ancient environmental conditions and early diagenetic processes.

  7. Elemental and Sr-Nd isotopic geochemistry of Cretaceous to Early Paleogene granites and volcanic rocks in the Sikhote-Alin Orogenic Belt (Russian Far East): implications for the regional tectonic evolution

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhao, Pan; Jahn, Bor-ming; Xu, Bei

    2017-09-01

    The Sikhote-Alin Orogenic Belt in Russian Far East is an important Late Mesozoic to Early Cenozoic accretionary orogen related to the subduction of the Paleo-Pacific Plate. This belt was generated by successive accretion of terranes made of accretionary prisms, turbidite basins and island arcs to the continental margin of northeastern Asia (represented by the Bureya-Jiamusi-Khanka Block) from Jurassic to Late Cretaceous. In order to study the tectonic and crustal evolution of this orogenic belt, we carried out zircon U-Pb dating, and whole-rock elemental and Sr-Nd isotopic analyses on granites and volcanic rocks from the Primorye region of southern Sikhote-Alin. Zircon dating revealed three episodes of granitoid emplacement: Permian, Early Cretaceous and Late Cretaceous to Early Paleogene. Felsic volcanic rocks (mainly rhyolite, dacite and ignimbrite) that overlay all tectonostratigraphic terranes were erupted during 80-57 Ma, postdating the accretionary process in the Sikhote-Alin belt. The Cretaceous-Paleogene magmatism represents the most intense tectonothermal event in the Sikhote-Alin belt. Whole-rock major and trace elemental data show arc-like affinity for granitoids and volcanic rocks, indicating that they were likely generated in a supra-subduction setting. Their initial 87Sr/86Sr ratios range from 0.7048 to 0.7114, and εNd(t) values vary from +1.7 to -3.8 (mostly < 0). Thus, the elemental and Sr-Nd isotopic data suggest that the felsic magmas were generated by partial melting of source rocks comprising mantle-derived juvenile component and recycled crustal component. In addition to the occurrence in the Sikhote-Alin orogenic belt, Cretaceous to Early Paleogene magmatic rocks are also widespread in NE China, southern Korean peninsula, Japanese islands and other areas of Russian Far East, particularly along the coastal regions of the Okhotsk and Bering Seas. These rocks constitute an extended magmatic belt along the continental margin of NE Asia. The

  8. Strongly foliated garnetiferous amphibolite clasts in ophiolitic melanges, Yarlung Zangbo Suture Zone, Tibet; Early Cretaceous disruption of a back-arc basin?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guilmette, C.; Hebert, R.; Wang, C.; Indares, A. D.; Ullrich, T. D.; Dostal, J.; Bedard, E.

    2007-12-01

    Metre to decameter-size clasts of amphibolite are found embedded in ophiolitic melanges underlying the Yarlung Zangbo Suture Zone Ophiolites, South Tibet, China. These ophiolites and melanges occur at the limit between Indian and Tibetan-derived rocks and represent remnants of an Early Cretaceous intraoceanic supra-subduction zone domain, the Neo-Tethys. In the Saga-Dazuka segment (500 km along-strike), we discovered new occurrences of strongly foliated amphibolites found as clasts in the ophiolitic melange. In garnet-free samples, hornblende is green-blue magnesio-hornblende and cpx is low-Al diopside. In garnet- bearing samples, garnet is almandine with a strong pyrope component (up to 30 mol%) whereas coexisting hornblende is brown Ti-rich tschermakite and clinopyroxene is Al-diopside. Plagioclase composition was ubiquitously shifted to albite during a late metasomatic event. Geochemistry of these rocks indicates that their igneous protoliths crystallized from a slightly differentiated tholeiitic basaltic liquid that did not undergo major fractionation. Trace element patterns reveal geochemical characteristics identical to those of the overlying ophiolitic crust. These are 1) trace element abundances similar to that of N-MORBs or BABBs, 2) a slight depletion of LREE and 3) a moderate to strong Ta-Nb negative anomaly and a slight Ti anomaly. Such characteristics suggest genesis over a spreading center close to a subduction zone, possibly a back-arc basin. Step-heating Ar/Ar plateau ages were obtained from hornblende separates. All ages fall in the range of 123-128 Ma, overlapping the crystallization ages from the overlying ophiolite (126-131 Ma). Pseudosections were built with the THERMOCALC software in the system NCFMASH. Results indicate that the observed assemblage Hb+Pl+Gt+Cpx is stable over a wide range of P-T conditions, between 10-18 kbars and at more than 800°C. Measured mineral modes and solid solution compositions were successfully modeled, indicating

  9. Recycling of Amazonian detrital zircons in the Mixteco terrane, southern Mexico: Paleogeographic implications during Jurassic-Early Cretaceous and Paleogene times

    Science.gov (United States)

    Silva-Romo, Gilberto; Mendoza-Rosales, Claudia Cristina; Campos-Madrigal, Emiliano; Morales-Yáñez, Axél; de la Torre-González, Alam Israel; Nápoles-Valenzuela, Juan Ivan

    2018-04-01

    In the northeastern Mixteco terrane of southern Mexico, in the Ixcaquixtla-Atzumba region, the recycling of Amazonian detrital zircons records the paleogeography during the Mesozoic period in the context of the breakup of Pangea, a phenomenon that disarticulated the Sanozama-La Mora paleo-river. The clastic units of southern Mexico in the Ayuquila, Otlaltepec and Zapotitlán Mesozoic basins, as well as in the Atzumba Cenozoic basin, are characterized by detrital zircon contents with ages specific to the Amazonian craton, ranging between 3040 and 1278 Ma. The presence of zircons of Amazonian affinity suggests a provenance by recycling from carrier units such as the La Mora Formation or the Ayú Complex. In the area, the Ayú and Acatlán complexes form the Cosoltepec block, a paleogeographic element that during Early Cretaceous time acted as the divide between the slopes of the paleo-Gulf of Mexico and the paleo-Pacific Ocean. The sedimentological characteristics of the Jurassic-Cenozoic clastic successions in the Ixcaquixtla-Atzumba region denote relatively short transport in braided fluvial systems and alluvial fans. In this way, several basins are recognized around the Cosoltepec block. At the southeastern edge of the Cosoltepec block, the Ayuquila and Tecomazúchil formations accumulated in the Ayuquila continental basin on the paleo-Pacific Ocean slope. On the other hand, within the paleo-Gulf of Mexico slope, in the Otlaltepec continental basin, the Piedra Hueca and the Otlaltepec formations accumulated. The upper member of the Santa Lucía Formation accumulated in a transitional environment on the southwestern shoulder of the Zapotitlán basin, as well as on the paleo-Gulf of Mexico slope. In the Ayuquila basin, a marine transgression is recognized that advanced from south to north during the Late Jurassic. At the northeastern edge of the Cosoltepec block, we propose that the Santa Lucía formation attests to a transgression from the paleo-Gulf of Mexico

  10. Paleomagnetism of Late Jurassic to Early Cretaceous red beds from the Cardamom Mountains, southwestern Cambodia: Tectonic deformation of the Indochina Peninsula

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tsuchiyama, Yukiho; Zaman, Haider; Sotham, Sieng; Samuth, Yos; Sato, Eiichi; Ahn, Hyeon-Seon; Uno, Koji; Tsumura, Kosuke; Miki, Masako; Otofuji, Yo-ichiro

    2016-01-01

    Late Jurassic to Early Cretaceous red beds of the Phuquoc Formation were sampled at 33 sites from the Sihanoukville and Koah Kong areas of the Phuquoc-Kampot Som Basin, southwestern Cambodia. Two high-temperature remanent components with unblocking temperature ranging 650°-670 °C and 670-690 °C were identified. The magnetization direction for the former component (D = 5.2 °, I = 18.5 ° with α95 = 3.1 ° in situ) reveals a negative fold test that indicates a post-folding secondary nature. However, the latter component, carried by specular hematite, is recognized as a primary remanent magnetization. A tilt-corrected mean direction of D = 43.4 °, I = 31.9 ° (α95 = 3.6 °) was calculated for the primary component at 11 sites, corresponding to a paleopole of 47.7°N, 178.9°E (A95 = 3.6 °). When compared with the 130 Ma East Asian pole, a southward displacement of 6.0 ° ± 3.5 ° and a clockwise rotation of 33.1 ° ± 4.0 ° of the Phuquoc-Kampot Som Basin (as a part of the Indochina Block) with respect to East Asia were estimated. This estimate of the clockwise rotation is ∼15° larger than that of the Khorat Basin, which we attribute to dextral motion along the Wang Chao Fault since the mid-Oligocene. The comparison of the herein estimated clockwise rotation with the counter-clockwise rotation reported from the Da Lat area in Vietnam suggests the occurrence of a differential tectonic rotation in the southern tip of the Indochina Block. During the southward displacement of the Indochina Block, the non-rigid lithosphere under its southern tip moved heterogeneously, while the rigid lithosphere under the Khorat Basin moved homogeneously.

  11. The transgressive-regressive cycle of the Romualdo Formation (Araripe Basin): Sedimentary archive of the Early Cretaceous marine ingression in the interior of Northeast Brazil

    Science.gov (United States)

    Custódio, Michele Andriolli; Quaglio, Fernanda; Warren, Lucas Veríssimo; Simões, Marcello Guimarães; Fürsich, Franz Theodor; Perinotto, José Alexandre J.; Assine, Mario Luis

    2017-08-01

    Geologic events related to the opening of the South Atlantic Ocean deeply influenced the sedimentary record of the Araripe Basin. As consequence, upper stratigraphic units of the basin record a marine ingression in northeastern Brazil during the late Aptian. The timing and stratigraphic architecture of these units are crucial to understand the paleogeography of Gondwana and how the proto-Atlantic Ocean reached interior NE Brazil during the early Cretaceous. This marine ingression is recorded in the Araripe Basin as the Romualdo Formation, characterized by a transgressive-regressive cycle bounded by two regional unconformities. In the eastern part of the basin, the Romualdo depositional sequence comprises coastal alluvial and tide-dominated deposits followed by marine transgressive facies characterized by two fossil-rich intervals: a lower interval of black shales with fossil-rich carbonate concretions (Konservat-Lagerstätten) and an upper level with mollusk-dominated shell beds and shelly limestones. Following the marine ingression, an incomplete regressive succession of marginal-marine facies records the return of continental environments to the basin. The stratigraphic framework based on the correlation of several sections defines a transgressive-regressive cycle with depositional dip towards southeast, decreasing in thickness towards northwest, and with source areas located at the northern side of the basin. The facies-cycle wedge-geometry, together with paleocurrent data, indicates a coastal onlap towards NNW. Therefore, contrary to several paleogeographic scenarios previously proposed, the marine ingression would have reached the western parts of the Araripe Basin from the SSE.

  12. Geochemistry, geochronology, and tectonic setting of Early Cretaceous volcanic rocks in the northern segment of the Tan-Lu Fault region, northeast China

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ling, Yi-Yun; Zhang, Jin-Jiang; Liu, Kai; Ge, Mao-Hui; Wang, Meng; Wang, Jia-Min

    2017-08-01

    We present new geochemical and geochronological data for volcanic and related rocks in the regions of the Jia-Yi and Dun-Mi faults, in order to constrain the late Mesozoic tectonic evolution of the northern segment of the Tan-Lu Fault. Zircon U-Pb dating shows that rhyolite and intermediate-mafic rocks along the southern part of the Jia-Yi Fault formed at 124 and 113 Ma, respectively, whereas the volcanic rocks along the northern parts of the Jia-Yi and Dun-Mi faults formed at 100 Ma. The rhyolite has an A-type granitoid affinity, with high alkalis, low MgO, Ti, and P contents, high rare earth element (REE) contents and Ga/Al ratios, enrichments in large-ion lithophile (LILEs; e.g., Rb, Th, and U) and high-field-strength element (HFSEs; e.g., Nb, Ta, Zr, and Y), and marked negative Eu anomalies. These features indicate that the rhyolites were derived from partial melting of crustal material in an extensional environment. The basaltic rocks are enriched in light REEs and LILEs (e.g., Rb, K, Th, and U), and depleted in heavy REEs, HFSEs (e.g., Nb, Ta, Ti, and P), and Sr. These geochemical characteristics indicate that these rocks are calc-alkaline basalts that formed in an intraplate extensional tectonic setting. The dacite is a medium- to high-K, calc-alkaline, I-type granite that was derived from a mixed source involving both crustal and mantle components in a magmatic arc. Therefore, the volcanic rocks along the Jia-Yi and Dun-Mi faults were formed in an extensional regime at 124-100 Ma (Early Cretaceous), and these faults were extensional strike-slip faults at this time.

  13. Algal Turf Recruitment and Early Growth did not Differ Across Sites that Varied Greatly in Herbivore and Coral Community Structure.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gaynus, C.

    2016-02-01

    Worldwide losses of coral with accompanying phase shifts to algae have been attributed to human alterations of major ecological processes, especially top down (herbivory) and bottom up (nutrients) forces. While positive effects on macroalgae have received some attention, less is known about turf algae. Closely cropped turf algae (French Polynesia. While this study will continue for 2 years, data here are for 5 weeks. We chose 3 sites in Cooks Bay that likely varied in nutrients and 3 along the north shore, presumably higher in herbivory. At each site 10 recruitment tiles were deployed. Turf communities accumulated over five-weeks while benthic and herbivorous fish communities were quantified at each site. Herbivorous fish communities consisted of juveniles and adults from the families Acanthuridae and Scaridae with both adult and juvenile acanthurids, comprising > 50% of all herbivorous fish. Sites within the bay, however, contained at least 66.7% less fish than sites along the north shore. In contrast benthic surveys portrayed little difference between sites, with turf making up > 70% of total hard bottom cover. Similarly, there was little difference among sites in the recruitment and growth rate ( 0.2-0.3 mm/week) of turf on tiles. While turf recruitment and early development appeared to be unaffected by herbivory or nutrients over the short time, we predict that longer-term effects will occur as this community develops.

  14. Fossils in Late Cretaceous to early Palaeocene flint nodules embedded in pleistocene glaciofluvial sediments near Fukov (Děčín District, Northern Bohemia)

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Pokorný, R.; Kaše, J.; Kvaček, J.; Zágoršek, K.; Kočí, T.; Žítt, Jiří

    2012-01-01

    Roč. 68, 3/4 (2012), s. 119-131 ISSN 0036-5343 Institutional support: RVO:67985831 Keywords : Erratic boulders * Flint * Glaciofluvial sediments * Late Cretaceous * Northern Bohemia * Palaeocene * Pleistocene glaciation * Taphocoenosis Subject RIV: DB - Geology ; Mineralogy http://www.nm.cz/publikace/archiv.php?id=4&rok=68&kcislu=3-4&f_=Zobrazit

  15. Tracing climatic conditions during the deposition of late Cretaceous-early Eocene phosphate beds in Morocco by geochemical compositions of biogenic apatite fossils

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kocsis, L.; Gheerbrant, E.; Mouflih, M.; Cappetta, H.; Yans, J.; Ulianov, A.; Amaghzaz, M.

    2012-04-01

    Morocco's Western Atlantic coast was covered by shallow seas during the late Cretaceous-early Eocene when large amount of phosphate rich sediments were deposited. This time interval envelops a major part of the last greenhouse period and gives the opportunity to study the event's characteristics in shallow water settings. These phosphate deposits are extremely rich in vertebrate fossils, while other types of fossils are rare or often poorly preserved. Hence the local stratigraphy is based on the most abundant marine vertebrate fossils, on the selachian fauna (sharks and rays). Our geochemical investigations were also carried out on these remains, though in some cases frequently found coprolites were involved as well. The main goal of our study was to test whether stable isotope compositions (δ18OPO4, δ13C) of these fossils reflect any of the hyperthermal events and/or the related perturbations in the carbon cycle during the early Paleogene (Lourens et al. 2005) and whether these geochemical signals can be used to refine the local stratigraphy. Additionally, the samples were analyzed for trace element composition in order to better assess local taphonomy and burial conditions. The samples came from two major phosphate regions, the Ouled Abdoun and the Ganntour Basins and they were collected either directly on the field during excavations (Sidi Chennane) or were obtained from museum collections with known stratigraphical position (Sidi Daoui, Ben Guerrir). The phosphate oxygen isotopic compositions of shark teeth display large range across the entire series (18.5-22.4 ) which can partly be related to the habitat of sharks. For instance the genus Striatolamnia often yielded the highest δ18O values indicating possible deep water habitat. Despite the large variation in δ18O values, a general isotope trend is apparent. In the Maastrichtian after a small negative shift, the δ18O values increase till the Danian from where the trend decrease till the Ypresian. The

  16. Geochemical and isotopic characteristics and magma sources of the early Cretaceous trachybasalts of the Goby-Altai rift zone: an example of grabens in the Arts-Bogdo range

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Samojlov, V.S.; Yarmolyuk, V.V.; Kovalenko, V.I.; Ivanov, V.G.; Pakhol'chenko, Yu.A.

    1998-01-01

    Geochemical and isotopic-geochemical characteristics of the basalts of Early Cretaceous (Hoby-Altai rift zone; Arts-Bogdo region, Mongolia). Atomic absorption spectroscopy, X-ray fluorescence spectroscopy, photometry, mass spectroscopy and other methods were used. Mantle nature of the basalt geochemical specificity is shown as well as their initial melts. Data on the rubidium-strontium isotopic composition of Neocomian basalts are the following ones: 87 Sr/ 86 Sr 87 Sr/ 86 Sr > 0.707 and Rb/Sr > 0.06 [ru

  17. Early Cretaceous Na-rich granitoids and their enclaves in the Tengchong Block, SW China: Magmatism in relation to subduction of the Bangong-Nujiang Tethys ocean

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhu, Ren-Zhi; Lai, Shao-Cong; Santosh, M.; Qin, Jiang-Feng; Zhao, Shao-Wei

    2017-08-01

    that mantle-derived magmas played an important role in the genesis of Early Cretaceous intrusions from Tengchong to Lhasa Blocks, although crustal melting is the dominant contributor.

  18. Early Cretaceous overprinting of the Mesozoic Daqing Shan fold-and-thrust belt by the Hohhot metamorphic core complex, Inner Mongolia, China

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gregory A. Davis

    2010-10-01

    Full Text Available The Early Cretaceous Hohhot metamorphic core complex (mcc of the Daqing Shan (Mtns. of central Inner Mongolia is among the best exposed and most spectacular of the spatially isolated mcc’s that developed within the northern edge of the North China “craton”. All of these mcc’s were formed within the basement of a Late Paleozoic Andean-style arc and across older Mesozoic fold-and-thrust belts of variable age and tectonic vergence. The master Hohhot detachment fault roots southwards within the southern margin of the Daqing Shan for an along-strike distance of at least 120 km. Its geometry in the range to the north is complicated by interference patterns between (1 primary, large-scale NW-SE-trending convex and concave fault corrugations and (2 secondary ENE-WSW-trending antiforms and synforms that folded the detachment in its late kinematic history. As in the Whipple Mtns. of California, the Hohhot master detachment is not of the Wernicke (1981 simple rooted type; instead, it was spawned from a mid-crustal shear zone, the top of which is preserved as a mylonitic front within Carboniferous metasedimentary rocks in its exhumed lower plate. 40Ar–39Ar dating of siliceous volcanic rocks in basal sections of now isolated supradetachment basins suggest that crustal extension began at ca. 127 Ma, although lower-plate mylonitic rocks were not exposed to erosion until after ca. 119 Ma. Essentially synchronous cooling of hornblende, biotite, and muscovite in footwall mylonitic gneisses indicates very rapid exhumation and at ca. 122–120 Ma. Contrary to several recent reports, the master detachment clearly cuts across and dismembers older, north-directed thrust sheets of the Daqing Shan foreland fold-and-thrust belt. Folded and thrust-faulted basalts within its foredeep strata are as young as 132.6 ± 2.4 Ma, thus defining within 5–6 Ma the regional tectonic transition between crustal contraction and profound crustal extension.

  19. Late Early-Cretaceous quartz diorite-granodiorite-monzogranite association from the Gaoligong belt, southeastern Tibet Plateau: Chemical variations and geodynamic implications

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhu, Ren-Zhi; Lai, Shao-Cong; Qin, Jiang-Feng; Zhao, Shao-Wei; Wang, Jiang-Bo

    2017-09-01

    Geochemical variations in granitic rocks may be controlled by their source rocks, melting reactions and subsequent magmatic processes, which resulted from various geodynamic processes related to subduction, collision, or slab break-off. Here we report new LA-ICP-MS zircon U-Pb ages and Hf isotopes, whole-rock chemistry and Sr-Nd isotopes for the late Early Cretaceous quartz diorite, granodiorite and monzogranite in the Gaoligong belt, southeastern Tibet Plateau. The zircon U-Pb dating yield ages of 113.9 ± 1.6, 111.7 ± 0.8, and 112.8 ± 1.7 Ma for the quartz diorite, granodiorite, and monzogranite, respectively, which are coeval with bimodal magmatism in the central and northern Lhasa sub-terrane. There are the distinct sources regions for the quartz diorite and granodiorite-monzogranite association. The quartz diorites are sodic, calc-alkaline and have high Mg# (52-54) values. They also have elevated initial 87Sr/86Sr (0.707019 to 0.709176) and low εNd(t) (- 5.16 to - 7.63), with variable zircon εHf(t) values (+ 5.65 to - 9.02). Zircon chemical data indicate a typical crustal-derived character with high Th (142-1260 ppm) and U (106-1082 ppm) and moderate U/Yb ratios (0.30 to 2.32) and Y content (705-1888 ppm). Those data suggest that the quartz diorites were derived from partial melting of ancient basaltic lower crust by a mantle-derived magma in source region. The granodiorite-monzogranite association has high-K calc-alkaline, weakly peraluminous characters. They show lower Nb/Ta (5.57 to 13.8), CaO/Na2O (0.62 to 1.21), higher Al2O3/TiO2 (24.4 to 44.4) ratios, more evolved whole-rock Sr-Nd and zircon Hf isotopic signatures, all of which suggest derivation from mixed basaltic and metasedimentary source rocks in a deep crustal zone. We propose that the granitic magmatisms at ca. 113-110 Ma in the Gaologong belt was triggered by the slab break-off of Bangong-Nujiang Tethyan oceanic lithosphere. Supplementary Dataset Table 2. Single-grain zircon Hf isotopic data

  20. Evolution of the Mongol-Okhotsk suture as constrained by new Early Cretaceous palaeomagnetic data from the North China and southern Mongolia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ren, Q.; Zhang, S.; Zhao, H.; Ding, J.; Turbold, S.; Gao, Y.; Xu, B.; Wu, Y.; Fu, H.

    2017-12-01

    The closure time of the Mongol-Okhotsk ocean and subsequent collision between the Siberia and Amuria-North China block (AMU-NCB) during the final episode of the amalgamation of Northeast Asia have been hotly debating for decades. In order to better puzzle out the controversy, we carried out new paleomagnetic investigations from the Early Cretaceous geological units on the northern margin of the NCB and southern AMU. These geological units have been well-dated. Within the Yanshan Belt of the northern margin of the NCB, we collected the 209 paleomagnetic samples from the sandstone of the middle-upper member of the Tuchengzi Formation ( 140 Ma) and the volcanic rocks of the bottom of the Yixian Formation ( 130 Ma). We drilled 225 samples from the lava flows of two sections of the Tsagantsav Formation ( 130 Ma) in the southern Mongolia of the AMU. All samples were subjected to stepwise thermal demagnetization. After removal of a recent geomagnetic field viscous component, the stable high temperature component can pass a reversal test and a fold test at 95% and 99% confidence level. They are thus interpreted as primary. The virtual geomagnetic poles observed from the 130 Ma volcanic rocks of the Yixian Formation and the Tsagantsav Formation respectively averaged out the paleosecular variation and they overlapped each other, indicating that NCB and AMU was a single unit (NCB-AMU) at that time. The paleopole from the Tuchengzi Formation ( 140 Ma) of the NCB is different from the coeval pole of the Siberia, indicating that there was a significant latitudinal convergence between the Siberia and the NCB. Compared the 130 Ma paleopoles of the NCB-AMU and Siberia, there was no significant latitudinal difference, but the relative tectonic rotation was existing. It has been suggested that the plate convergence or Mongol-Okhotsk collisional orogeny was stopped between Siberia and NCB-AMU during the 140-130 Ma. After Mongol-Okhotsk orogeny, the widely extensional rift basins were

  1. Early Cretaceous wedge extrusion in the Indo-Burma Range accretionary complex: implications for the Mesozoic subduction of Neotethys in SE Asia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Ji'en; Xiao, Wenjiao; Windley, Brian F.; Cai, Fulong; Sein, Kyaing; Naing, Soe

    2017-06-01

    ± 3 Ma and 115 Ma, which are close to the zircon ages of nearby calc-alkaline granite and diorite, which belong to an active continental margin arc that extends along the western side of the Shan-Thai block. The IBR accretionary complex and the active continental margin arc were generated during Early Cretaceous (115-128 Ma) subduction of the Neotethys Ocean.

  2. Petrogenesis of Early Cretaceous dioritic dikes in the Shanyang-Zhashui area, South Qinling, central China: Evidence for partial melting of thickened lower continental crust

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Lei; Yan, Zhen; Wang, Zongqi; Wang, Kunming

    2018-06-01

    environments in the Early Cretaceous. This process resulted in the upwelling of the asthenospheric or lithospheric mantle, causing partial melting of the mafic lower crust and forming the adakitic dioritic melts.

  3. A record of long- and short-term environmental and climatic change during OAE3: La Luna Formation, Late Cretaceous (Santonian-early Campanian), Venezuela

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rey, O.; Simo (Toni), J. A.; Lorente, M. A.

    2004-08-01

    The La Luna Formation was deposited under anoxic/dysoxic conditions in a tropical epicontinental sea on the northwest South America margin. Sedimentological, micropaleontological and geochemical evidence provides insights into factors that influenced the sedimentation and controlled the accumulation of organic-rich deposits at decimeter and meter scales during the youngest of the Cretaceous oceanic anoxic events (OAE). The La Luna Formation consists of an alternation of black marlstones interbedded with black limestones and black marly limestones. The benthic foraminifera assemblages indicate sedimentation in the upper neritic to upper bathyal environment. These rocks contain large amounts of organic matter. It is interpreted that a combination of warm global and rainy climate and the presence of bathymetric barriers caused poor circulation and low rates of water column ventilation during a high sea level in the early Santonian leading to the preservation of carbon-rich deposits in this region. During the late Santonian, a cooling-trend in global climate increased wind strength and upwelling; this change probably reduced runoff causing a weakening of the pycnocline and destabilized the stratification in the water column providing a progressive increase in oxygen in the water column and on the sea floor and a decrease in total organic carbon preservation in a shallower basin. These changes and the establishment of full mid- and deep-water exchange in response to the deepening and widening of the Equatorial Atlantic Gateway could have been important mechanisms for ending the epeiric sea anoxia. Changes through time in the vanadium-nickel fraction, planktonic and benthic foraminifera assemblages, productivity proxy elements, and lithological characteristics support this model. Superimposed on the general trend, variations in calcium carbonate and total organic carbon percentages at the scale of tens of centimeters reveal high frequency cyclic variations, which

  4. Temperature influences selective mortality during the early life stages of a coral reef fish.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tauna L Rankin

    2011-05-01

    Full Text Available For organisms with complex life cycles, processes occurring at the interface between life stages can disproportionately impact survival and population dynamics. Temperature is an important factor influencing growth in poikilotherms, and growth-related processes are frequently correlated with survival. We examined the influence of water temperature on growth-related early life history traits (ELHTs and differential mortality during the transition from larval to early juvenile stage in sixteen monthly cohorts of bicolor damselfish Stegastes partitus, sampled on reefs of the upper Florida Keys, USA over 6 years. Otolith analysis of settlers and juveniles coupled with environmental data revealed that mean near-reef water temperature explained a significant proportion of variation in pelagic larval duration (PLD, early larval growth, size-at-settlement, and growth during early juvenile life. Among all cohorts, surviving juveniles were consistently larger at settlement, but grew more slowly during the first 6 d post-settlement. For the other ELHTs, selective mortality varied seasonally: during winter and spring months, survivors exhibited faster larval growth and shorter PLDs, whereas during warmer summer months, selection on PLD reversed and selection on larval growth became non-linear. Our results demonstrate that temperature not only shapes growth-related traits, but can also influence the direction and intensity of selective mortality.

  5. Ontong Java volcanism initiated long-term climate warming that caused substantial changes in terrestrial vegetation several tens of thousand years before the onset of OAE1a (Early Aptian, Cretaceous)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Keller, Christina E.; Hochuli, Peter A.; Giorgioni, Martino; Garcia, Therese I.; Bernasconi, Stefano M.; Weissert, Helmut

    2010-05-01

    During Cretaceous times, several intense volcanic episodes are proposed as trigger for episodic climate warming, for changes in marine circulation patterns and for elevated marine productivity, which resulted in the widespread black shale deposits of the Oceanic Anoxic Events (OAE). In the sediments underlying the early Aptian OAE1a black shales, a prominent negative carbon isotope excursion is recorded. Its origin had long been controversial (e.g. Arthur, 2000; Jahren et al., 2001) before recent studies attributed it to the Ontong Java volcanism (Méhay et al., 2009; Tejada et al., 2009). Volcanic outgassing results in an increased pCO2 and should lead to a rise in global temperatures. We therefore investigated if the volcanically-induced increase in pCO2 at the onset of OAE1a in the early Aptian led to a temperature rise that was sufficient to affect terrestrial vegetation assemblages. In order to analyse changes in terrestrial palynomorph assemblages, we examined 15 samples from 12 black shale horizons throughout the early Aptian negative C-isotope spike interval of the Pusiano section (Maiolica Formation; N-Italy). These sediments were deposited at the southern continental margin of the alpine Tethys Ocean and have been bio- and magnetostratigraphically dated by Channell et al. (1995). In order to obtain a continuous palynological record of the negative C-isotope spike interval and the base of OAE1a, we combined this pre-OAE1a interval of Pusiano with the OAE1a interval of the nearby Cismon section (Hochuli et al., 1999). The sporomorph assemblages at the base of this composite succession feature abundant bisaccate pollen, which reflects a warm-temperate climate. Rather arid conditions are inferred from low trilete spore percentages. Several tens of thousand years before the onset of OAE1a, C-isotope values started to decrease. Some thousand years later, bisaccate pollen began to decrease, whereas an increase of Classopollis spp. and Araucariacites spp

  6. Aberrant rostral teeth of the sawfish Onchopristis numidus from the Kem Kem beds (?early Late Cretaceous) of Morocco and a reappraisal of Onchopristis in New Zealand

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martill, David M.; Ibrahim, Nizar

    2012-02-01

    A single crown of sawfish rostral 'tooth' with at least two barbs along its posterior margin is comparable with Onchopristis dunklei from the Woodbine Formation of Texas and Atlanticopristisequatorialis from the Alcântara Formation of Brazil. However, it is regarded here as an aberrant Onchopristisnumidus, the typical form from North Africa. An aberrant morph of O. numidus is considered pathological. The taxonomic utility of barb number in pristid rostral 'teeth' is discussed. The genus and species Australopristis wiffeni gen. et sp. nov is erected to accommodate some multi-cusped rostral teeth from the Late Cretaceous of New Zealand.

  7. New Australian sauropods shed light on Cretaceous dinosaur palaeobiogeography

    Science.gov (United States)

    Poropat, Stephen F.; Mannion, Philip D.; Upchurch, Paul; Hocknull, Scott A.; Kear, Benjamin P.; Kundrát, Martin; Tischler, Travis R.; Sloan, Trish; Sinapius, George H. K.; Elliott, Judy A.; Elliott, David A.

    2016-01-01

    Australian dinosaurs have played a rare but controversial role in the debate surrounding the effect of Gondwanan break-up on Cretaceous dinosaur distribution. Major spatiotemporal gaps in the Gondwanan Cretaceous fossil record, coupled with taxon incompleteness, have hindered research on this effect, especially in Australia. Here we report on two new sauropod specimens from the early Late Cretaceous of Queensland, Australia, that have important implications for Cretaceous dinosaur palaeobiogeography. Savannasaurus elliottorum gen. et sp. nov. comprises one of the most complete Cretaceous sauropod skeletons ever found in Australia, whereas a new specimen of Diamantinasaurus matildae includes the first ever cranial remains of an Australian sauropod. The results of a new phylogenetic analysis, in which both Savannasaurus and Diamantinasaurus are recovered within Titanosauria, were used as the basis for a quantitative palaeobiogeographical analysis of macronarian sauropods. Titanosaurs achieved a worldwide distribution by at least 125 million years ago, suggesting that mid-Cretaceous Australian sauropods represent remnants of clades which were widespread during the Early Cretaceous. These lineages would have entered Australasia via dispersal from South America, presumably across Antarctica. High latitude sauropod dispersal might have been facilitated by Albian–Turonian warming that lifted a palaeoclimatic dispersal barrier between Antarctica and South America. PMID:27763598

  8. Cretacic tectonics in Uruguay

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Gomez Rifas, C.

    2012-01-01

    This work is about Cretacic tectonics in Uruguay, this formation is characterized by high level cortex because the basament is cratonized since Middle Devonian. There were formed two main grabens such as Santa Lucia and Mirim-Pelotas which are filled with basalt and sediments.

  9. Recurrent Early Cretaceous, Indo-Madagascar (89-86 Ma) and Deccan (66 Ma) alkaline magmatism in the Sarnu-Dandali complex, Rajasthan: 40Ar/39Ar age evidence and geodynamic significance

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sheth, Hetu; Pande, Kanchan; Vijayan, Anjali; Sharma, Kamal Kant; Cucciniello, Ciro

    2017-07-01

    The Sarnu-Dandali alkaline complex in Rajasthan, northwestern India, is considered to represent early, pre-flood basalt magmatism in the Deccan Traps province, based on a single 40Ar/39Ar age of 68.57 Ma. Rhyolites found in the complex are considered to be 750 Ma Malani basement. Our new 40Ar/39Ar ages of 88.9-86.8 Ma (for syenites, nephelinite, phonolite and rhyolite) and 66.3 ± 0.4 Ma (2σ, melanephelinite) provide clear evidence that whereas the complex has Deccan-age (66 Ma) components, it is dominantly an older (by 20 million years) alkaline complex, with rhyolites included. Basalt is also known to underlie the Early Cretaceous Sarnu Sandstone. Sarnu-Dandali is thus a periodically rejuvenated alkaline igneous centre, active twice in the Late Cretaceous and also earlier. Many such centres with recurrent continental alkaline magmatism (sometimes over hundreds of millions of years) are known worldwide. The 88.9-86.8 Ma 40Ar/39Ar ages for Sarnu-Dandali rocks fully overlap with those for the Indo-Madagascar flood basalt province formed during continental breakup between India (plus Seychelles) and Madagascar. Recent 40Ar/39Ar work on the Mundwara alkaline complex in Rajasthan, 120 km southeast of Sarnu-Dandali, has also shown polychronous emplacement (over ≥ 45 million years), and 84-80 Ma ages obtained from Mundwara also arguably represent post-breakup stages of the Indo-Madagascar flood basalt volcanism. Remnants of the Indo-Madagascar province are known from several localities in southern India but hitherto unknown from northwestern India 2000 km away. Additional equivalents buried under the vast Deccan Traps are highly likely.

  10. An advanced, new long-legged bird from the Early Cretaceous of the Jehol Group (northeastern China): insights into the temporal divergence of modern birds.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Di; Chiappe, Luis M; Zhang, Yuguang; Bell, Alyssa; Meng, Qingjin; Ji, Qiang; Wang, Xuri

    2014-11-14

    We describe a new ornithuromorph bird species, Gansus zheni from the Lower Cretaceous lacustrine deposits of the Jiufotang Formation (Jehol Group), Liaoning Province, China. A cladistic analysis resolves Gansus zheni as the sister taxon of the roughly contemporaneous Gansus yumenensis (Xiagou Formation, Gansu Province), and together as the most immediate outgroup to Ornithurae. Gansus zheni is the most advanced bird known today for the Jehol Biota. Its discovery provides the best-documented case of inter-basinal correlations (Jehol and Changma basins of Liaoning and Gansu provinces, respectively) using low-taxonomic clades of fossil birds. The existence of close relatives of Ornithurae in deposits formed at about 120 million years ago helps to mitigate the long-standing controversy between molecular and paleontological evidence for the temporal divergence of modern birds (Neornithes).

  11. New aero-gravity results from the Arctic: Linking the latest Cretaceous-early Cenozoic plate kinematics of the North Atlantic and Arctic Ocean

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Døssing, Arne; Hopper, J.R.; Olesen, Arne Vestergaard

    2013-01-01

    The tectonic history of the Arctic Ocean remains poorly resolved and highly controversial. Details regarding break up of the Lomonosov Ridge from the Barents-Kara shelf margins and the establishment of seafloor spreading in the Cenozoic Eurasia Basin are unresolved. Significantly, the plate...... tectonic evolution of the Mesozoic Amerasia Basin is essentially unknown. The Arctic Ocean north of Greenland is at a critical juncture that formed at the locus of a Mesozoic three-plate setting between the Lomonosov Ridge, Greenland, and North America. In addition, the area is close to the European plate...... plateau against an important fault zone north of Greenland. Our results provide new constraints for Cretaceous-Cenozoic plate reconstructions of the Arctic. Key Points Presentation of the largest aero-gravity survey acquired over the Arctic Ocean Plate tectonic link between Atlantic and Arctic spreading...

  12. Cretaceous paleogeography and depositional cycles of western South America

    Science.gov (United States)

    Macellari, C. E.

    The western margin of South America was encroached upon by a series of marine advances that increased in extent from the Early Cretaceous to a maximum in the early Late Cretaceous for northern South America (Venezuela to Peru). In southern South America, however, the area covered by the marine advances decreased from a maximum in the Early Cretaceous to a minimum during mid-Cretaceous time, followed by a widespread advance at the end of the period. A series of unconformity-bounded depositional cycles was recognized in these sequences: five cycles in northern South America, and six (but not exactly equivalent) cycles in the Cretaceous back-arc basins of southern South America (Neuquén and Austral, or Magallanes, Basins). Both widespread anoxic facies and maximum flooding of the continent in northern South America coincide in general terms with recognized global trends, but this is not the case in southern South America. Here, anoxic facies are restricted to the Lower Cretaceous and seem to be controlled by local aspects of the basin evolution and configuration. The contrasts observed between northern and southern South America can be explained by differences in tectonic setting and evolution. To the north, sediments were deposited around the tectonically stable Guayana-Brazilian Massifs, and thus registered global "signals" such as anoxic events and major eustatic changes. The southern portion of the continent, on the contrary, developed in an active tectonic setting. Here, the mid-Cretaceous Peruvian Orogeny overprinted, to a large extent, world-wide trends and only the earliest and latest Cretaceous conform to global depositional patterns.

  13. Crowning corals

    Digital Repository Service at National Institute of Oceanography (India)

    Raghukumar, C.

    and build-awareness about the rich, diverse biological resources is warranted and a plea is made to manage the sewage, oil and thermal pollution to help preserve the biodiversity of coral and associated flora and fauna....

  14. Soft-tissue and dermal arrangement in the wing of an Early Cretaceous bird: Implications for the evolution of avian flight

    Science.gov (United States)

    Navalón, Guillermo; Marugán-Lobón, Jesús; Chiappe, Luis M.; Luis Sanz, José; Buscalioni, Ángela D.

    2015-01-01

    Despite a wealth of fossils of Mesozoic birds revealing evidence of plumage and other soft-tissue structures, the epidermal and dermal anatomy of their wing’s patagia remain largely unknown. We describe a distal forelimb of an enantiornithine bird from the Lower Cretaceous limestones of Las Hoyas, Spain, which reveals the overall morphology of the integument of the wing and other connective structures associated with the insertion of flight feathers. The integumentary anatomy, and myological and arthrological organization of the new fossil is remarkably similar to that of modern birds, in which a system of small muscles, tendons and ligaments attaches to the follicles of the remigial feathers and maintains the functional integrity of the wing during flight. The new fossil documents the oldest known occurrence of connective tissues in association with the flight feathers of birds. Furthermore, the presence of an essentially modern connective arrangement in the wing of enantiornithines supports the interpretation of these primitive birds as competent fliers. PMID:26440221

  15. Hints of the Early Jehol Biota: Important Dinosaur Footprint Assemblages from the Jurassic-Cretaceous Boundary Tuchengzi Formation in Beijing, China

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xing, Lida; Zhang, Jianping; Lockley, Martin G.; McCrea, Richard T.; Klein, Hendrik; Alcalá, Luis; Buckley, Lisa G.; Burns, Michael E.; Kümmell, Susanna B.; He, Qing

    2015-01-01

    New reports of dinosaur tracksites in the Tuchengzi Formation in the newly established Yanqing Global Geopark, Beijing, China, support previous inferences that the track assemblages from this formation are saurischian-dominated. More specifically, the assemblages appear theropod-dominated, with the majority of well-preserved tracks conforming to the Grallator type (sensus lato), thus representing relatively small trackmakers. Such ichnofaunas supplement the skeletal record from this unit that lacks theropods thus far, proving a larger diversity of dinosaur faunas in that region. Sauropods are represented by medium to large sized and narrow and wide-gauge groups, respectively. The latter correspond with earlier discoveries of titanosauriform skeletons in the same unit. Previous records of ornithischian tracks cannot be positively confirmed. Purported occurrences are re-evaluated here, the trackways and imprints, except of a single possible specimen, re-assigned to theropods. Palecologically the Tuchengzi ichnofauna is characteristic of semi-arid fluvio-lacustrine inland basins with Upper Jurassic-Lower Cretaceous deposits in northern China that all show assemblages with abundant theropod and sauropod tracks and minor components of ornithopod, pterosaur and bird tracks. PMID:25901363

  16. Coral reproduction in Western Australia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Speed, Conrad W.; Babcock, Russ

    2016-01-01

    Larval production and recruitment underpin the maintenance of coral populations, but these early life history stages are vulnerable to extreme variation in physical conditions. Environmental managers aim to minimise human impacts during significant periods of larval production and recruitment on reefs, but doing so requires knowledge of the modes and timing of coral reproduction. Most corals are hermaphroditic or gonochoric, with a brooding or broadcast spawning mode of reproduction. Brooding corals are a significant component of some reefs and produce larvae over consecutive months. Broadcast spawning corals are more common and display considerable variation in their patterns of spawning among reefs. Highly synchronous spawning can occur on reefs around Australia, particularly on the Great Barrier Reef. On Australia’s remote north-west coast there have been fewer studies of coral reproduction. The recent industrial expansion into these regions has facilitated research, but the associated data are often contained within confidential reports. Here we combine information in this grey-literature with that available publicly to update our knowledge of coral reproduction in WA, for tens of thousands of corals and hundreds of species from over a dozen reefs spanning 20° of latitude. We identified broad patterns in coral reproduction, but more detailed insights were hindered by biased sampling; most studies focused on species of Acropora sampled over a few months at several reefs. Within the existing data, there was a latitudinal gradient in spawning activity among seasons, with mass spawning during autumn occurring on all reefs (but the temperate south-west). Participation in a smaller, multi-specific spawning during spring decreased from approximately one quarter of corals on the Kimberley Oceanic reefs to little participation at Ningaloo. Within these seasons, spawning was concentrated in March and/or April, and October and/or November, depending on the timing of

  17. Early Cretaceous ( 140 Ma) aluminous A-type granites in the Tethyan Himalaya, Tibet: Products of crust-mantle interaction during lithospheric extension

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ma, Lin; Kerr, Andrew C.; Wang, Qiang; Jiang, Zi-Qi; Hu, Wan-Long

    2018-02-01

    A-type granites have been the focus of considerable research due to their distinctive major- and trace-element signatures and tectonic significance. However, their petrogenesis, magmatic source and tectonic setting remain controversial, particularly for aluminous A-type granites. The earliest Cretaceous (ca. 140 Ma) Comei granite in the eastern Tethyan Himalaya is associated with coeval oceanic island basalt (OIB)-type mafic lava, and has A-type granite geochemical characteristics including high 10,000 × Ga/Al (up to 6), FeOtotal/MgO (4.6-6.1) and (Na2O + K2O)/Al2O3 (0.50-0.61) ratios but low CaO (0.6-1.6 wt%) and Na2O (1.8-2.6 wt%) contents. The Comei granite also has variable peraluminous compositions (A/CNK = 1.00-1.36) along with zircon δ18O, εNd(t) and initial 87Sr/86Sr values of 8.2‰ to 9.3‰, - 13.0 to - 12.4 and 0.7238 to 0.7295, respectively. This range of compositions can be interpreted as the interaction between high-temperature upwelling OIB type basaltic magmas and a shallow crustal (The Comei granite and coeval OIB type basaltic rock could represent the earliest stage (145-140 Ma) of a large igneous event in eastern Tethyan Himalaya, which may well have been triggered by pre-breakup lithospheric extension prior to the arrival of the Kerguelen plume head.

  18. Final results on the Jurassic-Cretaceous boundary in the Gresten Klippenbelt (Austria): Macro-, micro-, nannofossils, isotopes, geochemistry, susceptibility, gamma-log and palaeomagnetic data as environmental proxies of the early Penninic Ocean history

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lukeneder, A.; Halásová, E.; Kroh, A.; Mayrhofer, S.; Pruner, P.; Reháková, D.; Schnabl, P.; Sprovieri, M.

    2009-04-01

    Jurassic to Lower Cretaceous pelagic sediments are well known to form a major element of the northernmost tectonic units of the Gresten Klippenbelt (Lower Austria). The Penninic Ocean was a side tract of the Central Atlantic Oceanic System intercalated between the European and the Austroalpine plates. Its opening started during the Mid Jurrasic, as rifting of the of the oceanic crust between the European and the Austroalpine plates. The turnover of the deposition on the European shelf (Helvetic Zone) from deep-water siliciclastics into pelagic carbonates is correlated with the deepening of this newly arising ocean. Within the Gresten Klippenbelt Unit, this transition is reflected by the lithostratigraphic boundary between the Tithonian marl-limestone succession and the Berriasian limestones of the Blassenstein Formation. This boundary is well exposed in a newly discovered site at Nutzhof, in the heart of Lower Austria (Kroh and Lukeneder 2009, Lukeneder 2009, Pruner, Schnabl, and Lukeneder 2009, Reháková, Halásová and Lukeneder 2009). Biostratigraphy. According to microfossil (calcareous dinoflagellates, calpionellids) and palaeomagnetic data, the association indicates that the cephalopod-bearing beds of the Nutzhof section belong to the Carpistomiosphaera tithonica-Zone of the Early Tithonian up to the Calpionella Zone of the Middle Berriasian. This interval corresponds to the ammonoid zones from the Early Tithonian Hybonoticeras hybonotum-Zone up to the Middle Berriasian Subthurmannia occitanica-Zone. Ammonoids. Late Jurassic to Early Cretaceous ammonoids were collected at the Nutzhof locality in the eastern part of the Gresten Klippenbelt in Lower Austria. The cephalopod fauna from the Blassenstein Formation, correlated with micro- and nannofossil data from the marly unit and the limestone unit, indicates Early Tithonian to Middle Berriasian age (Hybonoticeras hybonotum Zone up to the Subthurmannia occitanica Zone). According to the correlation of the fossil

  19. Corals like it waxed: paraffin-based antifouling technology enhances coral spat survival.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jan Tebben

    Full Text Available The early post-settlement stage is the most sensitive during the life history of reef building corals. However, few studies have examined the factors that influence coral mortality during this period. Here, the impact of fouling on the survival of newly settled coral spat of Acropora millepora was investigated by manipulating the extent of fouling cover on settlement tiles using non-toxic, wax antifouling coatings. Survival of spat on coated tiles was double that on control tiles. Moreover, there was a significant negative correlation between percentage cover of fouling and spat survival across all tiles types, suggesting that fouling in direct proximity to settled corals has detrimental effects on early post-settlement survival. While previous studies have shown that increased fouling negatively affects coral larval settlement and health of juvenile and adult corals, to the best of our knowledge, this is the first study to show a direct relationship between fouling and early post-settlement survival for a broadcast spawning scleractinian coral. The negative effects of fouling on this sensitive life history stage may become more pronounced in the future as coastal eutrophication increases. Our results further suggest that targeted seeding of coral spat on artificial surfaces in combination with fouling control could prove useful to improve the efficiency of sexual reproduction-based coral propagation for reef rehabilitation.

  20. Molecular fossils in Cretaceous condensate from western India

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bhattacharya, Sharmila; Dutta, Suryendu; Dutta, Ratul

    2014-06-01

    The present study reports the biomarker distribution of condensate belonging to the early Cretaceous time frame using gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS). The early Cretaceous palaeoenvironment was inscribed into these molecular fossils which reflected the source and conditions of deposition of the condensate. The saturate fraction of the condensate is characterized by normal alkanes ranging from n-C9 to n-C29 (CPI-1.13), cycloalkanes and C14 and C15 sesquiterpanes. The aromatic fraction comprises of naphthalene, phenanthrene, their methylated derivatives and cyclohexylbenzenes. Isohexylalkylnaphthalenes, a product of rearrangement process of terpenoids, is detected in the condensate. Several aromatic sesquiterpenoids and diterpenoids have been recorded. Dihydro- ar-curcumene, cadalene and ionene form the assemblage of sesquiterpenoids which are indicative of higher plant input. Aromatic diterpenoid fraction comprises of simonellite and retene. These compounds are also indicative of higher plants, particularly conifer source which had been a predominant flora during the Cretaceous time.

  1. Cretaceous Crocodyliforms from the Sahara

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Paul Sereno

    2009-11-01

    Full Text Available Diverse crocodyliforms have been discovered in recent years in Cretaceous rocks on southern landmasses formerly composing Gondwana.  We report here on six species from the Sahara with an array of trophic adaptations that significantly deepen our current understanding of African crocodyliform diversity during the Cretaceous period.  We describe two of these species (Anatosuchus minor, Araripesuchus wegeneri from nearly complete skulls and partial articulated skeletons from the Lower Cretaceous Elrhaz Formation (Aptian-Albian of Niger. The remaining four species (Araripesuchus rattoides sp. n., Kaprosuchus saharicus gen. n. sp. n., Laganosuchus thaumastos gen. n. sp. n., Laganosuchus maghrebensis gen. n. sp. n. come from contemporaneous Upper Cretaceous formations (Cenomanian in Niger and Morocco.

  2. Late Jurassic – early Cretaceous inversion of rift structures, and linkage of petroleum system elements across post-rift unconformity, U.S. Chukchi Shelf, arctic Alaska

    Science.gov (United States)

    Houseknecht, David W.; Connors, Christopher D.

    2015-01-01

    Basin evolution of the U.S. Chukchi shelf involved multiple phases, including Late Devonian–Permian rifting, Permian–Early Jurassic sagging, Late Jurassic–Neocomian inversion, and Cretaceous–Cenozoic foreland-basin development. The focus of ongoing exploration is a petroleum system that includes sag-phase source rocks; inversion-phase reservoir rocks; structure spanning the rift, sag, and inversion phases; and hydrocarbon generation during the foreland-basin phase.

  3. Biology of corals and coral reefs

    Digital Repository Service at National Institute of Oceanography (India)

    Rajkumar, R.; Parulekar, A.H.

    on the systematic position is presented. The general structure is depicted with illustrations. Physiology part is updated to current knowledge on reproduction, nutrition and excretion of corals. The coral reefs section begins with status of world reefs...

  4. Early development of zooxanthella-containing eggs of the corals Pocillopora verrucosa and P. eydouxi with special reference to the distribution of zooxanthellae.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hirose, M; Kinzie, R A; Hidaka, M

    2000-08-01

    Some hermatypic corals spawn eggs that contain zooxanthellae. We followed development of zooxanthella-containing eggs of two such species, Pocillopora verrucosa and P. eydouxi. We also documented changes in the distribution pattern of zooxanthellae during development. Oocytes of both species took up zooxanthellae 3 to 4 days before spawning. At first, zooxanthellae were evenly distributed in oocytes, but they later moved to the hemisphere that contained the germinal vesicle. After fertilization, early cleavage events were holoblastic, progressing by furrow formation. The first cleavage furrow started at the hemisphere that contained zooxanthellae, dividing the zooxanthellate complement of the zygote about equally into the two blastomeres. The second division divided each blastomere into one zooxanthellae-rich cell and one with few zooxanthellae. With continued cell division, blastomeres containing zooxanthellae moved into the blastocoel. The blastocoel disappeared at about 5 h after the first cleavage, and the central region of the embryo was filled with cells containing either zooxanthellae or lipid droplets, forming a stereogastrula. Our results suggest that only blastomeres that had been determined to develop into gastrodermal cells receive zooxanthellae during cleavage. This determination appears to take place, at the latest, by the second cell division at the four-cell stage.

  5. Diversity and evolution of coral fluorescent proteins.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Naila O Alieva

    2008-07-01

    Full Text Available GFP-like fluorescent proteins (FPs are the key color determinants in reef-building corals (class Anthozoa, order Scleractinia and are of considerable interest as potential genetically encoded fluorescent labels. Here we report 40 additional members of the GFP family from corals. There are three major paralogous lineages of coral FPs. One of them is retained in all sampled coral families and is responsible for the non-fluorescent purple-blue color, while each of the other two evolved a full complement of typical coral fluorescent colors (cyan, green, and red and underwent sorting between coral groups. Among the newly cloned proteins are a "chromo-red" color type from Echinopora forskaliana (family Faviidae and pink chromoprotein from Stylophora pistillata (Pocilloporidae, both evolving independently from the rest of coral chromoproteins. There are several cyan FPs that possess a novel kind of excitation spectrum indicating a neutral chromophore ground state, for which the residue E167 is responsible (numeration according to GFP from A. victoria. The chromoprotein from Acropora millepora is an unusual blue instead of purple, which is due to two mutations: S64C and S183T. We applied a novel probabilistic sampling approach to recreate the common ancestor of all coral FPs as well as the more derived common ancestor of three main fluorescent colors of the Faviina suborder. Both proteins were green such as found elsewhere outside class Anthozoa. Interestingly, a substantial fraction of the all-coral ancestral protein had a chromohore apparently locked in a non-fluorescent neutral state, which may reflect the transitional stage that enabled rapid color diversification early in the history of coral FPs. Our results highlight the extent of convergent or parallel evolution of the color diversity in corals, provide the foundation for experimental studies of evolutionary processes that led to color diversification, and enable a comparative analysis of

  6. Bacterial acquisition in juveniles of several broadcast spawning coral species.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Koty H Sharp

    Full Text Available Coral animals harbor diverse microorganisms in their tissues, including archaea, bacteria, viruses, and zooxanthellae. The extent to which coral-bacterial associations are specific and the mechanisms for their maintenance across generations in the environment are unknown. The high diversity of bacteria in adult coral colonies has made it challenging to identify species-specific patterns. Localization of bacteria in gametes and larvae of corals presents an opportunity for determining when bacterial-coral associations are initiated and whether they are dynamic throughout early development. This study focuses on the early onset of bacterial associations in the mass spawning corals Montastraea annularis, M. franksi, M. faveolata, Acropora palmata, A. cervicornis, Diploria strigosa, and A. humilis. The presence of bacteria and timing of bacterial colonization was evaluated in gametes, swimming planulae, and newly settled polyps by fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH using general eubacterial probes and laser-scanning confocal microscopy. The coral species investigated in this study do not appear to transmit bacteria via their gametes, and bacteria are not detectable in or on the corals until after settlement and metamorphosis. This study suggests that mass-spawning corals do not acquire, or are not colonized by, detectable numbers of bacteria until after larval settlement and development of the juvenile polyp. This timing lays the groundwork for developing and testing new hypotheses regarding general regulatory mechanisms that control bacterial colonization and infection of corals, and how interactions among bacteria and juvenile polyps influence the structure of bacterial assemblages in corals.

  7. Bacterial acquisition in juveniles of several broadcast spawning coral species.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sharp, Koty H; Ritchie, Kim B; Schupp, Peter J; Ritson-Williams, Raphael; Paul, Valerie J

    2010-05-28

    Coral animals harbor diverse microorganisms in their tissues, including archaea, bacteria, viruses, and zooxanthellae. The extent to which coral-bacterial associations are specific and the mechanisms for their maintenance across generations in the environment are unknown. The high diversity of bacteria in adult coral colonies has made it challenging to identify species-specific patterns. Localization of bacteria in gametes and larvae of corals presents an opportunity for determining when bacterial-coral associations are initiated and whether they are dynamic throughout early development. This study focuses on the early onset of bacterial associations in the mass spawning corals Montastraea annularis, M. franksi, M. faveolata, Acropora palmata, A. cervicornis, Diploria strigosa, and A. humilis. The presence of bacteria and timing of bacterial colonization was evaluated in gametes, swimming planulae, and newly settled polyps by fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) using general eubacterial probes and laser-scanning confocal microscopy. The coral species investigated in this study do not appear to transmit bacteria via their gametes, and bacteria are not detectable in or on the corals until after settlement and metamorphosis. This study suggests that mass-spawning corals do not acquire, or are not colonized by, detectable numbers of bacteria until after larval settlement and development of the juvenile polyp. This timing lays the groundwork for developing and testing new hypotheses regarding general regulatory mechanisms that control bacterial colonization and infection of corals, and how interactions among bacteria and juvenile polyps influence the structure of bacterial assemblages in corals.

  8. Polyphased rifting to post-breakup evolution of the Coral Sea region, Papua New Guinea

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bulois, Cédric; Pubellier, Manuel; Chamot-Rooke, Nicolas; Delescluse, Matthias

    2016-04-01

    The Coral Sea Basin, offshore Papua New Guinea, is generally described as a rift propagator that opened through the Australian craton during the Late Cretaceous. Rifting was later followed by spreading activity during Palaeocene to lowermost Eocene times and basin inversion during the Cenozoic. Herein, we specifically describe the extensional structures and show that the area has actually a much longer history that dates back from the Late Palaeozoic. A special focus is made on the northern margin of the Coral Sea Basin along which subsurface and HD topographic data were recently acquired. Extension took place discontinuously from the Late Palaeozoic to the Lower Cenozoic through several rift megacycles that include extensional pulses and relaxation episodes. The first rift megacycle (R1), poorly documented, occurred during the Triassic along an old Permo-Triassic, NS-trending structural fabric. Evidence of Permo-Triassic features is principally observed in the western part of the Coral Sea near the Tasman Line, a major lithospheric discontinuity that marks the eastern limit of the underlying Australian craton in Papua New Guinea. This early Triassic framework was reactivated during a Jurassic rifting stage (R2), resulting in small (~10/20km) tilted basins bounded by major NS, NE-SW and EW normal faults. Extension formed a large basin, floored by oceanic crust that might have connected with the Tethys Ocean. The Owen Stanley Oceanic Basin containing deep-marine sediments now obducted in the Ocean Stanley Thrust Belt are likely to represent this oceanic terrane. Both R1 and R2 megacycles shaped the geometry of the Jurassic Australian margin. A third Cretaceous extensional megacycle (R3) only reactivated the largest faults, cutting through the midst of this early stretched continental margin. It formed wider, poorly tilted basins and terminated with the onset of the Coral Sea seafloor spreading from Danian to Ypresian times (61.8 to 53.4 Myr). Then, the overall

  9. Petrogenesis of an Early Cretaceous lamprophyre dike from Kyoto Prefecture, Japan: Implications for the generation of high-Nb basalt magmas in subduction zones

    Science.gov (United States)

    Imaoka, Teruyoshi; Kawabata, Hiroshi; Nagashima, Mariko; Nakashima, Kazuo; Kamei, Atsushi; Yagi, Koshi; Itaya, Tetsumaru; Kiji, Michio

    2017-10-01

    We studied a 107 Ma vogesite (a kind of lamprophyre with alkali-feldspar > plagioclase, and hornblende ± clinopyroxene ± biotite) dike in the Kinki district of the Tamba Belt, Kyoto Prefecture, SW Japan, using petrography, mineralogy, K-Ar ages, and geochemistry to evaluate its petrogenesis and tectonic implications. The dike has the very specific geochemical characteristics of a primitive high-Mg basalt, with 48-50 wt.% SiO2 (anhydrous basis), high values of Mg# (67.3-72.4), and high Cr ( 431 ppm), Ni ( 371 ppm), and Co ( 52 ppm) contents. The vogesite is alkaline and ne-normative with high concentrations of large ion lithophile elements (LILEs: Sr = 1270-2200 ppm, Ba = 3910-26,900 ppm), light rare earth elements (LREEs) [(La/Yb)n = 58-62), and high field strength elements (HFSEs: TiO2 = 1.5-1.8 wt.%, Nb = 24-33 ppm, Zr = 171-251 ppm), and the vogesite can be classified as a high-Nb basalt (HNB). The vogesite was formed by the lowest degree of melting of metasomatized mantle in the garnet stability field, and it may also have been formed at higher melting pressures than other Kyoto lamprophyres. The low degree of melting is the primary reason for the high-Nb content of the vogesite, not mantle metasomatism, and a higher degree of melting would have changed the primary magma composition from a HNB to a Nb-enriched basalt (NEB). The vogesite magma was contaminated at an early stage of its development by melts derived from sediments drawn down a subduction zone, as indicated by some geochemical indices and the initial Nd isotope ratios. The vogesite exhibits positive correlations between εSr(107 Ma) values (5.4-50.9) and its high Ba and Sr concentrations, and it has a limited range of εNd(107 Ma) values (+ 0.97 to + 2.4). The fact that the vogesite contains centimeter-sized xenoliths of chert, which are composed of polycrystalline quartz, calcite, barite, pyrite, and magnetite, indicates that the barium contamination took place during the ascent of the

  10. Gene expression of corals in response to macroalgal competitors.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tonya L Shearer

    Full Text Available As corals decline and macroalgae proliferate on coral reefs, coral-macroalgal competition becomes more frequent and ecologically important. Whether corals are damaged by these interactions depends on susceptibility of the coral and traits of macroalgal competitors. Investigating changes in gene expression of corals and their intracellular symbiotic algae, Symbiodinium, in response to contact with different macroalgae provides insight into the biological processes and cellular pathways affected by competition with macroalgae. We evaluated the gene expression profiles of coral and Symbiodinium genes from two confamilial corals, Acropora millepora and Montipora digitata, after 6 h and 48 h of contact with four common macroalgae that differ in their allelopathic potency to corals. Contacts with macroalgae affected different biological pathways in the more susceptible (A. millepora versus the more resistant (M. digitata coral. Genes of coral hosts and of their associated Symbiodinium also responded in species-specific and time-specific ways to each macroalga. Changes in number and expression intensity of affected genes were greater after 6 h compared to 48 h of contact and were greater following contact with Chlorodesmis fastigiata and Amphiroa crassa than following contact with Galaxaura filamentosa or Turbinaria conoides. We documented a divergence in transcriptional responses between two confamilial corals and their associated Symbiodinium, as well as a diversity of dynamic responses within each coral species with respect to the species of macroalgal competitor and the duration of exposure to that competitor. These responses included early initiation of immune processes by Montipora, which is more resistant to damage after long-term macroalgal contact. Activation of the immune response by corals that better resist algal competition is consistent with the hypothesis that some macroalgal effects on corals may be mediated by microbial pathogens.

  11. Utilization of mucus from the coral Acropora palmata by the pathogen Serratia marcescens and by environmental and coral commensal bacteria.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Krediet, Cory J; Ritchie, Kim B; Cohen, Matthew; Lipp, Erin K; Sutherland, Kathryn Patterson; Teplitski, Max

    2009-06-01

    In recent years, diseases of corals caused by opportunistic pathogens have become widespread. How opportunistic pathogens establish on coral surfaces, interact with native microbiota, and cause disease is not yet clear. This study compared the utilization of coral mucus by coral-associated commensal bacteria ("Photobacterium mandapamensis" and Halomonas meridiana) and by opportunistic Serratia marcescens pathogens. S. marcescens PDL100 (a pathogen associated with white pox disease of Acroporid corals) grew to higher population densities on components of mucus from the host coral. In an in vitro coculture on mucus from Acropora palmata, S. marcescens PDL100 isolates outgrew coral isolates. The white pox pathogen did not differ from other bacteria in growth on mucus from a nonhost coral, Montastraea faveolata. The ability of S. marcescens to cause disease in acroporid corals may be due, at least in part, to the ability of strain PDL100 to build to higher population numbers within the mucus surface layer of its acroporid host. During growth on mucus from A. palmata, similar glycosidase activities were present in coral commensal bacteria, in S. marcescens PDL100, and in environmental and human isolates of S. marcescens. The temporal regulation of these activities during growth on mucus, however, was distinct in the isolates. During early stages of growth on mucus, enzymatic activities in S. marcescens PDL100 were most similar to those in coral commensals. After overnight incubation on mucus, enzymatic activities in a white pox pathogen were most similar to those in pathogenic Serratia strains isolated from human mucosal surfaces.

  12. Arnfried Antonius, coral diseases, and the AMLC

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Laurie L. Richardson

    2012-03-01

    Full Text Available The study of coral diseases, coral pathogens, and the effects of diseases on tropical and subtropical coral reefs are all current, high-profile research areas. This interest has grown steadily since the first report of a coral disease in 1973. The author of this report was Arnfried Antonius and the publication was an abstract in the proceedings of a scientific meeting of the Association of Marine Laboratories of the Caribbean, or AMLC (then known as the Association of Island Marine Laboratories of the Caribbean. Since Antonius’ pioneering communication he continued working on coral diseases on reefs throughout the world, often documenting the first observation of a novel pathology in a novel location. Each of the coral diseases Antonius first described, in particular black band disease, is the subject of current and ongoing investigations addressing pathogens, etiology, and their effects on coral reefs. Many of the points and observations he made in his early papers are highly relevant to research today. This paper reviews aspects of Antonius’ early work, highlighting contributions he made that include the first in situ experimental studies aimed at discerning coral epizootiology and the first quantitative assessments of the role of environmental factors in coral disease. Antonius’ early findings are discussed in terms of relevant current controversies in this research areaEl estudio de las enfermedades de los corales, los patogenos de los corales y los efectos de estas enfermedades sobre los arrecifes tropicales y subtropicales son actualmente areas importantes de investigacion. El interés en este tema ha crecido continuamente desde el primer informe sobre una enfermedad de coral que se publico en 1973. El autor de este informe fue Arnfried Antonius y la publicacion fue un resumen en el Libro de Programa y Resumenes de la Decima Reunion de la Asociacion de Laboratorios Marinos Islenos del Caribe (conocida ahora como la Asociacion de

  13. Coral settlement on a highly disturbed equatorial reef system.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bauman, Andrew G; Guest, James R; Dunshea, Glenn; Low, Jeffery; Todd, Peter A; Steinberg, Peter D

    2015-01-01

    Processes occurring early in the life stages of corals can greatly influence the demography of coral populations, and successful settlement of coral larvae that leads to recruitment is a critical life history stage for coral reef ecosystems. Although corals in Singapore persist in one the world's most anthropogenically impacted reef systems, our understanding of the role of coral settlement in the persistence of coral communities in Singapore remains limited. Spatial and temporal patterns of coral settlement were examined at 7 sites in the southern islands of Singapore, using settlement tiles deployed and collected every 3 months from 2011 to 2013. Settlement occurred year round, but varied significantly across time and space. Annual coral settlement was low (~54.72 spat m(-2) yr(-1)) relative to other equatorial regions, but there was evidence of temporal variation in settlement rates. Peak settlement occurred between March-May and September-November, coinciding with annual coral spawning periods (March-April and October), while the lowest settlement occurred from December-February during the northeast monsoon. A period of high settlement was also observed between June and August in the first year (2011/12), possibly due to some species spawning outside predicted spawning periods, larvae settling from other locations or extended larval settlement competency periods. Settlement rates varied significantly among sites, but spatial variation was relatively consistent between years, suggesting the strong effects of local coral assemblages or environmental conditions. Pocilloporidae were the most abundant coral spat (83.6%), while Poritidae comprised only 6% of the spat, and Acroporidae coral spat. These results indicate that current settlement patterns are reinforcing the local adult assemblage structure ('others'; i.e. sediment-tolerant coral taxa) in Singapore, but that the replenishment capacity of Singapore's reefs appears relatively constrained, which could lead

  14. Coral reefs - Specialized ecosystems

    Digital Repository Service at National Institute of Oceanography (India)

    Wafar, M.V.M.

    This paper discusses briefly some aspects that characterize and differentiate coral reef ecosystems from other tropical marine ecosystems. A brief account on the resources that are extractable from coral reefs, their susceptibility to natural...

  15. Shallow magnetic inclinations in the Cretaceous Valle Group, Baja California: remagnetization, compaction, or terrane translation?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smith, Douglas P.; Busby, Cathy J.

    1993-10-01

    Paleomagnetic data from Albian to Turonian sedimentary rocks on Cedros Island, Mexico (28.2° N, 115.2° W) support the interpretation that Cretaceous rocks of western Baja California have moved farther northward than the 3° of latitude assignable to Neogene oblique rifting in the Gulf of California. Averaged Cretaceous paleomagnetic results from Cedros Island support 20 ± 10° of northward displacement and 14 ± 7° of clockwise rotation with respect to cratonic North America. Positive field stability tests from the Vizcaino terrane substantiate a mid-Cretaceous age for the high-temperature characteristic remanent magnetization in mid-Cretaceous strata. Therefore coincidence of characteristic magnetization directions and the expected Quaternary axial dipole direction is not due to post mid-Cretaceous remagnetization. A slump test performed on internally coherent, intrabasinal slump blocks within a paleontologically dated olistostrome demonstrates a mid-Cretaceous age of magnetization in the Valle Group. The in situ high-temperature natural remanent magnetization directions markedly diverge from the expected Quaternary axial dipole, indicating that the characteristic, high-temperature magnetization was acquired prior to intrabasinal slumping. Early acquisition of the characteristic magnetization is also supported by a regional attitude test involving three localities in coherent mid-Cretaceous Valle Group strata. Paleomagnetic inclinations in mudstone are not different from those in sandstone, indicating that burial compaction did not bias the results toward shallow inclinations in the Vizcaino terrane.

  16. Differential sensitivity of coral larvae to natural levels of ultraviolet radiation during the onset of larval competence.

    KAUST Repository

    Aranda, Manuel; Banaszak, Anastazia T; Bayer, Till; Luyten, James; Medina, Mó nica; Voolstra, Christian R.

    2011-01-01

    Scleractinian corals are the major builders of the complex structural framework of coral reefs. They live in tropical waters around the globe where they are frequently exposed to potentially harmful ultraviolet radiation (UVR). The eggs and early

  17. Corals diseases are a major cause of coral death

    Science.gov (United States)

    Corals, like humans, are susceptible to diseases. Some coral diseases are associated with pathogenic bacteria; however, the causes of most remain unknown. Some diseases trigger rapid and extensive mortality, while others slowly cause localized color changes or injure coral tiss...

  18. Highly specialized mammalian skulls from the Late Cretaceous of South America.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rougier, Guillermo W; Apesteguía, Sebastián; Gaetano, Leandro C

    2011-11-02

    Dryolestoids are an extinct mammalian group belonging to the lineage leading to modern marsupials and placentals. Dryolestoids are known by teeth and jaws from the Jurassic period of North America and Europe, but they thrived in South America up to the end of the Mesozoic era and survived to the beginnings of the Cenozoic. Isolated teeth and jaws from the latest Cretaceous of South America provide mounting evidence that, at least in western Gondwana, dryolestoids developed into strongly endemic groups by the Late Cretaceous. However, the lack of pre-Late Cretaceous dryolestoid remains made study of their origin and early diversification intractable. Here we describe the first mammalian remains from the early Late Cretaceous of South America, including two partial skulls and jaws of a derived dryolestoid showing dental and cranial features unknown among any other group of Mesozoic mammals, such as single-rooted molars preceded by double-rooted premolars, combined with a very long muzzle, exceedingly long canines and evidence of highly specialized masticatory musculature. On one hand, the new mammal shares derived features of dryolestoids with forms from the Jurassic of Laurasia, whereas on the other hand, it is very specialized and highlights the endemic, diverse dryolestoid fauna from the Cretaceous of South America. Our specimens include only the second mammalian skull known for the Cretaceous of Gondwana, bridging a previous 60-million-year gap in the fossil record, and document the whole cranial morphology of a dryolestoid, revealing an unsuspected morphological and ecological diversity for non-tribosphenic mammals.

  19. Through bleaching and tsunami: Coral reef recovery in the Maldives.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morri, Carla; Montefalcone, Monica; Lasagna, Roberta; Gatti, Giulia; Rovere, Alessio; Parravicini, Valeriano; Baldelli, Giuseppe; Colantoni, Paolo; Bianchi, Carlo Nike

    2015-09-15

    Coral reefs are degrading worldwide, but little information exists on their previous conditions for most regions of the world. Since 1989, we have been studying the Maldives, collecting data before, during and after the bleaching and mass mortality event of 1998. As early as 1999, many newly settled colonies were recorded. Recruits shifted from a dominance of massive and encrusting corals in the early stages of recolonisation towards a dominance of Acropora and Pocillopora by 2009. Coral cover, which dropped to less than 10% after the bleaching, returned to pre-bleaching values of around 50% by 2013. The 2004 tsunami had comparatively little effect. In 2014, the coral community was similar to that existing before the bleaching. According to descriptors and metrics adopted, recovery of Maldivian coral reefs took between 6 and 15years, or may even be considered unachieved, as there are species that had not come back yet. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  20. A basal thunnosaurian from Iraq reveals disparate phylogenetic origins for Cretaceous ichthyosaurs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fischer, Valentin; Appleby, Robert M.; Naish, Darren; Liston, Jeff; Riding, James B.; Brindley, Stephen; Godefroit, Pascal

    2013-01-01

    Cretaceous ichthyosaurs have typically been considered a small, homogeneous assemblage sharing a common Late Jurassic ancestor. Their low diversity and disparity have been interpreted as indicative of a decline leading to their Cenomanian extinction. We describe the first post-Triassic ichthyosaur from the Middle East, Malawania anachronus gen. et sp. nov. from the Early Cretaceous of Iraq, and re-evaluate the evolutionary history of parvipelvian ichthyosaurs via phylogenetic and cladogenesis rate analyses. Malawania represents a basal grade in thunnosaurian evolution that arose during a major Late Triassic radiation event and was previously thought to have gone extinct during the Early Jurassic. Its pectoral morphology appears surprisingly archaic, retaining a forefin architecture similar to that of its Early Jurassic relatives. After the initial latest Triassic radiation of early thunnosaurians, two subsequent large radiations produced lineages with Cretaceous representatives, but the radiation events themselves are pre-Cretaceous. Cretaceous ichthyosaurs therefore include distantly related lineages, with contrasting evolutionary histories, and appear more diverse and disparate than previously supposed. PMID:23676653

  1. Coral by-catch in shrimp bottom trawl surveys in West Greenland waters (2010 – 2012)

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jørgensbye, Helle; Arboe, Nanette Hammeken

    There have been zoological expeditions in Greenland waters since the 19th century documenting the sea life, including cold water corals. Coral trees (vernacular name for Paragorgia arborea) are mentioned as early as 1741 in the first natural history book about Greenland (Egede 1741). Due to the m......There have been zoological expeditions in Greenland waters since the 19th century documenting the sea life, including cold water corals. Coral trees (vernacular name for Paragorgia arborea) are mentioned as early as 1741 in the first natural history book about Greenland (Egede 1741). Due....... The identification of the corals is based on Kenchington et al. (2009). The identification of many specimens has further been verified by Ole Tendal (Zoological Museum, Copenhagen) on the basis of frozen samples. Few corals, mainly soft corals (Alcyonacea) and sea pens (Pennatulacea), were found in the depth range...

  2. Integrated geophysical and geological study and petroleum appraisal of Cretaceous plays in the Western Gulf of Gabes, Tunisia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dkhaili, Noomen; Bey, Saloua; El Abed, Mahmoud; Gasmi, Mohamed; Inoubli, Mohamed Hedi

    2015-09-01

    An integrated study of available seismic and calibrated wells has been conducted in order to ascertain the structural development and petroleum potential of the Cretaceous Formations of the Western Gulf of Gabes. This study has resulted in an understanding of the controls of deep seated Tethyan tectonic lineaments by analysis of the Cretaceous deposits distribution. Three main unconformities have been identified in this area, unconformity U1 between the Jurassic and Cretaceous series, unconformity U2 separating Early from Late Cretaceous and known as the Austrian unconformity and the major unconformity U3 separating Cretaceous from Tertiary series. The seismic analysis and interpretation have confirmed the existence of several features dominated by an NE-SW extensive tectonic regime evidenced by deep listric faults, asymmetric horst and graben and tilted blocks structures. Indeed, the structural mapping of these unconformities, displays the presence of dominant NW-SE fault system (N140 to N160) bounding a large number of moderate sized basins. A strong inversion event related to the unconformity U3 can be demonstrated by the mapping of the unconformities consequence of the succession of several tectonic manifestations during the Cretaceous and post-Cretaceous periods. These tectonic events have resulted in the development of structural and stratigraphic traps further to the porosity and permeability enhancement of Cretaceous reservoirs.

  3. Coral reefs and eutrophication

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Stambler, N.

    1999-01-01

    Coral reefs are found in oligotrophic waters, which are poor in nutrients such as nitrogen, phosphate, and possibly iron. In spite of this, coral reefs exhibit high gross primary productivity rates. They thrive in oligotrophic conditions because of the symbiotic relationship between corals and dinoflagellate algae (zooxanthellae) embedded in the coral tissue. In their mutualistic symbiosis, the zooxanthellae contribute their photosynthetic capability as the basis for the metabolic energy of the whole association, and eventually of a great part of the entire reef ecosystem

  4. Cryobiology of coral fragments.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hagedorn, Mary; Farrell, Ann; Carter, Virginia L

    2013-02-01

    Around the world, coral reefs are dying due to human influences, and saving habitat alone may not stop this destruction. This investigation focused on the biological processes that will provide the first steps in understanding the cryobiology of whole coral fragments. Coral fragments are a partnership of coral tissue and endosymbiotic algae, Symbiodinium sp., commonly called zooxanthellae. These data reflected their separate sensitivities to chilling and a cryoprotectant (dimethyl sulfoxide) for the coral Pocillopora damicornis, as measured by tissue loss and Pulse Amplitude Modulated fluorometry 3weeks post-treatment. Five cryoprotectant treatments maintained the viability of the coral tissue and zooxanthellae at control values (1M dimethyl sulfoxide at 1.0, 1.5 and 2.0h exposures, and 1.5M dimethyl sulfoxide at 1.0 and 1.5h exposures, P>0.05, ANOVA), whereas 2M concentrations did not (Pzooxanthellae. During the winter when the fragments were chilled, the coral tissue remained relatively intact (∼25% loss) post-treatment, but the zooxanthellae numbers in the tissue declined after 5min of chilling (Pzooxanthellae numbers declined in response to chilling alone (P0.05, ANOVA), but it did not protect against the loss of zooxanthellae (Pzooxanthellae are the most sensitive element in the coral fragment complex and future cryopreservation protocols must be guided by their greater sensitivity. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  5. Paleoenvironments of the Jurassic and Cretaceous Oceans: Selected Highlights

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ogg, J. G.

    2007-12-01

    There are many themes contributing to the sedimentation history of the Mesozoic oceans. This overview briefly examines the roles of the carbonate compensation depth (CCD) and the associated levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide, of the evolution of marine calcareous microplankton, of major transgressive and regressive trends, and of super-plume eruptions. Initiation of Atlantic seafloor spreading in the Middle Jurassic coincided with an elevated carbonate compensation depth (CCD) in the Pacific-Tethys mega-ocean. Organic-rich sediments that would become the oil wealth of regions from Saudi Arabia to the North Sea were deposited during a continued rise in CCD during the Oxfordian-early Kimmeridgian, which suggests a possible increase in carbon dioxide release by oceanic volcanic activity. Deep-sea deposits in near-equatorial settings are dominated by siliceous shales or cherts, which reflect the productivity of siliceous microfossils in the tropical surface waters. The end-Jurassic explosion in productivity by calcareous microplankton contributed to the lowering of the CCD and onset of the chalk ("creta") deposits that characterize the Tithonian and lower Cretaceous in all ocean basins. During the mid-Cretaceous, the eruption of enormous Pacific igneous provinces (Ontong Java Plateau and coeval edifices) increased carbon dioxide levels. The resulting rise in CCD terminated chalk deposition in the deep sea. The excess carbon was progressively removed in widespread black-shale deposits in the Atlantic basins and other regions - another major episode of oil source rock. A major long-term transgression during middle and late Cretaceous was accompanied by extensive chalk deposition on continental shelves and seaways while the oceanic CCD remained elevated. Pacific guyots document major oscillations (sequences) of global sea level superimposed on this broad highstand. The Cretaceous closed with a progressive sea-level regression and lowering of the CCD that again enabled

  6. Coral Reefs: Beyond Mortality?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Charles Sheppard

    2000-01-01

    Full Text Available The scale of the collapse of coral reef communities in 1998 following a warming episode (Wilkinson, 2000 was unprecedented, and took many people by surprise. The Indian Ocean was the worst affected with a coral mortality over 75% in many areas such as the Chagos Archipelago (Sheppard, 1999, Seychelles (Spencer et al., 2000 and Maldives (McClanahan, 2000. Several other locations were affected at least as much, with mortality reaching 100% (to the nearest whole number; this is being compiled by various authors (e.g., CORDIO, in press. For example, in the Arabian Gulf, coral mortality is almost total across many large areas of shallow water (Sheppard, unpublished; D. George and D. John, personal communication. The mortality is patchy of course, depending on currents, location inside or outside lagoons, etc., but it is now possible to swim for over 200 m and see not one remaining living coral or soft coral on some previously rich reefs.

  7. Faunal turnover of marine tetrapods during the Jurassic-Cretaceous transition.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Benson, Roger B J; Druckenmiller, Patrick S

    2014-02-01

    Marine and terrestrial animals show a mosaic of lineage extinctions and diversifications during the Jurassic-Cretaceous transition. However, despite its potential importance in shaping animal evolution, few palaeontological studies have focussed on this interval and the possible climate and biotic drivers of its faunal turnover. In consequence evolutionary patterns in most groups are poorly understood. We use a new, large morphological dataset to examine patterns of lineage diversity and disparity (variety of form) in the marine tetrapod clade Plesiosauria, and compare these patterns with those of other organisms. Although seven plesiosaurian lineages have been hypothesised as crossing the Jurassic-Cretaceous boundary, our most parsimonious topology suggests the number was only three. The robust recovery of a novel group including most Cretaceous plesiosauroids (Xenopsaria, new clade) is instrumental in this result. Substantial plesiosaurian turnover occurred during the Jurassic-Cretaceous boundary interval, including the loss of substantial pliosaurid, and cryptoclidid diversity and disparity, followed by the radiation of Xenopsaria during the Early Cretaceous. Possible physical drivers of this turnover include climatic fluctuations that influenced oceanic productivity and diversity: Late Jurassic climates were characterised by widespread global monsoonal conditions and increased nutrient flux into the opening Atlantic-Tethys, resulting in eutrophication and a highly productive, but taxonomically depauperate, plankton. Latest Jurassic and Early Cretaceous climates were more arid, resulting in oligotrophic ocean conditions and high taxonomic diversity of radiolarians, calcareous nannoplankton and possibly ammonoids. However, the observation of discordant extinction patterns in other marine tetrapod groups such as ichthyosaurs and marine crocodylomorphs suggests that clade-specific factors may have been more important than overarching extrinsic drivers of faunal

  8. Hurricanes and coral bleaching linked to changes in coral recruitment in Tobago.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mallela, J; Crabbe, M J C

    2009-10-01

    Knowledge of coral recruitment patterns helps us understand how reefs react following major disturbances and provides us with an early warning system for predicting future reef health problems. We have reconstructed and interpreted historical and modern-day recruitment patterns, using a combination of growth modelling and in situ recruitment experiments, in order to understand how hurricanes, storms and bleaching events have influenced coral recruitment on the Caribbean coastline of Tobago. Whilst Tobago does not lie within the main hurricane belt results indicate that regional hurricane events negatively impact coral recruitment patterns in the Southern Caribbean. In years following hurricanes, tropical storms and bleaching events, coral recruitment was reduced when compared to normal years (p=0.016). Following Hurricane Ivan in 2004 and the 2005-2006 bleaching event, coral recruitment was markedly limited with only 2% (n=6) of colonies estimated to have recruited during 2006 and 2007. Our experimental results indicate that despite multiple large-scale disturbances corals are still recruiting on Tobago's marginal reef systems, albeit in low numbers.

  9. From nappe stacking to exhumation: Cretaceous tectonics in the Apuseni Mountains (Romania)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reiser, Martin Kaspar; Schuster, Ralf; Spikings, Richard; Tropper, Peter; Fügenschuh, Bernhard

    2017-03-01

    New Ar-Ar muscovite and Rb-Sr biotite age data in combination with structural analyses from the Apuseni Mountains provide new constraints on the timing and kinematics of deformation during the Cretaceous. Time-temperature paths from the structurally highest basement nappe of the Apuseni Mountains in combination with sedimentary data indicate exhumation and a position close to the surface after the Late Jurassic emplacement of the South Apuseni Ophiolites. Early Cretaceous Ar-Ar muscovite ages from structurally lower parts in the Biharia Nappe System (Dacia Mega-Unit) show cooling from medium-grade conditions. NE-SW-trending stretching lineation and associated kinematic indicators of this deformation phase (D1) are overprinted by top-NW-directed thrusting during D2. An Albian to Turonian age (110-90 Ma) is proposed for the main deformation (D2) that formed the present-day geometry of the nappe stack and led to a pervasive retrograde greenschist-facies overprint. Thermochronological and structural data from the Bihor Unit (Tisza Mega-Unit) allowed to establish E-directed differential exhumation during Early-Late Cretaceous times (D3.1). Brittle detachment faulting (D3.2) and the deposition of syn-extensional sediments indicate general uplift and partial surface exposure during the Late Cretaceous. Brittle conditions persist during the latest Cretaceous compressional overprint (D4).

  10. Predicting Heat Stress to Inform Reef Management: NOAA Coral Reef Watch's 4-Month Coral Bleaching Outlook

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gang Liu

    2018-03-01

    Full Text Available The U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's (NOAA Coral Reef Watch (CRW operates a global 4-Month Coral Bleaching Outlook system for shallow-water coral reefs in collaboration with NOAA's National Centers for Environmental Prediction (NCEP. The Outlooks are generated by applying the algorithm used in CRW's operational satellite coral bleaching heat stress monitoring, with slight modifications, to the sea surface temperature (SST predictions from NCEP's operational Climate Forecast System Version 2 (CFSv2. Once a week, the probability of heat stress capable of causing mass coral bleaching is predicted for 4-months in advance. Each day, CFSv2 generates an ensemble of 16 forecasts, with nine runs out to 45-days, three runs out to 3-months, and four runs out to 9-months. This results in 28–112 ensemble members produced each week. A composite for each predicted week is derived from daily predictions within each ensemble member. The probability of each of four heat stress ranges (Watch and higher, Warning and higher, Alert Level 1 and higher, and Alert Level 2 is determined from all the available ensemble members for the week to form the weekly probabilistic Outlook. The probabilistic 4-Month Outlook is the highest weekly probability predicted among all the weekly Outlooks during a 4-month period for each of the stress ranges. An initial qualitative skill analysis of the Outlooks for 2011–2015, compared with CRW's satellite-based coral bleaching heat stress products, indicated the Outlook has performed well with high hit rates and low miss rates for most coral reef areas. Regions identified with high false alarm rates will guide future improvements. This Outlook system, as the first and only freely available global coral bleaching prediction system, has been providing critical early warning to marine resource managers, scientists, and decision makers around the world to guide management, protection, and monitoring of coral reefs

  11. Cretaceous rocks of the Western Interior basin

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Molenaar, C.M.; Rice, D.D.

    1988-01-01

    The Cretaceous rocks of the conterminous United States are discussed in this chapter. Depositional facies and lithology are reviewed along with economic resources. The economic resources include coal, hydrocarbons, and uranium

  12. Dinosaurs and the Cretaceous Terrestrial Revolution

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lloyd, Graeme T; Davis, Katie E; Pisani, Davide; Tarver, James E; Ruta, Marcello; Sakamoto, Manabu; Hone, David W.E; Jennings, Rachel; Benton, Michael J

    2008-01-01

    The observed diversity of dinosaurs reached its highest peak during the mid- and Late Cretaceous, the 50 Myr that preceded their extinction, and yet this explosion of dinosaur diversity may be explained largely by sampling bias. It has long been debated whether dinosaurs were part of the Cretaceous Terrestrial Revolution (KTR), from 125–80 Myr ago, when flowering plants, herbivorous and social insects, squamates, birds and mammals all underwent a rapid expansion. Although an apparent explosion of dinosaur diversity occurred in the mid-Cretaceous, coinciding with the emergence of new groups (e.g. neoceratopsians, ankylosaurid ankylosaurs, hadrosaurids and pachycephalosaurs), results from the first quantitative study of diversification applied to a new supertree of dinosaurs show that this apparent burst in dinosaurian diversity in the last 18 Myr of the Cretaceous is a sampling artefact. Indeed, major diversification shifts occurred largely in the first one-third of the group's history. Despite the appearance of new clades of medium to large herbivores and carnivores later in dinosaur history, these new originations do not correspond to significant diversification shifts. Instead, the overall geometry of the Cretaceous part of the dinosaur tree does not depart from the null hypothesis of an equal rates model of lineage branching. Furthermore, we conclude that dinosaurs did not experience a progressive decline at the end of the Cretaceous, nor was their evolution driven directly by the KTR. PMID:18647715

  13. New fossil ants in French Cretaceous amber (Hymenoptera: Formicidae)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Perrichot, Vincent; Nel, André; Néraudeau, Didier; Lacau, Sébastien; Guyot, Thierry

    2008-02-01

    Recent studies on the ant phylogeny are mainly based on the molecular analyses of extant subfamilies and do not include the extinct, only Cretaceous subfamily Sphecomyrminae. However, the latter is of major importance for ant relationships, as it is considered the most basal subfamily. Therefore, each new discovery of a Mesozoic ant is of high interest for improving our understanding of their early history and basal relationships. In this paper, a new sphecomyrmine ant, allied to the Burmese amber genus Haidomyrmex, is described from mid-Cretaceous amber of France as Haidomyrmodes mammuthus gen. and sp. n. The diagnosis of the tribe Haidomyrmecini is emended based on the new type material, which includes a gyne (alate female) and two incomplete workers. The genus Sphecomyrmodes, hitherto known by a single species from Burmese amber, is also reported and a new species described as S. occidentalis sp. n. after two workers remarkably preserved in a single piece of Early Cenomanian French amber. The new fossils provide additional information on early ant diversity and relationships and demonstrate that the monophyly of the Sphecomyrminae, as currently defined, is still weakly supported.

  14. Novel insect leaf-mining after the end-Cretaceous extinction and the demise of cretaceous leaf miners, Great Plains, USA.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Michael P Donovan

    Full Text Available Plant and associated insect-damage diversity in the western U.S.A. decreased significantly at the Cretaceous-Paleogene (K-Pg boundary and remained low until the late Paleocene. However, the Mexican Hat locality (ca. 65 Ma in southeastern Montana, with a typical, low-diversity flora, uniquely exhibits high damage diversity on nearly all its host plants, when compared to all known local and regional early Paleocene sites. The same plant species show minimal damage elsewhere during the early Paleocene. We asked whether the high insect damage diversity at Mexican Hat was more likely related to the survival of Cretaceous insects from refugia or to an influx of novel Paleocene taxa. We compared damage on 1073 leaf fossils from Mexican Hat to over 9000 terminal Cretaceous leaf fossils from the Hell Creek Formation of nearby southwestern North Dakota and to over 9000 Paleocene leaf fossils from the Fort Union Formation in North Dakota, Montana, and Wyoming. We described the entire insect-feeding ichnofauna at Mexican Hat and focused our analysis on leaf mines because they are typically host-specialized and preserve a number of diagnostic morphological characters. Nine mine damage types attributable to three of the four orders of leaf-mining insects are found at Mexican Hat, six of them so far unique to the site. We found no evidence linking any of the diverse Hell Creek mines with those found at Mexican Hat, nor for the survival of any Cretaceous leaf miners over the K-Pg boundary regionally, even on well-sampled, surviving plant families. Overall, our results strongly relate the high damage diversity on the depauperate Mexican Hat flora to an influx of novel insect herbivores during the early Paleocene, possibly caused by a transient warming event and range expansion, and indicate drastic extinction rather than survivorship of Cretaceous insect taxa from refugia.

  15. Novel insect leaf-mining after the end-Cretaceous extinction and the demise of cretaceous leaf miners, Great Plains, USA.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Donovan, Michael P; Wilf, Peter; Labandeira, Conrad C; Johnson, Kirk R; Peppe, Daniel J

    2014-01-01

    Plant and associated insect-damage diversity in the western U.S.A. decreased significantly at the Cretaceous-Paleogene (K-Pg) boundary and remained low until the late Paleocene. However, the Mexican Hat locality (ca. 65 Ma) in southeastern Montana, with a typical, low-diversity flora, uniquely exhibits high damage diversity on nearly all its host plants, when compared to all known local and regional early Paleocene sites. The same plant species show minimal damage elsewhere during the early Paleocene. We asked whether the high insect damage diversity at Mexican Hat was more likely related to the survival of Cretaceous insects from refugia or to an influx of novel Paleocene taxa. We compared damage on 1073 leaf fossils from Mexican Hat to over 9000 terminal Cretaceous leaf fossils from the Hell Creek Formation of nearby southwestern North Dakota and to over 9000 Paleocene leaf fossils from the Fort Union Formation in North Dakota, Montana, and Wyoming. We described the entire insect-feeding ichnofauna at Mexican Hat and focused our analysis on leaf mines because they are typically host-specialized and preserve a number of diagnostic morphological characters. Nine mine damage types attributable to three of the four orders of leaf-mining insects are found at Mexican Hat, six of them so far unique to the site. We found no evidence linking any of the diverse Hell Creek mines with those found at Mexican Hat, nor for the survival of any Cretaceous leaf miners over the K-Pg boundary regionally, even on well-sampled, surviving plant families. Overall, our results strongly relate the high damage diversity on the depauperate Mexican Hat flora to an influx of novel insect herbivores during the early Paleocene, possibly caused by a transient warming event and range expansion, and indicate drastic extinction rather than survivorship of Cretaceous insect taxa from refugia.

  16. Coral Reef Guidance

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guidance prepared by EPA and Army Corps of Engineers concerning coral reef protection under the Clean Water Act, Marine Protection, Research, and Sanctuaries Act, Rivers and Harbors Act, and Federal Project Authorities.

  17. All Framing Corals

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — The data represent predicted habitat suitability for several taxa of deep-sea corals. Predictions were modeled using a statistical machine-learning algorithm called...

  18. Corals and Sclerosponges

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — Records of past climate and ocean environment derived from stable isotope, trace metal, and other measurements made on corals and sclerosponges. Parameter keywords...

  19. Evidence of reworked Cretaceous fossils and their bearing on the existence of Tertiary dinosaurs

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Eaton, J.G. (Museum of Northern Arizona, Flagstaff (USA)); Kirkland, J.I. (Univ. of Nebraska, Lincoln (USA)); Doi, K. (Univ. of Colorado, Boulder (USA))

    1989-06-01

    The Paleocene Shotgun fauna of Wyoming includes marine sharks as well as mammals. It has been suggested that the sharks were introduced from the Cannonball Sea. It is more likely that these sharks were reworked from a Cretaceous rock sequence that included both marine and terrestrial deposits as there is a mixture of marine and freshwater taxa. These taxa have not been recorded elsewhere after the Cretaceous and are not known from the Cannonball Formation. Early Eocene localities at Raven Ridge, Utah, similarly contain teeth of Cretaceous marine and freshwater fish, dinosaurs, and Eocene mammals. The Cretaceous teeth are well preserved, variably abraded, and serve to cast doubts on criteria recently used to claim that dinosaur teeth recovered from the Paleocene of Montana are not reworked. Another Eocene locality in the San Juan Basin has produced an Eocene mammalian fauna with diverse Cretaceous marine sharks. Neither the nature of preservation nor the degree of abrasion could be used to distinguish reworked from contemporaneous material. The mixed environments represented by the fish taxa and recognition of the extensive pre-Tertiary extinction of both marine and freshwater fish were employed to recognize reworked specimens.

  20. A new dinosaur ichnotaxon from the Lower Cretaceous Patuxent Formation of Maryland and Virginia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stanford, Ray; Weems, Robert E.; Lockley, Martin G.

    2004-01-01

    In recent years, numerous dinosaur footprints have been discovered on bedding surfaces within the Lower Cretaceous Patuxent Formation of Maryland and Virginia. Among these, distinctive small tracks that display a combination of small manus with five digit impressions and a relatively much larger pes with four toe impressions evidently were made by animals belonging to the ornithischian family Hypsilophodontidae. These tracks differ from any ornithischian ichnotaxon previously described. We here name them Hypsiloichnus marylandicus and provide a description of their diagnostic characteristics. Although hypsilophodontid skeletal remains have not been found in the Patuxent, their skeletal remains are known from Lower Cretaceous strata of similar age in both western North America and Europe. Therefore, it is not surprising to find that an Early Cretaceous representative of this family also existed in eastern North America.

  1. Occurrence of thraustochytrid fungi in corals and coral mucus

    Digital Repository Service at National Institute of Oceanography (India)

    Raghukumar, S.; Balasubramanian

    Occurrence of thraustochytrid fungi in corals, fresh coral mucus and floating and attached mucus detritus from the Lakshadweep Islands in the Arabian Sea was studied. Corallochytrium limacisporum Raghukumar, Thraustochytrium motivum Goldstein...

  2. Sedimentary basin analysis and petroleum potential of the Cretaceous and Tertiary strata in Korea.

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Son, Jin-Dam; Kwak, Young-Hoon; Bong, Pil-Yoon [Korea Institute of Geology Mining and Materials, Taejon (KR)] (and others)

    1999-12-01

    Since 1992 sedimentary basin analysis to assess petroleum potential of the Cretaceous and Tertiary strata in the Korean onshore and continental shelf have been carried out. The Cretaceous non-marine strata mainly occupy the Gyeongsang Basin in southeastern part of the Korean Peninsula and small basins such as Haenam and Gyeokpo depressions in western coastal areas. The Tertiary strata are mostly distributed in Domi, Cheju, Socotra subbasins, and Okinawa Trough in the South Continental Shelf, and Kunsan and Heuksan basins in the West. The basin evolution and petroleum potential for each basins are characterized as follow. The Cretaceous Gyeongsang sediments were deposited in three subbasins including Milyang, Euisung and Yongyang subbasins. The black shales in Nakdong and Jinju formations are interpreted to contain abundant organic matter during the deposition, thermal maturity reaching up to the zone of dry gas formation. Because porosity and permeability are too low, the sandstones can act as a tight gas reservoir rather than conventional oil and gas reservoir. The latest Cretaceous strata of Haenam and Kyeokpo depressions in western coastal area are correlated into the Yuchon Volcanic Group of the Gyeongsang Basin. Petroleum potential of the Early Cretaceous basin in the West Continental Shelf could be relatively high in terms of sedimentary basin filled with thick lacustrine sediments. The Kunsan basin in the West Continental Shelf originated in the Early Cretaceous time expanded during the Paleocene time followed by regional erosion at the end of Paleocene on which Neogene sediment have been accumulated. The Paleocene-Eocene sublacustrine shales may play an major role as a source and cap rocks. South Continental Shelf Basin is subdivided by Cheju subbasin in the center, Socotra Subbasin to the west, Domi Subbasin to the northeast and Okinawa Trough to the East. The potential hydrocarbon traps associated with anticline, titled fault blocks, fault, unconformity

  3. Debris-carrying camouflage among diverse lineages of Cretaceous insects.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Bo; Xia, Fangyuan; Engel, Michael S; Perrichot, Vincent; Shi, Gongle; Zhang, Haichun; Chen, Jun; Jarzembowski, Edmund A; Wappler, Torsten; Rust, Jes

    2016-06-01

    Insects have evolved diverse methods of camouflage that have played an important role in their evolutionary success. Debris-carrying, a behavior of actively harvesting and carrying exogenous materials, is among the most fascinating and complex behaviors because it requires not only an ability to recognize, collect, and carry materials but also evolutionary adaptations in related morphological characteristics. However, the fossil record of such behavior is extremely scarce, and only a single Mesozoic example from Spanish amber has been recorded; therefore, little is known about the early evolution of this complicated behavior and its underlying anatomy. We report a diverse insect assemblage of exceptionally preserved debris carriers from Cretaceous Burmese, French, and Lebanese ambers, including the earliest known chrysopoid larvae (green lacewings), myrmeleontoid larvae (split-footed lacewings and owlflies), and reduviids (assassin bugs). These ancient insects used a variety of debris material, including insect exoskeletons, sand grains, soil dust, leaf trichomes of gleicheniacean ferns, wood fibers, and other vegetal debris. They convergently evolved their debris-carrying behavior through multiple pathways, which expressed a high degree of evolutionary plasticity. We demonstrate that the behavioral repertoire, which is associated with considerable morphological adaptations, was already widespread among insects by at least the Mid-Cretaceous. Together with the previously known Spanish specimen, these fossils are the oldest direct evidence of camouflaging behavior in the fossil record. Our findings provide a novel insight into early evolution of camouflage in insects and ancient ecological associations among plants and insects.

  4. Structural extremes in a cretaceous dinosaur.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Paul C Sereno

    Full Text Available Fossils of the Early Cretaceous dinosaur, Nigersaurus taqueti, document for the first time the cranial anatomy of a rebbachisaurid sauropod. Its extreme adaptations for herbivory at ground-level challenge current hypotheses regarding feeding function and feeding strategy among diplodocoids, the larger clade of sauropods that includes Nigersaurus. We used high resolution computed tomography, stereolithography, and standard molding and casting techniques to reassemble the extremely fragile skull. Computed tomography also allowed us to render the first endocast for a sauropod preserving portions of the olfactory bulbs, cerebrum and inner ear, the latter permitting us to establish habitual head posture. To elucidate evidence of tooth wear and tooth replacement rate, we used photographic-casting techniques and crown thin sections, respectively. To reconstruct its 9-meter postcranial skeleton, we combined and size-adjusted multiple partial skeletons. Finally, we used maximum parsimony algorithms on character data to obtain the best estimate of phylogenetic relationships among diplodocoid sauropods. Nigersaurus taqueti shows extreme adaptations for a dinosaurian herbivore including a skull of extremely light construction, tooth batteries located at the distal end of the jaws, tooth replacement as fast as one per month, an expanded muzzle that faces directly toward the ground, and hollow presacral vertebral centra with more air sac space than bone by volume. A cranial endocast provides the first reasonably complete view of a sauropod brain including its small olfactory bulbs and cerebrum. Skeletal and dental evidence suggests that Nigersaurus was a ground-level herbivore that gathered and sliced relatively soft vegetation, the culmination of a low-browsing feeding strategy first established among diplodocoids during the Jurassic.

  5. Osmoadjustment in the Coral Holobiont

    KAUST Repository

    Rö thig, Till

    2017-01-01

    and amino acids to be putatively involved in the osmoadjustment. Importantly, under high salinity the osmolyte floridoside was consistently increased. This could be corroborated in the coral model Aiptasia and in corals from the Persian/Arabian Gulf, where

  6. Chemostratigraphy of Late Cretaceous deltaic and marine sedimentary rocks from high northern palaeolatitudes in the Nuussuaq Basin, West Greenland

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Lenniger, Marc; Pedersen, Gunver Krarup; Bjerrum, Christian J.

    The Nuussuaq Basin in the Baffin Bay area in West Greenland formed as a result of the opening of the Labrador Sea in Late Mesozoic to Early Cenozoic times. The first rifting and the development of the Nuussuaq Basin took place during the Early Cretaceous and was followed by a second rifting phase...

  7. Coral lipids and environmental stress.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harriott, V J

    1993-04-01

    Environmental monitoring of coral reefs is presently limited by difficulties in recognising coral stress, other than by monitoring coral mortality over time. A recent report described an experiment demonstrating that a measured lipid index declined in shaded corals. The technique described might have application in monitoring coral health, with a decline in coral lipid index as an indicator of coral stress. The application of the technique as a practical monitoring tool was tested for two coral species from the Great Barrier Reef. Consistent with the previous results, lipid index for Pocillopora damicornis initially declined over a period of three weeks in corals maintained in filtered seawater in the dark, indicating possible utilization of lipid stored as energy reserves. However, lipid index subsequently rose to near normal levels. In contrast, lipid index of Acropora formosa increased after four weeks in the dark in filtered seawater. The results showed considerable variability in lipid content between samples from the same colony. Results were also found to be dependent on fixation times and sample weight, introducing potential error into the practical application of the technique. The method as described would be unsuitable for monitoring environmental stress in corals, but the search for a practical method to monitor coral health should continue, given its importance in coral reef management.

  8. Coral reefs and the World Bank.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hatziolos, M

    1997-01-01

    The World Bank¿s involvement in coral reef conservation is part of a larger effort to promote the sound management of coastal and marine resources. This involves three major thrusts: partnerships, investments, networks and knowledge. As an initial partner and early supporter of the International Coral Reef Initiative (ICRI), the Bank serves as the executive planning committee of ICRI. In partnership with the World Conservation Union and the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority, the Bank promotes the efforts towards the establishment and maintenance of a globally representative system of marine protected areas. In addition, the Bank invested over $120 million in coral reef rehabilitation and protection programs in several countries. Furthermore, the Bank developed a ¿Knowledge Bank¿ that would market ideas and knowledge to its clients along with investment projects. This aimed to put the best global knowledge on environmentally sustainable development in the hands of its staff and clients. During the celebration of 1997, as the International Year of the Reef, the Bank planned to cosponsor an associated event that would highlight the significance of coral reefs and encourage immediate action to halt their degradation to conserve this unique ecosystem.

  9. Late Cretaceous vicariance in Gondwanan amphibians.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ines Van Bocxlaer

    Full Text Available Overseas dispersals are often invoked when Southern Hemisphere terrestrial and freshwater organism phylogenies do not fit the sequence or timing of Gondwana fragmentation. We used dispersal-vicariance analyses and molecular timetrees to show that two species-rich frog groups, Microhylidae and Natatanura, display congruent patterns of spatial and temporal diversification among Gondwanan plates in the Late Cretaceous, long after the presumed major tectonic break-up events. Because amphibians are notoriously salt-intolerant, these analogies are best explained by simultaneous vicariance, rather than by oceanic dispersal. Hence our results imply Late Cretaceous connections between most adjacent Gondwanan landmasses, an essential concept for biogeographic and palaeomap reconstructions.

  10. Members of native coral microbiota inhibit glycosidases and thwart colonization of coral mucus by an opportunistic pathogen.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Krediet, Cory J; Ritchie, Kim B; Alagely, Ali; Teplitski, Max

    2013-05-01

    The outcome of the interactions between native commensal microorganisms and opportunistic pathogens is crucial to the health of the coral holobiont. During the establishment within the coral surface mucus layer, opportunistic pathogens, including a white pox pathogen Serratia marcescens PDL100, compete with native bacteria for available nutrients. Both commensals and pathogens employ glycosidases and N-acetyl-glucosaminidase to utilize components of coral mucus. This study tested the hypothesis that specific glycosidases were critical for the growth of S. marcescens on mucus and that their inhibition by native coral microbiota reduces fitness of the pathogen. Consistent with this hypothesis, a S. marcescens transposon mutant with reduced glycosidase and N-acetyl-glucosaminidase activities was unable to compete with the wild type on the mucus of the host coral Acropora palmata, although it was at least as competitive as the wild type on a minimal medium with glycerol and casamino acids. Virulence of the mutant was modestly reduced in the Aiptasia model. A survey revealed that ∼8% of culturable coral commensal bacteria have the ability to inhibit glycosidases in the pathogen. A small molecular weight, ethanol-soluble substance(s) produced by the coral commensal Exiguobacterium sp. was capable of the inhibition of the induction of catabolic enzymes in S. marcescens. This inhibition was in part responsible for the 10-100-fold reduction in the ability of the pathogen to grow on coral mucus. These results provide insight into potential mechanisms of commensal interference with early colonization and infection behaviors in opportunistic pathogens and highlight an important function for the native microbiota in coral health.

  11. RNA-Seq of the Caribbean reef-building coral Orbicella faveolata (Scleractinia-Merulinidae under bleaching and disease stress expands models of coral innate immunity

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    David A. Anderson

    2016-02-01

    Full Text Available Climate change-driven coral disease outbreaks have led to widespread declines in coral populations. Early work on coral genomics established that corals have a complex innate immune system, and whole-transcriptome gene expression studies have revealed mechanisms by which the coral immune system responds to stress and disease. The present investigation expands bioinformatic data available to study coral molecular physiology through the assembly and annotation of a reference transcriptome of the Caribbean reef-building coral, Orbicella faveolata. Samples were collected during a warm water thermal anomaly, coral bleaching event and Caribbean yellow band disease outbreak in 2010 in Puerto Rico. Multiplex sequencing of RNA on the Illumina GAIIx platform and de novo transcriptome assembly by Trinity produced 70,745,177 raw short-sequence reads and 32,463 O. faveolata transcripts, respectively. The reference transcriptome was annotated with gene ontologies, mapped to KEGG pathways, and a predicted proteome of 20,488 sequences was generated. Protein families and signaling pathways that are essential in the regulation of innate immunity across Phyla were investigated in-depth. Results were used to develop models of evolutionarily conserved Wnt, Notch, Rig-like receptor, Nod-like receptor, and Dicer signaling. O. faveolata is a coral species that has been studied widely under climate-driven stress and disease, and the present investigation provides new data on the genes that putatively regulate its immune system.

  12. New ophthalmosaurid ichthyosaurs from the European Lower Cretaceous demonstrate extensive ichthyosaur survival across the Jurassic-Cretaceous boundary.

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    Valentin Fischer

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Ichthyosauria is a diverse clade of marine amniotes that spanned most of the Mesozoic. Until recently, most authors interpreted the fossil record as showing that three major extinction events affected this group during its history: one during the latest Triassic, one at the Jurassic-Cretaceous boundary (JCB, and one (resulting in total extinction at the Cenomanian-Turonian boundary. The JCB was believed to eradicate most of the peculiar morphotypes found in the Late Jurassic, in favor of apparently less specialized forms in the Cretaceous. However, the record of ichthyosaurs from the Berriasian-Barremian interval is extremely limited, and the effects of the end-Jurassic extinction event on ichthyosaurs remains poorly understood. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Based on new material from the Hauterivian of England and Germany and on abundant material from the Cambridge Greensand Formation, we name a new ophthalmosaurid, Acamptonectes densus gen. et sp. nov. This taxon shares numerous features with Ophthalmosaurus, a genus now restricted to the Callovian-Berriasian interval. Our phylogenetic analysis indicates that Ophthalmosauridae diverged early in its history into two markedly distinct clades, Ophthalmosaurinae and Platypterygiinae, both of which cross the JCB and persist to the late Albian at least. To evaluate the effect of the JCB extinction event on ichthyosaurs, we calculated cladogenesis, extinction, and survival rates for each stage of the Oxfordian-Barremian interval, under different scenarios. The extinction rate during the JCB never surpasses the background extinction rate for the Oxfordian-Barremian interval and the JCB records one of the highest survival rates of the interval. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: There is currently no evidence that ichthyosaurs were affected by the JCB extinction event, in contrast to many other marine groups. Ophthalmosaurid ichthyosaurs remained diverse from their rapid radiation in the Middle

  13. New Ophthalmosaurid Ichthyosaurs from the European Lower Cretaceous Demonstrate Extensive Ichthyosaur Survival across the Jurassic–Cretaceous Boundary

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fischer, Valentin; Maisch, Michael W.; Naish, Darren; Kosma, Ralf; Liston, Jeff; Joger, Ulrich; Krüger, Fritz J.; Pérez, Judith Pardo; Tainsh, Jessica

    2012-01-01

    Background Ichthyosauria is a diverse clade of marine amniotes that spanned most of the Mesozoic. Until recently, most authors interpreted the fossil record as showing that three major extinction events affected this group during its history: one during the latest Triassic, one at the Jurassic–Cretaceous boundary (JCB), and one (resulting in total extinction) at the Cenomanian-Turonian boundary. The JCB was believed to eradicate most of the peculiar morphotypes found in the Late Jurassic, in favor of apparently less specialized forms in the Cretaceous. However, the record of ichthyosaurs from the Berriasian–Barremian interval is extremely limited, and the effects of the end-Jurassic extinction event on ichthyosaurs remains poorly understood. Methodology/Principal Findings Based on new material from the Hauterivian of England and Germany and on abundant material from the Cambridge Greensand Formation, we name a new ophthalmosaurid, Acamptonectes densus gen. et sp. nov. This taxon shares numerous features with Ophthalmosaurus, a genus now restricted to the Callovian–Berriasian interval. Our phylogenetic analysis indicates that Ophthalmosauridae diverged early in its history into two markedly distinct clades, Ophthalmosaurinae and Platypterygiinae, both of which cross the JCB and persist to the late Albian at least. To evaluate the effect of the JCB extinction event on ichthyosaurs, we calculated cladogenesis, extinction, and survival rates for each stage of the Oxfordian–Barremian interval, under different scenarios. The extinction rate during the JCB never surpasses the background extinction rate for the Oxfordian–Barremian interval and the JCB records one of the highest survival rates of the interval. Conclusions/Significance There is currently no evidence that ichthyosaurs were affected by the JCB extinction event, in contrast to many other marine groups. Ophthalmosaurid ichthyosaurs remained diverse from their rapid radiation in the Middle Jurassic to

  14. Evidence of cretaceous to recent West African intertropical vegetation from continental sediment spore-pollen analysis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Salard-Cheboldaeff, M.; Dejax, J.

    The succession of spore-pollen assemblages during the Cretaceous and Tertiary, as defined in each of the basin from Senegal to Angola, gives the possibility to consider the intertropical African flora evolution for the past 120 M.a. During the Early Cretaceous, xeric-adapted gymnosperms and various ferns were predominant the flora which nevertheless comprises previously unknown early angiosperm pollen. During the Middle Cretaceous, gymnospers were gradually replaced by angiosperms; these became more and more abundant, along with the diversification of new genera and species. During the Paleocene, the radiation of the monocotyledons (mainly that of the palm-trees) as well as a greater diversification among the dicotyledons and ferms are noteworthy. Since gymnosperms had almost disappeared by the Eocene, the diversification of the dicotyledons went on until the neogene, when all extinct pollen types are already present. These important modifications of the vegetation reflect evolutionary trends as well as climatic changes during the Cretaceous: the climate, firstly hot, dry and perhaps arid, did probably induced salt deposition, and later became gradually more humid under oceanic influences which arose in connection with the Gondwana break-up.

  15. Exhumation History Of Brasilian Highlands After Late Cretaceous Alcaline Magmatism

    Science.gov (United States)

    Doranti Tiritan, Carolina; Hackspacher, Peter Christian; Carina Siqueira Ribeiro, Marli; Glasmacher, Ulrich Anton; Françoso de Godoy, Daniel

    2017-04-01

    The southeast Brazilian margin recorded a long history of tectonic and magmatic events after the Gondwana continent break up. The drifting of the South American Platform over a thermal anomaly generated a series of alkaline intrusions that are distributed from the interior to the coast from west to east. Several exhumation events are recorded on the region and we are providing insights on the landscape evolution of the region since Late Cretaceous, comparing low temperature thermochronology results from two alkaline intrusions regions. Poços de Caldas Alkaline Massif (PCAM), is lied in the interior, 300km from the coastline, covering over 800km2 intruding the Precambrian basement around 83Ma, nepheline syenites, phonolites and tinguaites intruded in a continuous and rapid sequence lasting between 1 to 2 Ma. São Sebastião Island (SSI) on the other hand is located at the coast, 200 km southeast of São Paulo. It is characterized by an intrusion in Precambrian/Brazilian orogen and intruded by Early Cretaceous sub-alkaline basic and acid dykes, as well as by Late Cretaceous alkaline stocks (syenites) and dykes (basanite to phonolite). Will be presenting the apatite fission track (AFT) and (U-Th)/He results that shows the main difference between the areas is that PCAM region register older history then the coastal area of SSI, where thermal history starts register cooling event after the South Atlantic rifting process, while in the PCAM area register a previous history, since Carboniferous. The results are giving support to studies that indicate the development of the relief in Brazil being strongly influenced by the local and regional tectonic movements and the lithological and structural settings. The landscape at the Late Cretaceous was witness of heating process between 90 and 60Ma due the intense uplift of South American Platform. The elevation of the isotherms is associated with the mantellic plumes and the crustal thickness that caused thermal anomalies due

  16. Diverse dinosaur-dominated ichnofaunas from the Potomac Group (Lower Cretaceous) Maryland

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stanford, Ray; Lockley, Martin G.; Weems, Robert E.

    2007-01-01

    Until recently fossil footprints were virtually unknown from the Cretaceous of the eastern United States. The discovery of about 300 footprints in iron-rich siliciclastic facies of the Patuxent Formation (Potomac Group) of Aptian age is undoubtedly one of the most significant Early Cretaceous track discoveries since the Paluxy track discoveries in Texas in the 1930s. The Patuxent tracks include theropod, sauropod, ankylosaur and ornithopod dinosaur footprints, pterosaur tracks, and miscellaneous mammal and other vertebrate ichnites that collectively suggest a diversity of about 14 morphotypes. This is about twice the previous maximum estimate for any known Early Cretaceous vertebrate ichnofauna. Among the more distinctive forms are excellent examples of hypsilophodontid tracks and a surprisingly large mammal footprint. A remarkable feature of the Patuxent track assemblage is the high proportion of small tracks indicative of hatchlings, independently verified by the discovery of a hatchling-sized dinosaur. Such evidence suggests the proximity of nest sites. The preservation of such small tracks is very rare in the Cretaceous track record, and indeed throughout most of the Mesozoic.This unusual preservation not only provides us with a window into a diverse Early Cretaceous ecosystem, but it also suggests the potential of such facies to provide ichnological bonanzas. A remarkable feature of the assemblage is that it consists largely of reworked nodules and clasts that may have previously been reworked within the Patuxent Formation. Such unusual contexts of preservation should provide intriguing research opportunities for sedimentologists interested in the diagenesis and taphonomy of a unique track-bearing facies.

  17. New and revised maimetshid wasps from Cretaceous ambers (Hymenoptera, Maimetshidae

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    Vincent Perrichot

    2011-09-01

    Full Text Available New material of the wasp family Maimetshidae (Apocrita is presented from four Cretaceous amber deposits – the Neocomian of Lebanon, the Early Albian of Spain, the latest Albian/earliest Cenomanian of France, and the Campanian of Canada. The new record from Canadian Cretaceous amber extends the temporal and paleogeographical range of the family. New material from France is assignable to Guyotemaimetsha enigmatica Perrichot et al. including the first females for the species, while a series of males and females from Spain are described and figured as Iberomaimetsha Ortega-Blanco, Perrichot, and Engel gen. n., with the two new species Iberomaimetsha rasnitsyni Ortega-Blanco, Perrichot, and Engel sp. n. and I. nihtmara Ortega-Blanco, Delclòs, and Engel sp. n.; a single female from Lebanon is described and figured as Ahiromaimetsha najlae Perrichot, Azar, Nel, and Engel gen. et sp. n., and a single male from Canada is described and figured as Ahstemiam cellula McKellar and Engel gen. et sp. n. The taxa are compared with other maimetshids, a key to genera and species is given, and brief comments made on the family.

  18. Cretaceous origin and repeated tertiary diversification of the redefined butterflies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Heikkilä, Maria; Kaila, Lauri; Mutanen, Marko; Peña, Carlos; Wahlberg, Niklas

    2012-03-22

    Although the taxonomy of the ca 18 000 species of butterflies and skippers is well known, the family-level relationships are still debated. Here, we present, to our knowledge, the most comprehensive phylogenetic analysis of the superfamilies Papilionoidea, Hesperioidea and Hedyloidea to date based on morphological and molecular data. We reconstructed their phylogenetic relationships using parsimony and Bayesian approaches. We estimated times and rates of diversification along lineages in order to reconstruct their evolutionary history. Our results suggest that the butterflies, as traditionally understood, are paraphyletic, with Papilionidae being the sister-group to Hesperioidea, Hedyloidea and all other butterflies. Hence, the families in the current three superfamilies should be placed in a single superfamily Papilionoidea. In addition, we find that Hedylidae is sister to Hesperiidae, and this novel relationship is supported by two morphological characters. The families diverged in the Early Cretaceous but diversified after the Cretaceous-Palaeogene event. The diversification of butterflies is characterized by a slow speciation rate in the lineage leading to Baronia brevicornis, a period of stasis by the skippers after divergence and a burst of diversification in the lineages leading to Nymphalidae, Riodinidae and Lycaenidae.

  19. Cretaceous tropical carbonate platform changes used as paleoclimatic and paleoceanic indicators: the three lower Cretaceous platform crises

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arnaud-Vanneau, A.; Vrielynck, B.

    2009-04-01

    Carbonate platform sediments are of biogenic origin. More commonly the bioclasts are fragments of shells and skeletons. The bioclastic composition of a limestone may reflect the nature of biota inhabiting the area and a carbonate platform can be estimated as a living factory, which reflects the prevailing ecological factors. The rate of carbonate production is highest in the tropics, in oligotrophic environments, and in the photic zone. The rate of carbonate production varies greatly with temperature and nutrient input. Three types of biotic carbonate platform can be distinguished. The highest carbonate production is linked to oligotrophic carbonate platform characterized by the presence of assemblages with hermatypic corals. This type of platform is developed in shallow marine environment, nutrient poor water and warm tropical sea. A less efficient production of carbonate platform is related to mesotrophic environments in cooler and/or deeper water and associated to nutrient flux with, sometime, detrital input. The biota includes red algae, solitary coral and branching ahermatypic corals, common bryozoans, crinoids and echinoids. The less productive carbonate platform is the eutrophic muddy platform where the mud is due to the intense bacterial activity, probably related to strong nutrient flux. All changes of type of carbonate platform can be related to climatic and oceanic changes. Three platform crises occurred during lower Cretaceous time. They are followed by important turnover of microfauna (large benthic foraminifers) and microflora (marine algae). They start with the demise of the previous oligotrophic platform, they continue with oceanic perturbations, expression of which was the widespread deposition of organic-rich sediments, well expressed during Late Aptian/Albian and Cenomanian Turonian boundary and the replacement of previous oligotrophic platforms by mesotrophic to eutrophic platforms. The first crisis occurred during Valanginian and Hauterivian

  20. Coral Reef Biological Criteria

    Science.gov (United States)

    Coral reefs worldwide are experiencing decline from a variety of stressors. Some important stressors are land-based sources of pollution and human activities in the coastal zone. However, few tools are available to offset the impact of these stressors. The Clean Water Act (CWA...

  1. Raiding the Coral Nurseries?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alison M. Jones

    2011-08-01

    Full Text Available A recent shift in the pattern of commercial harvest in the Keppel Island region of the southern inshore Great Barrier Reef raises concern about the depletion of a number of relatively rare restricted range taxa. The shift appears to be driven by demand from the United States (US for corals for domestic aquaria. Data from the annual status reports from the Queensland Coral Fishery were compared with export trade data to the US from the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES. Evidence was found of recent increases in the harvest of species from the Mussidae family (Acanthastrea spp. which appears to be largely driven by demand from the US. On present trends, the industry runs the risk of localized depletion of Blastomussa and Scolymia; evidenced by an increase in the harvest of small specimens and the trend of decreasing harvest despite a concurrent increase in demand. Considering their relatively high sediment tolerance compared to other reef-building species, and the current lack of information about their functional role in reef stability, the trend raises concerns about the impact of the harvest on local coral communities. The recent shift in harvest patterns could have impacts on slow-growing species by allowing harvest beyond the rate of population regeneration. In light of these factors, combined with the value of such species to local tourism, a commercial coral fishery based on uncommon but highly sought-after species may not be ecologically sustainable or economically viable in the Keppels.

  2. Utilization of Mucus from the Coral Acropora palmata by the Pathogen Serratia marcescens and by Environmental and Coral Commensal Bacteria▿ †

    Science.gov (United States)

    Krediet, Cory J.; Ritchie, Kim B.; Cohen, Matthew; Lipp, Erin K.; Sutherland, Kathryn Patterson; Teplitski, Max

    2009-01-01

    In recent years, diseases of corals caused by opportunistic pathogens have become widespread. How opportunistic pathogens establish on coral surfaces, interact with native microbiota, and cause disease is not yet clear. This study compared the utilization of coral mucus by coral-associated commensal bacteria (“Photobacterium mandapamensis” and Halomonas meridiana) and by opportunistic Serratia marcescens pathogens. S. marcescens PDL100 (a pathogen associated with white pox disease of Acroporid corals) grew to higher population densities on components of mucus from the host coral. In an in vitro coculture on mucus from Acropora palmata, S. marcescens PDL100 isolates outgrew coral isolates. The white pox pathogen did not differ from other bacteria in growth on mucus from a nonhost coral, Montastraea faveolata. The ability of S. marcescens to cause disease in acroporid corals may be due, at least in part, to the ability of strain PDL100 to build to higher population numbers within the mucus surface layer of its acroporid host. During growth on mucus from A. palmata, similar glycosidase activities were present in coral commensal bacteria, in S. marcescens PDL100, and in environmental and human isolates of S. marcescens. The temporal regulation of these activities during growth on mucus, however, was distinct in the isolates. During early stages of growth on mucus, enzymatic activities in S. marcescens PDL100 were most similar to those in coral commensals. After overnight incubation on mucus, enzymatic activities in a white pox pathogen were most similar to those in pathogenic Serratia strains isolated from human mucosal surfaces. PMID:19395569

  3. Late Cretaceous extension and exhumation of the Stong Complex and Taku Schist, NE Peninsular Malaysia

    Science.gov (United States)

    François, Thomas; Afiq Md, Muhammad; Matenco, Liviu; Willingshofer, Ernst; Fatt Ng, Tham; Iskandar Taib, N.; Kamal Shuib, Mustaffa

    2017-04-01

    Dismembering large continental areas by post-orogenic extension requires favourable geodynamic conditions and frequently occurs along pre-existing suture zones or nappe contacts as exemplified by the Stong Complex and Taku Schist of northern Peninsular Malaysia. For this particular case we have employed a field and microstructural kinematic study combined with low temperature thermo-chronology to analyse the tectonic and exhumation history. The results show that the late Palaeozoic - Triassic Indosinian orogeny created successive phases of burial related metamorphism, shearing and contractional deformation. This orogenic structure was then dismembered during a Cretaceous thermal event that culminated in the formation of a large scale late Santonian - early Maastrichtian extensional detachment, genetically associated with crustal melting, the emplacement of syn-kinematic plutons and widespread migmatisation. The emplacement of these magmatic rocks led to an array of simultaneously formed structures that document deformation conditions over a wide temperature range, represented by amphibolite-facies mylonites and more brittle structures, such as cataclastic zones and normal faults that formed during exhumation in the footwall of the detachment. The formation of this detachment and a first phase of Late Cretaceous cooling was followed by renewed Eocene - Oligocene exhumation evidenced from our apatite fission track ages. We infer that an initial Cretaceous thermal anomaly was responsible for the formation of an extensional gneiss dome associated with simple shear and normal fault rotation. These Cretaceous processes played a critical role in the establishment of the presently observed crustal structure of Peninsular Malaysia.

  4. parasitised feathered dinosaurs as revealed by Cretaceous amber assemblages.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peñalver, Enrique; Arillo, Antonio; Delclòs, Xavier; Peris, David; Grimaldi, David A; Anderson, Scott R; Nascimbene, Paul C; Pérez-de la Fuente, Ricardo

    2017-12-12

    Ticks are currently among the most prevalent blood-feeding ectoparasites, but their feeding habits and hosts in deep time have long remained speculative. Here, we report direct and indirect evidence in 99 million-year-old Cretaceous amber showing that hard ticks and ticks of the extinct new family Deinocrotonidae fed on blood from feathered dinosaurs, non-avialan or avialan excluding crown-group birds. A †Cornupalpatum burmanicum hard tick is entangled in a pennaceous feather. Two deinocrotonids described as †Deinocroton draculi gen. et sp. nov. have specialised setae from dermestid beetle larvae (hastisetae) attached to their bodies, likely indicating cohabitation in a feathered dinosaur nest. A third conspecific specimen is blood-engorged, its anatomical features suggesting that deinocrotonids fed rapidly to engorgement and had multiple gonotrophic cycles. These findings provide insight into early tick evolution and ecology, and shed light on poorly known arthropod-vertebrate interactions and potential disease transmission during the Mesozoic.

  5. Seaweed-coral interactions: variance in seaweed allelopathy, coral susceptibility, and potential effects on coral resilience.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Roberta M Bonaldo

    Full Text Available Tropical reefs are in global decline with seaweeds commonly replacing corals. Negative associations between macroalgae and corals are well documented, but the mechanisms involved, the dynamics of the interactions, and variance in effects of different macroalgal-coral pairings are poorly investigated. We assessed the frequency, magnitude, and dynamics of macroalgal-coral competition involving allelopathic and non-allelopathic macroalgae on three, spatially grouped pairs of no-take Marine Protected Areas (MPAs and non-MPAs in Fiji. In non-MPAs, biomass of herbivorous fishes was 70-80% lower, macroalgal cover 4-9 fold higher, macroalgal-coral contacts 5-15 fold more frequent and 23-67 fold more extensive (measured as % of colony margin contacted by macroalgae, and coral cover 51-68% lower than in MPAs. Coral contacts with allelopathic macroalgae occurred less frequently than expected by chance across all sites, while contact with non-allelopathic macroalgae tended to occur more frequently than expected. Transplants of allelopathic macroalgae (Chlorodesmis fastigiata and Galaxaura filamentosa against coral edges inflicted damage to Acropora aspera and Pocillopora damicornis more rapidly and extensively than to Porites cylindrica and Porites lobata, which appeared more resistant to these macroalgae. Montipora digitata experienced intermediate damage. Extent of damage from macroalgal contact was independent of coral colony size for each of the 10 macroalgal-coral pairings we established. When natural contacts with Galaxaura filamentosa were removed in the field, recovery was rapid for Porites lobata, but Pocillopora damicornis did not recover and damage continued to expand. As macroalgae increase on overfished tropical reefs, allelopathy could produce feedbacks that suppress coral resilience, prevent coral recovery, and promote the stability of algal beds in habitats previously available to corals.

  6. A Framework for Responding to Coral Disease Outbreaks that Facilitates Adaptive Management

    Science.gov (United States)

    Beeden, Roger; Maynard, Jeffrey A.; Marshall, Paul A.; Heron, Scott F.; Willis, Bette L.

    2012-01-01

    Predicted increases in coral disease outbreaks associated with climate change have implications for coral reef ecosystems and the people and industries that depend on them. It is critical that coral reef managers understand these implications and have the ability to assess and reduce risk, detect and contain outbreaks, and monitor and minimise impacts. Here, we present a coral disease response framework that has four core components: (1) an early warning system, (2) a tiered impact assessment program, (3) scaled management actions and (4) a communication plan. The early warning system combines predictive tools that monitor the risk of outbreaks of temperature-dependent coral diseases with in situ observations provided by a network of observers who regularly report on coral health and reef state. Verified reports of an increase in disease prevalence trigger a tiered response of more detailed impact assessment, targeted research and/or management actions. The response is scaled to the risk posed by the outbreak, which is a function of the severity and spatial extent of the impacts. We review potential management actions to mitigate coral disease impacts and facilitate recovery, considering emerging strategies unique to coral disease and more established strategies to support reef resilience. We also describe approaches to communicating about coral disease outbreaks that will address common misperceptions and raise awareness of the coral disease threat. By adopting this framework, managers and researchers can establish a community of practice and can develop response plans for the management of coral disease outbreaks based on local needs. The collaborations between managers and researchers we suggest will enable adaptive management of disease impacts following evaluating the cost-effectiveness of emerging response actions and incrementally improving our understanding of outbreak causation.

  7. The oldest known snakes from the Middle Jurassic-Lower Cretaceous provide insights on snake evolution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Caldwell, Michael W; Nydam, Randall L; Palci, Alessandro; Apesteguía, Sebastián

    2015-01-27

    The previous oldest known fossil snakes date from ~100 million year old sediments (Upper Cretaceous) and are both morphologically and phylogenetically diverse, indicating that snakes underwent a much earlier origin and adaptive radiation. We report here on snake fossils that extend the record backwards in time by an additional ~70 million years (Middle Jurassic-Lower Cretaceous). These ancient snakes share features with fossil and modern snakes (for example, recurved teeth with labial and lingual carinae, long toothed suborbital ramus of maxillae) and with lizards (for example, pronounced subdental shelf/gutter). The paleobiogeography of these early snakes is diverse and complex, suggesting that snakes had undergone habitat differentiation and geographic radiation by the mid-Jurassic. Phylogenetic analysis of squamates recovers these early snakes in a basal polytomy with other fossil and modern snakes, where Najash rionegrina is sister to this clade. Ingroup analysis finds them in a basal position to all other snakes including Najash.

  8. Spectral response of the coral rubble, living corals, and dead corals: study case on the Spermonde Archipelago, Indonesia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nurdin, Nurjannah; Komatsu, Teruhisa; Yamano, Hiroya; Arafat, Gulam; Rani, Chair; Akbar AS, M.

    2012-10-01

    Coral reefs play important ecological services such as providing foods, biodiversity, nutrient recycling etc. for human society. On the other hand, they are threatened by human impacts such as illegal fishing and environmental changes such as rises of sea water temperature and sea level due to global warming. Thus, it is very important to monitor dynamic spatial distributions of coral reefs and related habitats such as coral rubble, dead coral, bleached corals, seagrass, etc. Hyperspectral data, in particular, offer high potential for characterizing and mapping coral reefs because of their capability to identify individual reef components based on their detailed spectral response. We studied the optical properties by measuring in situ spectra of living corals, dead coral and coral rubble covered with algae. Study site was selected in Spermonde archipelago, South Sulawesi, Indonesia because this area is included in the highest diversity of corals in the world named as Coral Triangle, which is recognized as the global centre of marine biodiversity and a global priority for conservation. Correlation analysis and cluster analysis support that there are distinct differences in reflectance spectra among categories. Common spectral characteristic of living corals, dead corals and coral rubble covered with algae was a reflectance minimum at 674 nm. Healthy corals, dead coral covered with algae and coral rubble covered with algae showed high similarity of spectral reflectance. It is estimated that this is due to photsynthetic pigments.

  9. Astronomical calibration of the Maastrichtian (Late Cretaceous)

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Husson, Dorothée; Galbrun, Bruno; Laskar, Jacques

    2011-01-01

    /Pg boundary, considering the uncertainty of the long-term variation of the 405 ka eccentricity cycle. The first proposal provides a Cretaceous/Paleogene boundary age of 65.59 ± 0.07 Ma and the second an age of 66 ± 0.07 Ma, which is coherent with the most recent radio-isotopic datings. Magnetochron boundaries...... and the Campanian/Maastrichtian boundary are dated relative to these numerical ages of the K/Pg boundary....

  10. The clasts of Cretaceous marls in the conglomerates of the Konradsheim Formation (Pöchlau quarry, Gresten Klippen Zone, Austria)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ślączka, Andrzej; Gasiñski, M. Adam; Bąk, Marta; Wessely, Godfrid

    2009-04-01

    Investigations were carried out on foraminiferids and radiolaria from redeposited clasts within the conglomerates of the Konradsheim Formation (Gresten Klippen Zone) in the area of the Pöchlau hill, east of Maria Neustift. These shales and marls are of Middle to Late Jurassic and Early Cretaceous age. In the latter clasts, foraminiferal assemblages with Tritaxia ex gr. gaultina as well as radiolaria species Angulobracchia portmanni Baumgartner, Dictyomitra communis (Squinabol), Hiscocapsa asseni (Tan), Pseudodictyomitra lodogaensis Pessagno, Pseudoeucyrtis hanni (Tan), Rhopalosyringium fossile (Squinabol) were found. In one block from the uppermost part of the sequence there is an assemblage with Caudammina (H) gigantea, Rotalipora appenninica and Globotruncana bulloides. However, the brecciated character of this block and occurrence near a fault suggest that it was probably wedged into the conglomerates of the Konradsheim Formation during tectonic movements. In pelitic siliceous limestones below the Konradsheim Limestone radiolarian assemblages of Middle Callovian to Early Tithonian age were found. They enable correlation with the Scheibbsbach Formation. In a marly sequence, above the conglomeratic limestone, the foraminiferal assemblages contain taxa from mid-Cretaceous up to Paleocene. The present biostratigraphic investigation confirmed the previous stratigraphic assignments and imply clearly that the sedimentation of deposits similar to the Konradsheim Formation also occurred at the end of the Early Cretaceous and deposition of conglomeratic limestones within the Gresten Klippen Zone, and especially within the Konradsheim Formation, was repeated several times during the Late Jurassic and Early Cretaceous.

  11. New Mid-Cretaceous (Latest Albian) Dinosaurs from Winton, Queensland, Australia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hocknull, Scott A.; White, Matt A.; Tischler, Travis R.; Cook, Alex G.; Calleja, Naomi D.; Sloan, Trish; Elliott, David A.

    2009-01-01

    Background Australia's dinosaurian fossil record is exceptionally poor compared to that of other similar-sized continents. Most taxa are known from fragmentary isolated remains with uncertain taxonomic and phylogenetic placement. A better understanding of the Australian dinosaurian record is crucial to understanding the global palaeobiogeography of dinosaurian groups, including groups previously considered to have had Gondwanan origins, such as the titanosaurs and carcharodontosaurids. Methodology/Principal Findings We describe three new dinosaurs from the late Early Cretaceous (latest Albian) Winton Formation of eastern Australia, including; Wintonotitan wattsi gen. et sp. nov., a basal titanosauriform; Diamantinasaurus matildae gen. et sp. nov., a derived lithostrotian titanosaur; and Australovenator wintonensis gen. et sp. nov., an allosauroid. We compare an isolated astragalus from the Early Cretaceous of southern Australia; formerly identified as Allosaurus sp., and conclude that it most-likely represents Australovenator sp. Conclusion/Significance The occurrence of Australovenator from the Aptian to latest Albian confirms the presence in Australia of allosauroids basal to the Carcharodontosauridae. These new taxa, along with the fragmentary remains of other taxa, indicate a diverse Early Cretaceous sauropod and theropod fauna in Australia, including plesiomorphic forms (e.g. Wintonotitan and Australovenator) and more derived forms (e.g. Diamantinasaurus). PMID:19584929

  12. Depositional environments and oil potential of Jurassic/Cretaceous source rocks within the Seychelles microcontinent

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Plummer, P.S.; Joseph, P.R.; Samson, P.J. [Seychelles National Oil Co., Mahe (Seychelles)

    1998-12-31

    The Seychelles microcontinent became isolated between the Somali, Mascarene and Arabian basins of the Indian Ocean as a result of the Mesozoic fragmentation of Gondwana. Major rifting events occurred during the Triassic-Middle Jurassic and Late Cretaceous (Cenomanian-Santonian and Maastrichtian) during which shaly source rock facies accumulated in principally marginal marine/deltaic environments. Between these times, post-rift passive margin deposition within restricted to open marine environments produced shaly source rocks during late Middle Jurasic-Early Cretaceous, Campanian-Maastrichtian and Paleocene times. Recent geochemical analysis of cuttings from the Seagull Shoals-1 well has identified an oil-prone liptinitic (Type II) coaly shale within early Middle Jurassic abandoned deltaic deposits. This coaly source rock is regionally developed, having also been identified in the Majunja and Morondava basins of Madagascar. Oil-prone Type II organic matter has also been identified in the Owen Bank A-1 well within restricted marine shales of late Middle Jurassic age. These shales are part of a thick post-rift source rock sequence that extends into the Early Cretaceous and is in part correlative with the proven Late Jurassic Uarandab Shale of Somalia. Analysis of Campanian marine shales from Reith Bank-1 well identified significant dilution of total organic carbon content in composite, compared to picked, well cuttings samples. This finding supports a published inference that these post-rift shales have source rock potential. (author)

  13. New Mid-Cretaceous (latest Albian dinosaurs fromWinton, Queensland, Australia.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Scott A Hocknull

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Australia's dinosaurian fossil record is exceptionally poor compared to that of other similar-sized continents. Most taxa are known from fragmentary isolated remains with uncertain taxonomic and phylogenetic placement. A better understanding of the Australian dinosaurian record is crucial to understanding the global palaeobiogeography of dinosaurian groups, including groups previously considered to have had Gondwanan origins, such as the titanosaurs and carcharodontosaurids. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: We describe three new dinosaurs from the late Early Cretaceous (latest Albian Winton Formation of eastern Australia, including; Wintonotitan wattsi gen. et sp. nov., a basal titanosauriform; Diamantinasaurus matildae gen. et sp. nov., a derived lithostrotian titanosaur; and Australovenator wintonensis gen. et sp. nov., an allosauroid. We compare an isolated astragalus from the Early Cretaceous of southern Australia; formerly identified as Allosaurus sp., and conclude that it most-likely represents Australovenator sp. CONCLUSION/SIGNIFICANCE: The occurrence of Australovenator from the Aptian to latest Albian confirms the presence in Australia of allosauroids basal to the Carcharodontosauridae. These new taxa, along with the fragmentary remains of other taxa, indicate a diverse Early Cretaceous sauropod and theropod fauna in Australia, including plesiomorphic forms (e.g. Wintonotitan and Australovenator and more derived forms (e.g. Diamantinasaurus.

  14. Evolution of body size, vision, and biodiversity of coral-associated organisms: evidence from fossil crustaceans in cold-water coral and tropical coral ecosystems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Klompmaker, Adiël A; Jakobsen, Sten L; Lauridsen, Bodil W

    2016-06-16

    Modern cold-water coral and tropical coral environments harbor a highly diverse and ecologically important macrofauna of crustaceans that face elevated extinction risks due to reef decline. The effect of environmental conditions acting on decapod crustaceans comparing these two habitats is poorly understood today and in deep time. Here, we compare the biodiversity, eye socket height as a proxy for eye size, and body size of decapods in fossil cold-water and tropical reefs that formed prior to human disturbance. We show that decapod biodiversity is higher in fossil tropical reefs from The Netherlands, Italy, and Spain compared to that of the exceptionally well-preserved Paleocene (Danian) cold-water reef/mound ecosystem from Faxe (Denmark), where decapod diversity is highest in a more heterogeneous, mixed bryozoan-coral habitat instead of in coral and bryozoan-dominated facies. The relatively low diversity at Faxe was not influenced substantially by the preceding Cretaceous/Paleogene extinction event that is not apparent in the standing diversity of decapods in our analyses, or by sampling, preservation, and/or a latitudinal diversity gradient. Instead, the lower availability of food and fewer hiding places for decapods may explain this low diversity. Furthermore, decapods from Faxe are larger than those from tropical waters for half of the comparisons, which may be caused by a lower number of predators, the delayed maturity, and the increased life span of crustaceans in deeper, colder waters. Finally, deep-water specimens of the benthic crab Caloxanthus from Faxe exhibit a larger eye socket size compared to congeneric specimens from tropical reefs, suggesting that dim light conditions favored the evolution of relatively large eyes. The results suggest a strong habitat control on the biodiversity of crustaceans in coral-associated environments and that the diversity difference between deep, cold-water reefs and tropical reefs evolved at least ~63 million years ago

  15. Nitrification in reef corals

    Digital Repository Service at National Institute of Oceanography (India)

    Wafar, M.V.M.; Wafar, S.; David, J.J.

    . An estimate of the density of nitrifying bacteria on living corals can be made by comparing the nitrifying rates of bacterial cells and the rate of production of NO,-. Kaplan (1983) summarized the growth con- stants of marine nitrifying bacteria... Reef Con=. 3: 395-399. -, C. R. WILKINSON, V. p. VICENTE, J. M. MORELL, AND E. OTERO. 1988. Nitrate release by Carib- bean reef sponges. Limnol. Oceanogr. 33: 114- 120. CROSSLAND, C. J., AND D. J. BARNES. 1983. Dissolved nutrients and organic...

  16. Evaluation of Stony Coral Indicators for Coral Reef Management.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Colonies of reef-building stony corals at 57 stations around St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands were characterized by species, size and percentage of living tissue. Taxonomic, biological and physical indicators of coral condition were derived from these measurements and assessed for ...

  17. Assessing Coral Community Recovery from Coral Bleaching by ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    The densities of small colonies were lowest at the northern sites, and small colonies of genera of corals that suffered from high bleaching and mortality during the El Niño Southern Oscillation in 1998 were less abundant in the north. These northern reefs are relatively isolated from sources of coral larvae from reefs in the ...

  18. Osmoadjustment in the Coral Holobiont

    KAUST Repository

    Röthig, Till

    2017-04-01

    Coral reefs are under considerable decline. The framework builders in coral reefs are scleractinian corals, which comprise so-called holobionts, consisting of cnidarian host, algal symbionts (genus Symbiodinium), and other associated microbes. Corals are commonly considered stenohaline osmoconformers, possessing limited capability to adjust to salinity changes. However, corals differ in their ability to cope with different salinities. The underlying mechanisms have not yet been addressed. To further understand putative mechanisms involved, I examined coral holobiont osmoregulation conducting a range of experiments on the coral Fungia granulosa. In my research F. granulosa from the Red Sea exhibited pronounced physiological reactions (decreased photosynthesis, cessation of calcification) upon short-term incubations (4 h) to high salinity (55). However, during a 29-day in situ salinity transect experiment, coral holobiont photosynthesis was unimpaired under high salinity (49) indicating acclimatization. F. granulosa microbiome changes after the 29-day high salinity exposure aligned with a bacterial community restructuring that putatively supports the coral salinity acclimatization (osmolyte synthesis, nutrient fixation/cycling). Long-term incubations (7 d) of cultured Symbiodinium exhibited cell growth even at ‘extreme’ salinity levels of 25 and 55. Metabolic profiles of four Symbiodinium strains exposed to increased (55) and decreased (25) salinities for 4 h indicated distinct carbohydrates and amino acids to be putatively involved in the osmoadjustment. Importantly, under high salinity the osmolyte floridoside was consistently increased. This could be corroborated in the coral model Aiptasia and in corals from the Persian/Arabian Gulf, where floridoside was also markedly increased upon short- (15 h) and long-term (>24 months) exposure to high salinity, confirming an important role of floridoside in the osmoadjustment of cnidarian holobionts. This thesis

  19. Coral skeletal geochemistry as a monitor of inshore water quality

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Saha, Narottam; Webb, Gregory E.; Zhao, Jian-Xin

    2016-01-01

    Coral reefs maintain extraordinary biodiversity and provide protection from tsunamis and storm surge, but inshore coral reef health is degrading in many regions due to deteriorating water quality. Deconvolving natural and anthropogenic changes to water quality is hampered by the lack of long term, dated water quality data but such records are required for forward modelling of reef health to aid their management. Reef corals provide an excellent archive of high resolution geochemical (trace element) proxies that can span hundreds of years and potentially provide records used through the Holocene. Hence, geochemical proxies in corals hold great promise for understanding changes in ancient water quality that can inform broader oceanographic and climatic changes in a given region. This article reviews and highlights the use of coral-based trace metal archives, including metal transported from rivers to the ocean, incorporation of trace metals into coral skeletons and the current ‘state of the art’ in utilizing coral trace metal proxies as tools for monitoring various types of local and regional source-specific pollution (river discharge, land use changes, dredging and dumping, mining, oil spills, antifouling paints, atmospheric sources, sewage). The three most commonly used coral trace element proxies (i.e., Ba/Ca, Mn/Ca, and Y/Ca) are closely associated with river runoff in the Great Barrier Reef, but considerable uncertainty remains regarding their complex biogeochemical cycling and controlling mechanisms. However, coral-based water quality reconstructions have suffered from a lack of understanding of so-called vital effects and early marine diagenesis. The main challenge is to identify and eliminate the influence of extraneous local factors in order to allow accurate water quality reconstructions and to develop alternate proxies to monitor water pollution. Rare earth elements have great potential as they are self-referencing and reflect basic terrestrial input

  20. Coral skeletal geochemistry as a monitor of inshore water quality

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Saha, Narottam, E-mail: n.saha@uq.edu.au; Webb, Gregory E.; Zhao, Jian-Xin

    2016-10-01

    Coral reefs maintain extraordinary biodiversity and provide protection from tsunamis and storm surge, but inshore coral reef health is degrading in many regions due to deteriorating water quality. Deconvolving natural and anthropogenic changes to water quality is hampered by the lack of long term, dated water quality data but such records are required for forward modelling of reef health to aid their management. Reef corals provide an excellent archive of high resolution geochemical (trace element) proxies that can span hundreds of years and potentially provide records used through the Holocene. Hence, geochemical proxies in corals hold great promise for understanding changes in ancient water quality that can inform broader oceanographic and climatic changes in a given region. This article reviews and highlights the use of coral-based trace metal archives, including metal transported from rivers to the ocean, incorporation of trace metals into coral skeletons and the current ‘state of the art’ in utilizing coral trace metal proxies as tools for monitoring various types of local and regional source-specific pollution (river discharge, land use changes, dredging and dumping, mining, oil spills, antifouling paints, atmospheric sources, sewage). The three most commonly used coral trace element proxies (i.e., Ba/Ca, Mn/Ca, and Y/Ca) are closely associated with river runoff in the Great Barrier Reef, but considerable uncertainty remains regarding their complex biogeochemical cycling and controlling mechanisms. However, coral-based water quality reconstructions have suffered from a lack of understanding of so-called vital effects and early marine diagenesis. The main challenge is to identify and eliminate the influence of extraneous local factors in order to allow accurate water quality reconstructions and to develop alternate proxies to monitor water pollution. Rare earth elements have great potential as they are self-referencing and reflect basic terrestrial input

  1. CORAL ASSEMBLAGES AND BIOCONSTRUCTIONS ADAPTED TO THE DEPOSITIONAL DYNAMICS OF A MIXED CARBONATE-SILICICLASTIC SETTING: THE CASE STUDY OF THE BURDIGALIAN BONIFACIO BASIN (SOUTH CORSICA

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    MARCO BRANDANO

    2016-03-01

    Full Text Available Coral bioconstructions associated with mixed carbonate-siliciclastic settings are known to be strongly controlled by coastal morphology and paleotopography. A striking example is represented by the different types of coral bioconstructions and coral-rich deposits of the Cala di Labra Formation deposited in the coastal environment of the Bonifacio Basin (Corsica, France during the Early Miocene. Detailed mapping on photomosaics allowed accurate documentation of the internal organization of coral deposits as well as lateral and vertical facies relationships. Four types of coral bioconstructions (CB  and one reworked coral deposits (RCD have been recognized. The CB are represented by sigmoidal cluster reefs, coral carpets and skeletal conglomerates rich in corals. The RCD occurs in lens-shaped bodies intercalated within clinoforms composed of bioclastic floatstones and coarse packstones. The investigated bioconstructions can be contextualised in a coastal environment. In the upper shoreface corals developed in association with the oyster Hyotissa, above bioclastic conglomerates sourced by ephemeral streams and erosion of the granitic coastline. In the lower shoreface corals formed sigmoidal bioconstructions interpreted as cluster reefs, whereas  coral carpets developed during a relative sea-level rise related to the middle Burdigalian transgressive phase. The reworked coral deposits can be interpreted as lobe-shaped deposits of coarse-grained bioclastic submarine fans formed at the base of the depositional slope of an infralittoral prograding wedge system.

  2. Palaeomagnetism of lower cretaceous tuffs from Yukon-Kuskokwim delta region, western Alaska

    Science.gov (United States)

    Globerman, B.R.; Coe, R.S.; Hoare, J.M.; Decker, J.

    1983-01-01

    During the past decade, the prescient arguments1-3 for the allochthoneity of large portions of southern Alaska have been corroborated by detailed geological and palaeomagnetic studies in south-central Alaska 4-9 the Alaska Peninsula10, Kodiak Island11,12 and the Prince William Sound area13 (Fig. 1). These investigations have demonstrated sizeable northward displacements for rocks of late Palaeozoic, Mesozoic, and early Tertiary age in those regions, with northward motion at times culminating in collision of the allochthonous terranes against the backstop of 'nuclear' Alaska14,15. A fundamental question is which parts of Alaska underwent significantly less latitudinal translation relative to the 'stable' North American continent, thereby serving as the 'accretionary nucleus' into which the displaced 'microplates'16 were eventually incorporated17,18? Here we present new palaeomagnetic results from tuffs and associated volcaniclastic rocks of early Cretaceous age from the Yukon-Kuskokwin delta region in western Alaska. These rocks were probably overprinted during the Cretaceous long normal polarity interval, although a remagnetization event as recent as Palaeocene cannot be ruled out. This overprint direction is not appreciably discordant from the expected late Cretaceous direction for cratonal North America. The implied absence of appreciable northward displacement for this region is consistent with the general late Mesozoic-early Tertiary tectonic pattern for Alaska, based on more definitive studies: little to no poleward displacement for central Alaska, though substantially more northward drift for the 'southern Alaska terranes' (comprising Alaska Peninsula, Kodiak Island, Prince William Sound area, and Matunuska Valley) since late Cretaceous to Palaeocene time. ?? 1983 Nature Publishing Group.

  3. Testing animal-assisted cleaning prior to transplantation in coral reef restoration.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Frias-Torres, Sarah; van de Geer, Casper

    2015-01-01

    Rearing coral fragments in nurseries and subsequent transplantation onto a degraded reef is a common approach for coral reef restoration. However, if barnacles and other biofouling organisms are not removed prior to transplantation, fish will dislodge newly cemented corals when feeding on biofouling organisms. This behavior can lead to an increase in diver time due to the need to reattach the corals. Thus, cleaning nurseries to remove biofouling organisms such as algae and invertebrates is necessary prior to transplantation, and this cleaning constitutes a significant time investment in a restoration project. We tested a novel biomimicry technique of animal-assisted cleaning on nursery corals prior to transplantation at a coral reef restoration site in Seychelles, Indian Ocean. To determine whether animal-assisted cleaning was possible, preliminary visual underwater surveys were performed to quantify the fish community at the study site. Then, cleaning stations consisting of nursery ropes carrying corals and biofouling organisms, set at 0.3 m, 2 m, 4 m, 6 m and 8 m from the seabed, were placed at both the transplantation (treatment) site and the nursery (control) site. Remote GoPro video cameras recorded fish feeding at the nursery ropes without human disturbance. A reef fish assemblage of 32 species from 4 trophic levels (18.8% herbivores, 18.8% omnivores, 59.3% secondary consumers and 3.1% carnivores) consumed 95% of the barnacles on the coral nursery ropes placed 0.3 m above the seabed. Using this cleaning station, we reduced coral dislodgement from 16% to zero. This cleaning station technique could be included as a step prior to coral transplantation worldwide on the basis of location-specific fish assemblages and during the early nursery phase of sexually produced juvenile corals.

  4. Testing animal-assisted cleaning prior to transplantation in coral reef restoration

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sarah Frias-Torres

    2015-09-01

    Full Text Available Rearing coral fragments in nurseries and subsequent transplantation onto a degraded reef is a common approach for coral reef restoration. However, if barnacles and other biofouling organisms are not removed prior to transplantation, fish will dislodge newly cemented corals when feeding on biofouling organisms. This behavior can lead to an increase in diver time due to the need to reattach the corals. Thus, cleaning nurseries to remove biofouling organisms such as algae and invertebrates is necessary prior to transplantation, and this cleaning constitutes a significant time investment in a restoration project. We tested a novel biomimicry technique of animal-assisted cleaning on nursery corals prior to transplantation at a coral reef restoration site in Seychelles, Indian Ocean. To determine whether animal-assisted cleaning was possible, preliminary visual underwater surveys were performed to quantify the fish community at the study site. Then, cleaning stations consisting of nursery ropes carrying corals and biofouling organisms, set at 0.3 m, 2 m, 4 m, 6 m and 8 m from the seabed, were placed at both the transplantation (treatment site and the nursery (control site. Remote GoPro video cameras recorded fish feeding at the nursery ropes without human disturbance. A reef fish assemblage of 32 species from 4 trophic levels (18.8% herbivores, 18.8% omnivores, 59.3% secondary consumers and 3.1% carnivores consumed 95% of the barnacles on the coral nursery ropes placed 0.3 m above the seabed. Using this cleaning station, we reduced coral dislodgement from 16% to zero. This cleaning station technique could be included as a step prior to coral transplantation worldwide on the basis of location-specific fish assemblages and during the early nursery phase of sexually produced juvenile corals.

  5. Testing animal-assisted cleaning prior to transplantation in coral reef restoration

    Science.gov (United States)

    van de Geer, Casper

    2015-01-01

    Rearing coral fragments in nurseries and subsequent transplantation onto a degraded reef is a common approach for coral reef restoration. However, if barnacles and other biofouling organisms are not removed prior to transplantation, fish will dislodge newly cemented corals when feeding on biofouling organisms. This behavior can lead to an increase in diver time due to the need to reattach the corals. Thus, cleaning nurseries to remove biofouling organisms such as algae and invertebrates is necessary prior to transplantation, and this cleaning constitutes a significant time investment in a restoration project. We tested a novel biomimicry technique of animal-assisted cleaning on nursery corals prior to transplantation at a coral reef restoration site in Seychelles, Indian Ocean. To determine whether animal-assisted cleaning was possible, preliminary visual underwater surveys were performed to quantify the fish community at the study site. Then, cleaning stations consisting of nursery ropes carrying corals and biofouling organisms, set at 0.3 m, 2 m, 4 m, 6 m and 8 m from the seabed, were placed at both the transplantation (treatment) site and the nursery (control) site. Remote GoPro video cameras recorded fish feeding at the nursery ropes without human disturbance. A reef fish assemblage of 32 species from 4 trophic levels (18.8% herbivores, 18.8% omnivores, 59.3% secondary consumers and 3.1% carnivores) consumed 95% of the barnacles on the coral nursery ropes placed 0.3 m above the seabed. Using this cleaning station, we reduced coral dislodgement from 16% to zero. This cleaning station technique could be included as a step prior to coral transplantation worldwide on the basis of location-specific fish assemblages and during the early nursery phase of sexually produced juvenile corals. PMID:26468440

  6. Fossilized melanosomes and the colour of Cretaceous dinosaurs and birds.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Fucheng; Kearns, Stuart L; Orr, Patrick J; Benton, Michael J; Zhou, Zhonghe; Johnson, Diane; Xu, Xing; Wang, Xiaolin

    2010-02-25

    Spectacular fossils from the Early Cretaceous Jehol Group of northeastern China have greatly expanded our knowledge of the diversity and palaeobiology of dinosaurs and early birds, and contributed to our understanding of the origin of birds, of flight, and of feathers. Pennaceous (vaned) feathers and integumentary filaments are preserved in birds and non-avian theropod dinosaurs, but little is known of their microstructure. Here we report that melanosomes (colour-bearing organelles) are not only preserved in the pennaceous feathers of early birds, but also in an identical manner in integumentary filaments of non-avian dinosaurs, thus refuting recent claims that the filaments are partially decayed dermal collagen fibres. Examples of both eumelanosomes and phaeomelanosomes have been identified, and they are often preserved in life position within the structure of partially degraded feathers and filaments. Furthermore, the data here provide empirical evidence for reconstructing the colours and colour patterning of these extinct birds and theropod dinosaurs: for example, the dark-coloured stripes on the tail of the theropod dinosaur Sinosauropteryx can reasonably be inferred to have exhibited chestnut to reddish-brown tones.

  7. Fungal invasion of massive corals

    Digital Repository Service at National Institute of Oceanography (India)

    Raghukumar, C.; Raghukumar, S.

    Five species of corals from the Andaman Islands in the Bay of Bengal (Indian Ocean) have been regularly found to have single or multiple necrotic patches. The occurrence of such corals with necrotic patches varied from 10-50% in the field. Sections...

  8. The evolution of a Late Cretaceous-Cenozoic intraplate basin (Duaringa Basin), eastern Australia: evidence for the negative inversion of a pre-existing fold-thrust belt

    Science.gov (United States)

    Babaahmadi, Abbas; Sliwa, Renate; Esterle, Joan; Rosenbaum, Gideon

    2017-12-01

    The Duaringa Basin in eastern Australia is a Late Cretaceous?-early Cenozoic sedimentary basin that developed simultaneously with the opening of the Tasman and Coral Seas. The basin occurs on the top of an earlier (Permian-Triassic) fold-thrust belt, but the negative inversion of this fold-thrust belt, and its contribution to the development of the Duaringa Basin, are not well understood. Here, we present geophysical datasets, including recently surveyed 2D seismic reflection lines, aeromagnetic and Bouguer gravity data. These data provide new insights into the structural style in the Duaringa Basin, showing that the NNW-striking, NE-dipping, deep-seated Duaringa Fault is the main boundary fault that controlled sedimentation in the Duaringa Basin. The major activity of the Duaringa Fault is observed in the southern part of the basin, where it has undergone the highest amount of displacement, resulting in the deepest and oldest depocentre. The results reveal that the Duaringa Basin developed in response to the partial negative inversion of the pre-existing Permian-Triassic fold-thrust belt, which has similar orientation to the extensional faults. The Duaringa Fault is the negative inverted part of a single Triassic thrust, known as the Banana Thrust. Furthermore, small syn-depositional normal faults at the base of the basin likely developed due to the reactivation of pre-existing foliations, accommodation faults, and joints associated with Permian-Triassic folds. In contrast to equivalent offshore basins, the Duaringa Basin lacks a complex structural style and thick syn-rift sediments, possibly because of the weakening of extensional stresses away from the developing Tasman Sea.

  9. The Biology and Economics of Coral Growth

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Osinga, R.; Schutter, M.; Griffioen, B.; Wijffels, R.H.; Verreth, J.A.J.; Shafit, S.; Henard, S.; Taruffi, M.; Gili, C.; Lavorano, S.

    2011-01-01

    To protect natural coral reefs, it is of utmost importance to understand how the growth of the main reef-building organisms-the zooxanthellate scleractinian corals-is controlled. Understanding coral growth is also relevant for coral aquaculture, which is a rapidly developing business. This review

  10. [Progress of heterotrophic studies on symbiotic corals].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yang, Yang-Chu-Qiao; Hong, Wen Ting; Wang, Shu Hong

    2017-12-01

    Heterotrophy of zooxanthellae symbiotic corals refers to the nutrition directly coming from food absorption, not the nutrition obtained from photosynthesis. Most ex situ propagation of symbiotic corals focused on the effects of irradiation, flow rate and water quality on corals, few of them involved in the demand and supply of coral heterotrophic nutrition. This paper reviewed the significance of heterotrophic nutrient supply to symbiotic corals from the sources of coral heterotrophic nutrition, the factors affecting the supply of coral heterotrophic nutrient, and the methods of how to study the coral heterotrophy. In general, the research of coral heterotrophy is just at the beginning stage, and future studies should focus on the inherent mechanism of coral feeding selection and developing more effective research methods.

  11. Exploring the Symbiodinium rare biosphere provides evidence for symbiont switching in reef-building corals.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boulotte, Nadine M; Dalton, Steven J; Carroll, Andrew G; Harrison, Peter L; Putnam, Hollie M; Peplow, Lesa M; van Oppen, Madeleine Jh

    2016-11-01

    Reef-building corals possess a range of acclimatisation and adaptation mechanisms to respond to seawater temperature increases. In some corals, thermal tolerance increases through community composition changes of their dinoflagellate endosymbionts (Symbiodinium spp.), but this mechanism is believed to be limited to the Symbiodinium types already present in the coral tissue acquired during early life stages. Compelling evidence for symbiont switching, that is, the acquisition of novel Symbiodinium types from the environment, by adult coral colonies, is currently lacking. Using deep sequencing analysis of Symbiodinium rDNA internal transcribed spacer 2 (ITS2) PCR amplicons from two pocilloporid coral species, we show evidence consistent with de novo acquisition of Symbiodinium types from the environment by adult corals following two consecutive bleaching events. Most of these newly detected symbionts remained in the rare biosphere (background types occurring below 1% relative abundance), but one novel type reached a relative abundance of ~33%. Two de novo acquired Symbiodinium types belong to the thermally resistant clade D, suggesting that this switching may have been driven by consecutive thermal bleaching events. Our results are particularly important given the maternal mode of Symbiodinium transmission in the study species, which generally results in high symbiont specificity. These findings will cause a paradigm shift in our understanding of coral-Symbiodinium symbiosis flexibility and mechanisms of environmental acclimatisation in corals.

  12. Coral reef bleaching: ecological perspectives

    Science.gov (United States)

    Glynn, P. W.

    1993-03-01

    Coral reef bleaching, the whitening of diverse invertebrate taxa, results from the loss of symbiotic zooxanthellae and/or a reduction in photosynthetic pigment concentrations in zooxanthellae residing within the gastrodermal tissues of host animals. Of particular concern are the consequences of bleaching of large numbers of reef-building scleractinian corals and hydrocorals. Published records of coral reef bleaching events from 1870 to the present suggest that the frequency (60 major events from 1979 to 1990), scale (co-occurrence in many coral reef regions and often over the bathymetric depth range of corals) and severity (>95% mortality in some areas) of recent bleaching disturbances are unprecedented in the scientific literature. The causes of small scale, isolated bleaching events can often be explained by particular stressors (e.g., temperature, salinity, light, sedimentation, aerial exposure and pollutants), but attempts to explain large scale bleaching events in terms of possible global change (e.g., greenhouse warming, increased UV radiation flux, deteriorating ecosystem health, or some combination of the above) have not been convincing. Attempts to relate the severity and extent of large scale coral reef bleaching events to particular causes have been hampered by a lack of (a) standardized methods to assess bleaching and (b) continuous, long-term data bases of environmental conditions over the periods of interest. An effort must be made to understand the impact of bleaching on the remainder of the reef community and the long-term effects on competition, predation, symbioses, bioerosion and substrate condition, all factors that can influence coral recruitment and reef recovery. If projected rates of sea warming are realized by mid to late AD 2000, i.e. a 2°C increase in high latitude coral seas, the upper thermal tolerance limits of many reef-building corals could be exceeded. Present evidence suggests that many corals would be unable to adapt

  13. Stratigraphy, provenance, and diagenesis of the Cretaceous Horse Range Formation, east Otago, New Zealand

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Mitchell, M.; Craw, D.; Landis, C.A.; Frew, R.

    2009-01-01

    The Horse Range Formation is a structurally controlled late Early Cretaceous to early Late Cretaceous nonmarine unit in east Otago, South Island, New Zealand, containing immature lithic debris. Clasts are generally rounded, with only minor subangular material. The formation contains clasts derived from two principal basement sources: schist and greywacke. Schist debris is most abundant at the base of the described section, and this material is dominated (>60%) by quartz from the greenschist facies core of the Otago Schist belt. Conglomerates with >70% greywacke clasts constitute most of the upper part of the Horse Range Formation. These greywacke conglomerates have a matrix of sand derived mainly from schist. A 60 m thick wedge of quartz-rich, locally carbonaceous sand occurs interlayered with greywacke conglomerates. The Horse Range Formation rests on sub-greenschist facies semischist, which forms only a small proportion ( 18 O SMOW near +24 permil and δ 13 C PDB near -2 permil, and was partly dissolved and redeposited from the immature basement debris (metamorphic calcite) and partly introduced from overlying Late Cretaceous and Teriary marine sediments by groundwater. (author). 43 refs., 11 figs., 1 tab.

  14. Cretaceous plutonic rocks in the Donner Lake-Cisco Grove area, northern Sierra Nevada, California

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kulow, Matthew J.; Hanson, Richard E.; Girty, Gary H.; Girty, Melissa S.; Harwood, David S.

    1998-01-01

    The northernmost occurrences of extensive, glaciated exposures of the Sierra Nevada batholith occur in the Donner Lake-Cisco Grove area of the northern Sierra Nevada. The plutonic rocks in this area, which are termed here the Castle Valley plutonic assemblage, crop out over an area of 225 km2 and for the most part are shown as a single undifferentiated mass on previously published geological maps. In the present work, the plutonic assemblage is divided into eight separate intrusive units or lithodemes, two of which each consist of two separate plutons. Compositions are dominantly granodiorite and tonalite, but diorite and granite form small plutons in places. Spectacular examples of comb layering and orbicular texture occur in the diorites. U-Pb zircon ages have been obtained for all but one of the main units and range from ~120 to 114 Ma, indicating that the entire assemblage was emplaced in a narrow time frame in the Early Cretaceous. This is consistent with abundant field evidence that many of the individual phases were intruded penecontemporaneously. The timing of emplacement correlates with onset of major Cretaceous plutonism in the main part of the Sierra Nevada batholith farther south. The emplacement ages also are similar to isotopic ages for gold-quartz mineralization in the Sierran foothills west of the study area, suggesting a direct genetic relationship between the voluminous Early Cretaceous plutonism and hydrothermal gold mineralization.

  15. High geomagnetic intensity during the mid-Cretaceous from Thellier analyses of single plagioclase crystals.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tarduno, J A; Cottrell, R D; Smirnov, A V

    2001-03-02

    Recent numerical simulations have yielded the most efficient geodynamo, having the largest dipole intensity when reversal frequency is low. Reliable paleointensity data are limited but heretofore have suggested that reversal frequency and paleointensity are decoupled. We report data from 56 Thellier-Thellier experiments on plagioclase crystals separated from basalts of the Rajmahal Traps (113 to 116 million years old) of India that formed during the Cretaceous Normal Polarity Superchron. These data suggest a time-averaged paleomagnetic dipole moment of 12.5 +/- 1.4 x 10(22) amperes per square meter, three times greater than mean Cenozoic and Early Cretaceous-Late Jurassic dipole moments when geomagnetic reversals were frequent. This result supports a correlation between intervals of low reversal frequency and high geomagnetic field strength.

  16. Evaluation of Stony Coral Indicators for Coral Reef ...

    Science.gov (United States)

    Colonies of reef-building stony corals at 57 stations around St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands were characterized by species, size and percentage of living tissue. Taxonomic, biological and physical indicators of coral condition were derived from these measurements and assessed for their response to gradients of human disturbance. The purpose of the study was to identify indicators that could be used for regulatory assessments under authority of the Clean Water Act--this requires that indicators distinguish anthropogenic disturbances from natural variation. Stony coral indicators were tested for correlation with human disturbance across gradients located on three different sides of the island. At the most intensely disturbed location, five of eight primary indicators were highly correlated with distance from the source of disturbance: Coral taxa richness, average colony size, the coefficient of variation of colony size (an indicator of colony size heterogeneity), total topographic coral surface area, and live coral surface area. An additional set of exploratory indicators related to rarity, reproductive and spawning mode, and taxonomic identity were also screened for association with disturbance at the same location. For the other two locations, there were no significant changes in indicator values and therefore no discernible effects of human activity. Coral indicators demonstrated sufficient precision to detect levels of change that would be applicable in a regio

  17. Coral diseases and bleaching on Colombian Caribbean coral reefs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Navas-Camacho, Raúl; Gil-Agudelo, Diego Luis; Rodríguez-Ramírez, Alberto; Reyes-Nivia, María Catalina; Garzón-Ferreira, Jaime

    2010-05-01

    Since 1998 the National Monitoring System for the Coral Reefs of Colombia (SIMAC) has monitored the occurrence of coral bleaching and diseases in some Colombian coral reefs (permanent stations at San Andres Island, Rosario Islands, Tayrona, San Bernardo Islands and Urabá). The main purpose is to evaluate their health status and to understand the factors that have been contributing to their decline. To estimate these occurrences, annual surveys in 126 permanent belt transects (10 x 2m) with different depth intervals (3-6 meters, 9-12 meters and 15-18 meters) are performed at all reef sites. Data from the 1998-2004 period, revealed that San Andrés Island had many colonies with diseases (38.9 colonies/m2), and Urabá had high numbers with bleaching (54.4 colonies/m2). Of the seven reported coral diseases studied, Dark Spots Disease (DSD), and White Plague Disease (WPD) were noteworthy because they occurred in all Caribbean monitored sites, and because of their high interannual infection incidence. Thirty five species of scleractinian corals were affected by at least one disease and a high incidence of coral diseases on the main reef builders is documented. Bleaching was present in 34 species. During the whole monitoring period, Agaricia agaricites and Siderastrea siderea were the species most severely affected by DSD and bleaching, respectively. Diseases on species such as Agaricia fragilis, A. grahamae, A. humilis, Diploria clivosa, Eusmilia fastigiata, Millepora complanata, and Mycetophyllia aliciae are recorded for first time in Colombia. We present bleaching and disease incidences, kinds of diseases, coral species affected, reef localities studied, depth intervals of surveys, and temporal (years) variation for each geographic area. This variation makes difficult to clearly determine defined patterns or general trends for monitored reefs. This is the first long-term study of coral diseases and bleaching in the Southwestern Caribbean, and one of the few long

  18. Coral reef ecosystem

    Digital Repository Service at National Institute of Oceanography (India)

    Wafar, M.V.M.; Wafar, S.

    ), on submerged banks like Gave shani bank (13°24'N; 73°45'E) (Nair and Qasim 1978) andSidere~ko Bank (13°43.5' N; 73°42'E) (Rao 1972) and as stray individual units off Visakhapatnam (Bakus, G. personal communication) and Pondicherry (Ramesh, A. personal... communication). Fossil reefs, drowned as a result of the Holocene sea level rise, occur at 92, 85, 75 and 55 m depth along .. ~ !! ":2 0. ~ Figure 3.1 Graphical Representation of the SO-Box Model of a Caribbean Coral Reef Key: 1. Benthic producers. 2. Detritus...

  19. NEW ABELISAURID MATERIAL FROM THE UPPER CRETACEOUS (CENOMANIAN OF MOROCCO

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    SIMONE D'ORAZI PORCHETTI

    2011-11-01

    Full Text Available Fragmentary cranial bones of dinosaur origin have been recently recovered from the Kem Kem beds (Upper Cretaceous, Cenomanian of Morocco. They include two incompletely preserved maxillary bones evidencing diagnostic features of abelisaurid theropods. These new finds provide further evidence of Abelisauridae in the Late Cretaceous of Morocco. 

  20. Nuclear Bombs and Coral: Guam Coral Core Reveals Operation-Specific Radiocarbon Signals from the Pacific Proving Grounds

    Science.gov (United States)

    Andrews, A. H.

    2016-12-01

    Radiocarbon (14C) analyses on a coral core extracted from the western Central Pacific (Guam) has revealed a series of early peaks in the marine bomb 14C record. The typical marine bomb 14C signal, one that is phase lagged and attenuated relative to atmospheric bomb 14C, is present in the coral core and is consistent with other North Pacific records. However, 14C levels that are well above what can be explained by air-sea diffusion alone punctuate this pattern. This anomaly has been demonstrated to a limited extent in other coral cores of the Indo-Pacific region, but is unmatched relative to the magnitude and temporal resolution recorded in the Guam coral core. Other records have shown an early Δ14C rise on the order of 40-50‰ above pre-bomb levels, with a subsequent decline before continuing the gradual Δ14C rise that is indicative of air-sea diffusion of 14CO2. The Guam coral Δ14C record provided three strong pulses in 1954-55, 1956-57, and 1958-59 that are superimposed on the pre-bomb to initial Δ14C rise from atmospheric bomb 14C. Each of these peaks can be directly linked to testing of thermonuclear devices in the Pacific Proving Grounds at Eniwetok and Bikini Atoll of the Marshall Islands. The measurable lag in reaching Guam can be tied to ocean surface currents and can be traced to other regional Δ14C records from corals, providing a transport timeline to places as distant as the Indonesian throughflow, Okinawa and Palmyra.

  1. New perspectives on ecological mechanisms affecting coral recruitment on reefs

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Ritson-Williams, R.; Arnold, S.N.; Fogarty, N.D.; Steneck, R.S.; Vermeij, M.J.A.; Paul, V.J.

    2009-01-01

    Coral mortality has increased in recent decades, making coral recruitment more important than ever in sustaining coral reef ecosystems and contributing to their resilience. This review summarizes existing information on ecological factors affecting scleractinian coral recruitment. Successful

  2. Human activities threaten coral reefs

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Tveitdal, Svein; Bjoerke, Aake

    2002-01-01

    Research indicates that 58 per cent of the coral reefs of the world are threatened by human activities. Pollution and global heating represent some of the threats. Coral reefs just beneath the surface of the sea are very sensitive to temperature changes. Since 1979, mass death of coral reefs has been reported increasingly often. More than 1000 marine species live in the coral reefs, among these are one fourth of all marine species of fish. It is imperative that the coral reefs be preserved, as coastal communities all over the world depend on them as sources of food and as they are the raw materials for important medicines. The article discusses the threats to the coral reefs in general and does not single out any particular energy-related activity as the principal threat. For instance, the El-Nino phenomenon of the Pacific Ocean is probably involved in mass death of coral reefs and in the North Sea large parts of deep-water reefs have been crushed by heavy beam trawlers fishing for bottom fish

  3. Cretaceous choristoderan reptiles gave birth to live young

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ji, Qiang; Wu, Xiao-Chun; Cheng, Yen-Nien

    2010-04-01

    Viviparity (giving birth to live young) in fossil reptiles has been known only in a few marine groups: ichthyosaurs, pachypleurosaurs, and mosasaurs. Here, we report a pregnant specimen of the Early Cretaceous Hyphalosaurus baitaigouensis, a species of Choristodera, a diapsid group known from unequivocal fossil remains from the Middle Jurassic to the early Miocene (about 165 to 20 million years ago). This specimen provides the first evidence of viviparity in choristoderan reptiles and is also the sole record of viviparity in fossil reptiles which lived in freshwater ecosystems. This exquisitely preserved specimen contains up to 18 embryos arranged in pairs. Size comparison with small free-living individuals and the straight posture of the posterior-most pair suggest that those embryos were at term and had probably reached parturition. The posterior-most embryo on the left side has the head positioned toward the rear, contrary to normal position, suggesting a complication that may have contributed to the mother’s death. Viviparity would certainly have freed species of Hyphalosaurus from the need to return to land to deposit eggs; taking this advantage, they would have avoided intense competition with contemporaneous terrestrial carnivores such as dinosaurs.

  4. Early Cretaceous arthropods from plattenkalk facies in Mexico

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Vega, Francisco J.; Garcia-Barrera, P.; Coutiño, M.; Nyborg, T.; Cifuentes-Ruiz, P.; González-Rodríguez, K.; Martens, A.; Delgado, C.R.; Carbot, G.

    2003-01-01

    Several well-preserved arthropod faunas have been studied in Mexico during the past few years. The purpose of the present note is to outline advances in the study of these arthropods and of their paleoenvironmental implications, from four localities. The age for these localities ranges from the

  5. Geochemistry and petrogenesis of early Cretaceous sub-alkaline ...

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    R. Narasimhan (Krishtel eMaging) 1461 1996 Oct 15 13:05:22

    East Garo Hills, Shillong plateau, northeast India. Rajesh K Srivastava ... exposed around western part of the plateau. This ... logical and geochemical work is available on these basic dykes. ..... Similar crystallization behaviour is also observed.

  6. 75 FR 39917 - Fisheries of the Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico, and South Atlantic; Coral and Coral Reefs off the...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-07-13

    ... the Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico, and South Atlantic; Coral and Coral Reefs off the Southern Atlantic... regulations implementing the Fishery Management Plan for Coral, Coral Reefs, and Live/Hardbottom Habitat of... Cancer Institute (http:// [[Page 39918

  7. Chemical Remagnetization of Jurassic Carbonates and a Primary Paleolatitude of Lower Cretaceous Volcaniclastic Rocks of the Tibetan Himalaya

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huang, W.; Van Hinsbergen, D. J. J.; Dekkers, M. J.; Garzanti, E.; Dupont Nivet, G.; Lippert, P. C.; Li, X.; Maffione, M.; Langereis, C. G.; Hu, X.; Guo, Z.; Kapp, P. A.

    2014-12-01

    Paleolatitudes for the Tibetan Himalaya Zone based on paleomagnetic inclinations provide kinematic constraints of the passive northern Indian margin and the extent of 'Greater India' before the India-Asia collision. Here, we present a paleomagnetic investigation of the Jurassic (carbonates) to Lower Cretaceous (volcaniclastic rocks) Wölong section of the Tibetan Himalaya in the Everest region. The carbonates yield positive fold tests, suggesting that the remanent magnetizations have a pre-folding origin. However, detailed paleomagnetic analyses, rock magnetic tests, end-member modeling of acquisition curves of isothermal remanent magnetization, and petrographic studies reveal that the magnetic carrier of the Jurassic carbonates is authigenic magnetite, whereas the dominant magnetic carrier of the Lower Cretaceous volcaniclastic rocks is detrital magnetite. We conclude that the Jurassic carbonates were remagnetized, whereas the Lower Cretaceous volcaniclastics retain a primary remanence. We hypothesize that remagnetization of the Jurassic carbonates was probably caused by the oxidation of early diagenetic pyrite to magnetite within the time interval at ~86-84 Ma during the latest Cretaceous Normal Superchron and earliest deposition of Cretaceous oceanic red beds in the Tibetan Himalaya. The remagnetization of the limestones prevents determining the size of 'Greater India' during Jurassic time. Instead, a paleolatitude of the Tibetan Himalaya of 23.8±2.1° S at ~86-84 Ma is suggested. This value is lower than the expected paleolatitude of India from apparent polar wander path (APWP). The volcaniclastic rocks with the primary remanence, however, yielded a Lower Cretaceous paleolatitude of Tibetan Himalaya of 55.5±3° S, fitting well with the APWP of India.

  8. Local stressors reduce coral resilience to bleaching.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carilli, Jessica E; Norris, Richard D; Black, Bryan A; Walsh, Sheila M; McField, Melanie

    2009-07-22

    Coral bleaching, during which corals lose their symbiotic dinoflagellates, typically corresponds with periods of intense heat stress, and appears to be increasing in frequency and geographic extent as the climate warms. A fundamental question in coral reef ecology is whether chronic local stress reduces coral resistance and resilience from episodic stress such as bleaching, or alternatively promotes acclimatization, potentially increasing resistance and resilience. Here we show that following a major bleaching event, Montastraea faveolata coral growth rates at sites with higher local anthropogenic stressors remained suppressed for at least 8 years, while coral growth rates at sites with lower stress recovered in 2-3 years. Instead of promoting acclimatization, our data indicate that background stress reduces coral fitness and resilience to episodic events. We also suggest that reducing chronic stress through local coral reef management efforts may increase coral resilience to global climate change.

  9. Fungi and their role in corals and coral reef ecosystems

    Digital Repository Service at National Institute of Oceanography (India)

    Raghukumar, C.; Ravindran, J.

    fungal hyphae have on corals, their mechanism of penetration and the role their enzymes play in this process. 3.2. Fungi as pathogens in reef ecosystems Besides natural disasters and climate warming, diseases have contributed to coral decline... defence mechanisms against predation, biofouling, diseases, environmental perturbations and other stressors. These chemicals are either synthesized by the organisms themselves or their endobiontic microorganisms. If these valuable compounds...

  10. Low Florida coral calcification rates in the Plio-Pleistocene

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brachert, Thomas C.; Reuter, Markus; Krüger, Stefan; Klaus, James S.; Helmle, Kevin; Lough, Janice M.

    2016-08-01

    In geological outcrops and drill cores from reef frameworks, the skeletons of scleractinian corals are usually leached and more or less completely transformed into sparry calcite because the highly porous skeletons formed of metastable aragonite (CaCO3) undergo rapid diagenetic alteration. Upon alteration, ghost structures of the distinct annual growth bands often allow for reconstructions of annual extension ( = growth) rates, but information on skeletal density needed for reconstructions of calcification rates is invariably lost. This report presents the bulk density, extension rates and calcification rates of fossil reef corals which underwent minor diagenetic alteration only. The corals derive from unlithified shallow water carbonates of the Florida platform (south-eastern USA), which formed during four interglacial sea level highstands dated approximately 3.2, 2.9, 1.8, and 1.2 Ma in the mid-Pliocene to early Pleistocene. With regard to the preservation, the coral skeletons display smooth growth surfaces with minor volumes of marine aragonite cement within intra-skeletal porosity. Within the skeletal structures, voids are commonly present along centres of calcification which lack secondary cements. Mean extension rates were 0.44 ± 0.19 cm yr-1 (range 0.16 to 0.86 cm yr-1), mean bulk density was 0.96 ± 0.36 g cm-3 (range 0.55 to 1.83 g cm-3) and calcification rates ranged from 0.18 to 0.82 g cm-2 yr-1 (mean 0.38 ± 0.16 g cm-2 yr-1), values which are 50 % of modern shallow-water reef corals. To understand the possible mechanisms behind these low calcification rates, we compared the fossil calcification rates with those of modern zooxanthellate corals (z corals) from the Western Atlantic (WA) and Indo-Pacific calibrated against sea surface temperature (SST). In the fossil data, we found a widely analogous relationship with SST in z corals from the WA, i.e. density increases and extension rate decreases with increasing SST, but over a significantly larger

  11. Coral Reef Protection Implementation Plan

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Lobel, Lisa

    2000-01-01

    This document identify policies and actions to implement the Department of Defense's responsibilities under Executive Order 13089 on Coral Reef Protection, and are a requirement of the interim Task...

  12. Advancing Ocean Monitoring Near Coral Reefs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Heron, Scott F.; Steinberg, Craig R.; Heron, Mal L.; Mantovanelli, Alessandra; Jaffrés, Jasmine B. D.; Skirving, William J.; McAllister, Felicity; Rigby, Paul; Wisdom, Daniel; Bainbridge, Scott

    2010-10-01

    Corals, the foundation of tropical marine ecosystems, exist in a symbiotic relationship with zooxanthellae (algae). The corals obtain much of their energy by consuming compounds derived from photosynthesis by these microorganisms; the microorganisms, which reside in the coral tissue, in turn use waste products from the corals to sustain photosynthesis. This symbiosis is very sensitive to subtle changes in environment, such as increased ocean acidity, temperature, and light. When unduly stressed, the colorful algae are expelled from the corals, causing the corals to “bleach” and potentially die [e.g., van Oppen and Lough, 2009].

  13. Reproduction Patterns of Scleractinian Corals in the Central Red Sea

    KAUST Repository

    Bouwmeester, Jessica

    2013-12-01

    Early work on the reproductive seasonality of corals in the Red Sea suggested that corals exhibit temporal reproductive isolation, unlike on the Great Barrier Reef where many species spawn in synchrony. More recent work has however shown high synchrony in the maturity of gametes in Acropora species, suggesting multi-specific spawning is likely to occur in the Red Sea. In this thesis I investigate the patterns of coral reproduction in the central Red Sea. The spawning season in the central Red Sea lasts four months, from April to July and spawning occurs on nights around the full moon. During this period Acropora species show a peak of spawning in April, with some species spawning again in May. The level of synchrony, quantified with a spawning synchrony index, is comparable to other locations where multi-specific spawning has been reported. Observations over two consecutive years show that the synchrony of spawning was lower in spring 2012 than in spring 2011, and thus that spawning patterns are variable from one year to the other. Coral settlement patterns on artificial substrata confirmed a main spawning season in the spring but also supported reproductive data suggesting that some Porites spawn in October-November. Settlement was studied over 2.5 years on a reef, which had suffered recently from high mortality after a local bleaching event. Settlement appeared low but post-bleaching studies from other locations indicated similar abundances and showed that recruits generally did not increase until 5 years after the bleaching event. Abundance of juvenile corals however started to increase significantly three years after the bleaching. Successful recruitment, although low suggests that the coral assemblage on the affected reef will most likely recover as long as it is not affected by another disturbance.

  14. Highly derived eutherian mammals from the earliest Cretaceous of southern Britain

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Steven C. Sweetman

    2017-11-01

    Full Text Available Eutherian mammals (Placentalia and all mammals phylogenetically closer to placentals than to marsupials comprise the vast majority of extant Mammalia. Among these there is a phenomenal range of forms and sizes, but the origins of crown group placentals are obscure. They lie within the generally tiny mammals of the Mesozoic, represented for the most part by isolated teeth and jaws, and there is strongly conflicting evidence from phenomic and molecular data as to the date of origin of both Eutheria and Placentalia. The oldest purported eutherians are Juramaia from the Upper Jurassic of China, and Eomaia and Acristatherium from the Lower Cretaceous, also of China. Based on dental characters and analyses of other morphological and molecular data, doubt has recently been cast on the eutherian affinities of the Chinese taxa and consequently on the date of emergence of Eutheria. Until now, the only tribosphenic mammal recorded from the earliest Cretaceous (Berriasian Purbeck Group of Britain was the stem tribosphenidan Tribactonodon. Here we document two new tribosphenic mammals from the Purbeck Group, Durlstotherium gen. nov. and Durlstodon gen. nov., showing highly derived eutherian molar characters that support the early emergence of this clade, prior to the Cretaceous.

  15. Coral Sr-U Thermometry

    Science.gov (United States)

    DeCarlo, T. M.; Gaetani, G. A.; Cohen, A. L.; Foster, G. L.; Alpert, A.; Stewart, J.

    2016-12-01

    Coral skeletons archive the past two millennia of climate variability in the oceans with unrivaled temporal resolution. However, extracting accurate temperature information from coral skeletons is confounded by "vital effects", which often override the temperature dependence of geochemical proxies. Here, we present a new approach to coral paleothermometry based on results of abiogenic precipitation experiments interpreted within a framework provided by a quantitative model of the coral biomineralization process. We conducted laboratory experiments to test the temperature and carbonate chemistry controls on abiogenic partitioning of Sr/Ca and U/Ca between aragonite and seawater, and we modeled the sensitivity of skeletal composition to processes occurring at the site of calcification. The model predicts that temperature can be accurately reconstructed from coral skeleton by combining Sr/Ca and U/Ca ratios into a new proxy, Sr-U. We tested the model predictions with measured Sr/Ca and U/Ca ratios of fourteen Porites sp. corals collected from the tropical Pacific Ocean and the Red Sea, with a subset also analyzed using the boron isotope (δ11B) pH proxy. Observed relationships among Sr/Ca, U/Ca, and δ11B agree with model predictions, indicating that the model accounts for the key features of the coral biomineralization process. We calibrated Sr-U to instrumental temperature records and found that it captures 93% of mean annual variability (26-30 °C) and predicts temperature within 0.5 °C (1 σ). Conversely, Sr/Ca alone has an error of prediction of 1 °C and often diverges from observed temperature by 3 °C or more. Many of the problems afflicting Sr/Ca - including offsets among neighboring corals and decouplings from temperature during coral stress events - are reconciled by Sr-U. By accounting for the influence of the coral biomineralization process, the Sr-U thermometer may offer significantly improved reliability for reconstructing ocean temperatures from coral

  16. Grain size distribution and fate of transplanted corals at Kawaihae, Hawaii: field work of 1996 - 1997 (NODC Accession 0001141)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — A harbor expansion was planned in the early 1990s for Kawaihae, Hawaii on the northwest shore of the Big Island. To offset the habitat loss, select corals were...

  17. Analysis of Biophysical, Optical and Genetic Diversity of DoD Coral Reef Communities Using Advanced Fluorescence and Molecular Biology Techniques (Addendum)

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-08-01

    coloration and by a decrease in photosynthetic efficiency that resembles coral bleaching . For instance, early reports referred to Vibrio infection...in coral as “bacterial bleaching ”. We examined the physiological mechanisms and fluorescence signatures of YBD using laboratory cultures of isolated...pigment content (a sign similar to coral bleaching ), cell degeneration and lysis. The exposure to Vibrio was accompanied by a marked reduction (by

  18. Late Cretaceous restructuring of terrestrial communities facilitated the end-Cretaceous mass extinction in North America.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mitchell, Jonathan S; Roopnarine, Peter D; Angielczyk, Kenneth D

    2012-11-13

    The sudden environmental catastrophe in the wake of the end-Cretaceous asteroid impact had drastic effects that rippled through animal communities. To explore how these effects may have been exacerbated by prior ecological changes, we used a food-web model to simulate the effects of primary productivity disruptions, such as those predicted to result from an asteroid impact, on ten Campanian and seven Maastrichtian terrestrial localities in North America. Our analysis documents that a shift in trophic structure between Campanian and Maastrichtian communities in North America led Maastrichtian communities to experience more secondary extinction at lower levels of primary production shutdown and possess a lower collapse threshold than Campanian communities. Of particular note is the fact that changes in dinosaur richness had a negative impact on the robustness of Maastrichtian ecosystems against environmental perturbations. Therefore, earlier ecological restructuring may have exacerbated the impact and severity of the end-Cretaceous extinction, at least in North America.

  19. Viruses: agents of coral disease?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Davy, S K; Burchett, S G; Dale, A L; Davies, P; Davy, J E; Muncke, C; Hoegh-Guldberg, O; Wilson, W H

    2006-03-23

    The potential role of viruses in coral disease has only recently begun to receive attention. Here we describe our attempts to determine whether viruses are present in thermally stressed corals Pavona danai, Acropora formosa and Stylophora pistillata and zoanthids Zoanthus sp., and their zooxanthellae. Heat-shocked P. danai, A. formosa and Zoanthus sp. all produced numerous virus-like particles (VLPs) that were evident in the animal tissue, zooxanthellae and the surrounding seawater; VLPs were also seen around heat-shocked freshly isolated zooxanthellae (FIZ) from P. danai and S. pistillata. The most commonly seen VLPs were tail-less, hexagonal and about 40 to 50 nm in diameter, though a diverse range of other VLP morphotypes (e.g. rounded, rod-shaped, droplet-shaped, filamentous) were also present around corals. When VLPs around heat-shocked FIZ from S. pistillata were added to non-stressed FIZ from this coral, they resulted in cell lysis, suggesting that an infectious agent was present; however, analysis with transmission electron microscopy provided no clear evidence of viral infection. The release of diverse VLPs was again apparent when flow cytometry was used to enumerate release by heat-stressed A. formosa nubbins. Our data support the infection of reef corals by viruses, though we cannot yet determine the precise origin (i.e. coral, zooxanthellae and/or surface microbes) of the VLPs seen. Furthermore, genome sequence data are required to establish the presence of viruses unequivocally.

  20. Mid-Cretaceous aeolian desert systems in the Yunlong area of the Lanping Basin, China: Implications for palaeoatmosphere dynamics and paleoclimatic change in East Asia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Gaojie; Wu, Chihua; Rodríguez-López, Juan Pedro; Yi, Haisheng; Xia, Guoqing; Wagreich, Michael

    2018-02-01

    The mid-Cretaceous constitutes a period of worldwide atmospheric and oceanic change associated with slower thermohaline circulation and ocean anoxic events, possible polar glaciations and by a changing climate pattern becoming controlled by a zonal planetary wind system and an equatorial humid belt. During the mid-Cretaceous, the subtropical high-pressure arid climate belt of the planetary wind system controlled the palaeolatitude distribution of humid belts in Asia as well as the spatial distribution of rain belts over the massive continental blocks at mid-low latitudes in the southern and northern hemispheres. Additionally, the orographic effect of the Andean-type active continental margin in East Asia hindered the transportation of ocean moisture to inland regions. With rising temperatures and palaeoatmospheric conditions dominated by high pressure systems, desert climate environments expanded at the inland areas of East Asia including those accumulated in the mid-Cretaceous of the Simao Basin, the Sichuan Basin, and the Thailand's Khorat Basin, and leading the Late Cretaceous erg systems in the Xinjiang Basin and Jianghan Basin. This manuscript presents evidences that allow to reinterpret previously considered water-laid sediments to be accumulated as windblown deposits forming part of extensive erg (sandy desert) systems. Using a multidisciplinary approach including petrological, sedimentological and architectural observations, the mid-Cretaceous (Albian-Turonian) Nanxin Formation from the Yunlong region of Lanping Basin, formerly considered to aqueous deposits is here interpreted as representing aeolian deposits, showing local aeolian-fluvial interaction deposits. The palaeowind directions obtained from the analysis of aeolian dune cross-beddings indicates that inland deserts were compatible with a high-pressure cell (HPC) existing in the mid-low latitudes of East Asia during the mid-Cretaceous. Compared with the Early Cretaceous, the mid-Cretaceous had

  1. Natural disease resistance in threatened staghorn corals.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Steven V Vollmer

    Full Text Available Disease epidemics have caused extensive damage to tropical coral reefs and to the reef-building corals themselves, yet nothing is known about the abilities of the coral host to resist disease infection. Understanding the potential for natural disease resistance in corals is critically important, especially in the Caribbean where the two ecologically dominant shallow-water corals, Acropora cervicornis and A. palmata, have suffered an unprecedented mass die-off due to White Band Disease (WBD, and are now listed as threatened under the US Threatened Species Act and as critically endangered under the IUCN Red List criteria. Here we examine the potential for natural resistance to WBD in the staghorn coral Acropora cervicornis by combining microsatellite genotype information with in situ transmission assays and field monitoring of WBD on tagged genotypes. We show that six percent of staghorn coral genotypes (3 out of 49 are resistant to WBD. This natural resistance to WBD in staghorn corals represents the first evidence of host disease resistance in scleractinian corals and demonstrates that staghorn corals have an innate ability to resist WBD infection. These resistant staghorn coral genotypes may explain why pockets of Acropora have been able to survive the WBD epidemic. Understanding disease resistance in these corals may be the critical link to restoring populations of these once dominant corals throughout their range.

  2. THE CONDITION OF CORAL REEFS IN SOUTH FLORIDA (2000) USING CORAL DISEASE AND BLEACHING AS INDICATORS

    Science.gov (United States)

    The destruction for coral reef habitats is occurring at unprecedented levels. Coral disease epizootics in the Southwestern Atlantic have lead to coral replacement by turf algae, prompting a call to classify some coral species as endangered. In addition, a massive bleaching event ...

  3. Coral calcification and ocean acidification

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jokiel, Paul L.; Jury, Christopher P.; Kuffner, Ilsa B.

    2016-01-01

    Over 60 years ago, the discovery that light increased calcification in the coral plant-animal symbiosis triggered interest in explaining the phenomenon and understanding the mechanisms involved. Major findings along the way include the observation that carbon fixed by photosynthesis in the zooxanthellae is translocated to animal cells throughout the colony and that corals can therefore live as autotrophs in many situations. Recent research has focused on explaining the observed reduction in calcification rate with increasing ocean acidification (OA). Experiments have shown a direct correlation between declining ocean pH, declining aragonite saturation state (Ωarag), declining [CO32_] and coral calcification. Nearly all previous reports on OA identify Ωarag or its surrogate [CO32] as the factor driving coral calcification. However, the alternate “Proton Flux Hypothesis” stated that coral calcification is controlled by diffusion limitation of net H+ transport through the boundary layer in relation to availability of dissolved inorganic carbon (DIC). The “Two Compartment Proton Flux Model” expanded this explanation and synthesized diverse observations into a universal model that explains many paradoxes of coral metabolism, morphology and plasticity of growth form in addition to observed coral skeletal growth response to OA. It is now clear that irradiance is the main driver of net photosynthesis (Pnet), which in turn drives net calcification (Gnet), and alters pH in the bulk water surrounding the coral. Pnet controls [CO32] and thus Ωarag of the bulk water over the diel cycle. Changes in Ωarag and pH lag behind Gnet throughout the daily cycle by two or more hours. The flux rate Pnet, rather than concentration-based parameters (e.g., Ωarag, [CO3 2], pH and [DIC]:[H+] ratio) is the primary driver of Gnet. Daytime coral metabolism rapidly removes DIC from the bulk seawater. Photosynthesis increases the bulk seawater pH while providing the energy that drives

  4. Physical behaviour of Cretaceous calcareous nannofossil ooze

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Buls, Toms; Anderskouv, Kresten; Friend, Patrick L.

    2017-01-01

    Geomorphic features such as drifts, sediment waves and channels have been documented in the Upper Cretaceous of north-west Europe. These features are interpreted to result from bottom currents and have been used to refine chalk depositional models and quantify palaeocirculation patterns. Chalk...... was first deposited as calcareous nannofossil ooze and geomorphic features are the result of sediment reworking after deposition. There is limited knowledge on the processes that govern nannofossil ooze mobility, thus forcing uncertainty onto numerical models based on sedimentological observations...... of deposition thresholds (τcd) from ca 0·04 to 0·13 Pa reflects the influence of variable suspended sediment concentration and τ0 on settling particle size due to the identified potential for chalk ooze aggregation and flocculation. Additionally, deposition thresholds seem to be affected by the size of eroded...

  5. Cretaceous to present paleothermal gradients, central Negev, Israel: constraints from fission track dating

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kohn, B.P.; Feinstein, S.; Eyal, M.

    1990-01-01

    Apatite and zircon fission track ages (FTA), vitrinite reflectance (VR) data and burial history curves were integrated for reconstruction of Early Cretaceous to present maximum thermal gradients in four deep boreholes in the central Negev, Isreal. The most complete data set is available from the Ramon 1 borehole. Supplementary data were obtained from Hameishar 1, Makhtesh Qatan 2, and Kurnub 1 boreholes. Between ca. 122-90 Ma the constraints on thermal gradient obtained from apatite FTA overlap with those derived from zircon FT and VR data, restricting them to 0 C km -l . Apatite FTA between 90 and 80 Ma in Ramon 1 and Hameishar 1 suggest rapid cooling at the time recorded or earlier. Constraints on thermal gradient history derived from these ages are considerably strengthened over a short time span. From 80 Ma to the present, FTA data indicate that gradients had probably decayed to present-day regional levels (ca. 20 0 C km -1 ) by Early Tertiary time. Thermal constraints derived from apatite FTA and VR data in Makhtesh Qatan 2 and Kurnub 1 boreholes are consistent with those obtained post-56 Ma for Ramon 1. For pre-56 Ma, only VR data are available and these indicate considerably lower maximum gradients than those obtained for the same time period from Ramon 1. This dichotomy reflects different Early Cretaceous-Early Tertiary thermal regimes between the northern and southern parts of the study area. (author)

  6. Effects of thermal stress and nitrate enrichment on the larval performance of two Caribbean reef corals

    Science.gov (United States)

    Serrano, Xaymara M.; Miller, Margaret W.; Hendee, James C.; Jensen, Brittany A.; Gapayao, Justine Z.; Pasparakis, Christina; Grosell, Martin; Baker, Andrew C.

    2018-03-01

    The effects of multiple stressors on the early life stages of reef-building corals are poorly understood. Elevated temperature is the main physiological driver of mass coral bleaching events, but increasing evidence suggests that other stressors, including elevated dissolved inorganic nitrogen (DIN), may exacerbate the negative effects of thermal stress. To test this hypothesis, we investigated the performance of larvae of Orbicella faveolata and Porites astreoides, two important Caribbean reef coral species with contrasting reproductive and algal transmission modes, under increased temperature and/or elevated DIN. We used a fluorescence-based microplate respirometer to measure the oxygen consumption of coral larvae from both species, and also assessed the effects of these stressors on P. astreoides larval settlement and mortality. Overall, we found that (1) larvae increased their respiration in response to different factors ( O. faveolata in response to elevated temperature and P. astreoides in response to elevated nitrate) and (2) P. astreoides larvae showed a significant increase in settlement as a result of elevated nitrate, but higher mortality under elevated temperature. This study shows how microplate respirometry can be successfully used to assess changes in respiration of coral larvae, and our findings suggest that the effects of thermal stress and nitrate enrichment in coral larvae may be species specific and are neither additive nor synergistic for O. faveolata or P. astreoides. These findings may have important consequences for the recruitment and community reassembly of corals to nutrient-polluted reefs that have been impacted by climate change.

  7. Post Cretaceous cooling trend documented in the gastropods (Turritella Sp.) from the Cenozoic startigraphic successions of India

    Science.gov (United States)

    Banerjee, Y.; Ghosh, P.; Halder, K.; Malarkodi, N.; Pathak, P.

    2017-12-01

    The aftermath of the Himalyan orogeny and subsequent cooling is documented in the deep sea sedimentary record from the Oceanic realm (1). Here we attempt to reconstruct the temperature pattern based on marine gastropods i.e. Turritella sp. which became abundant during the post Cretaceous period and have successfully been used for the reconstruction of climate by measuring the stable isotopic composition (2,3,4). Well preserved specimens of Cretaceous Turritella from the Rajamundry Infratrappean beds and those from the Miocene, Holocene succession of Kutch, western India were analysed along with specimen from the modern time scale (also from Kutch). The Cretaceous, early to mid Miocene, early Holocene and modern shells recorded δ13C variability from 0.36 to 4.94‰, -1.83 to -4.83‰, -3.26 to 0.40‰, -1.47 to -4.70‰ respectively suggesting drop in the productivity during mid Miocene and subsequent period of rapid growth. The Variability in terms of δ18O ranges from -2.28 to -4.99‰, -2.66 to -7.06‰, -2.86 to 0.96‰, -1.05 to -3.23‰ for the Cretaceous, early to mid Miocene, early Holocene and modern shells respectively. Corbula sp. collected from the same strata with that of the early to mid Holocene Turritella showed a similar δ13C and δ18O values denoting similar environmental condition during deposition. Absence of any significant correlation between δ13C vs δ18O support equilibrium precipitation of shell growth bands. We used Epstein oxygen isotope thermometry to derive temperature from the oxygen isotope of carbonate and adopted water isotopic composition (1‰ for the Cretaceous and -0.7‰ for the Miocene) from the literature. Our observation captured an overall cooling trend from the Cretaceous to the Holocene time period (especially in between mid Miocene to Holocene) and a subsequent warming trend in modern time. Validation with other thermometry method will be displayed at the time of presentation. References: [1] Zachos et al., 2001

  8. Cretaceous Vertebrate Tracksites - Korean Cretaceous Dinosaur Coast World Heritage Nomination Site

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huh, M.; Woo, K. S.; Lim, J. D.; Paik, I. S.

    2009-04-01

    South Korea is one of the best known regions in the world for Cretaceous fossil footprints, which are also world-renowned. Korea has produced more scientifically named bird tracks (ichnotaxa) than any other region in the world. It has also produced the world's largest pterosaur tracks. Dinosaur tracksites also have the highest frequency of vertebrate track-bearing levels currently known in any stratigraphic sequence. Among the areas that have the best track records, and the greatest scientific significance with best documentation, Korea ranks very highly. Objective analysis of important individual tracksites and tracksite regions must be based on multiple criteria including: size of site, number of tracks, trackways and track bearing levels, number of valid named ichnotaxa including types, number of scientific publications, quality of preservation. The unique and distinctive dinosaur tracksites are known as one of the world's most important dinosaur track localities. In particular, the dinosaur track sites in southern coastal area of Korea are very unique. In the sites, we have excavated over 10,000 dinosaur tracks. The Hwasun sites show diverse gaits with unusual walking patterns and postures in some tracks. The pterosaur tracks are the most immense in the world. The longest pterosaur trackway yet known from any track sites suggests that pterosaurs were competent terrestrial locomotors. This ichnofauna contains the first pterosaur tracks reported from Asia. The Haenam Uhangri pterosaur assigns to a new genus Haenamichnus which accomodates the new ichnospecies, Haenamichnus uhangriensis. At least 12 track types have been reported from the Haman and Jindong Formations (probably late Lower Cretaceous). These include the types of bird tracks assigned to Koreanornis, Jindongornipes, Ignotornis and Goseongornipes. In addition the bird tracks Hwangsanipes, Uhangrichnus, the pterosaur track Haenamichnus and the dinosaur tracks, Brontopodus, Caririchnium, Minisauripus and

  9. Status of coral reefs of India

    Digital Repository Service at National Institute of Oceanography (India)

    Muley, E.V.; Venkataraman, K.; Alfred, J.R.B.; Wafar, M.V.M.

    and economic significance of coral reefs and the threat perceptions, Government of India has initiated measures for their intensive conservation and management. Present paper deals with ecological status of coral reefs in the country and various national...

  10. Elkhorn and Staghorn Corals Critical Habitat

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — These data represent the critical habitat for elkhorn coral (Acropora palmata) and staghorn coral (A. cervicornis) as designated by 73 FR 72210, November 26, 2008,...

  11. Deep-Sea Soft Coral Habitat Suitability

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — Deep-sea corals, also known as cold water corals, create complex communities that provide habitat for a variety of invertebrate and fish species, such as grouper,...

  12. Deep-Sea Stony Coral Habitat Suitability

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — Deep-sea corals, also known as cold water corals, create complex communities that provide habitat for a variety of invertebrate and fish species, such as grouper,...

  13. Coral Reef Watch, Hotspots, 50 km

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — NOAA Coral Reef Watch provides Coral Bleaching hotspot maps derived from NOAA's Polar Operational Environmental Satellites (POES). This data provides global area...

  14. Survival dynamics of scleractinian coral larvae and implications for dispersal

    Science.gov (United States)

    Graham, E. M.; Baird, A. H.; Connolly, S. R.

    2008-09-01

    Survival of pelagic marine larvae is an important determinant of dispersal potential. Despite this, few estimates of larval survival are available. For scleractinian corals, few studies of larval survival are long enough to provide accurate estimates of longevity. Moreover, changes in mortality rates during larval life, expected on theoretical grounds, have implications for the degree of connectivity among reefs and have not been quantified for any coral species. This study quantified the survival of larvae from five broadcast-spawning scleractinian corals ( Acropora latistella, Favia pallida, Pectinia paeonia, Goniastrea aspera, and Montastraea magnistellata) to estimate larval longevity, and to test for changes in mortality rates as larvae age. Maximum lifespans ranged from 195 to 244 d. These longevities substantially exceed those documented previously for coral larvae that lack zooxanthellae, and they exceed predictions based on metabolic rates prevailing early in larval life. In addition, larval mortality rates exhibited strong patterns of variation throughout the larval stage. Three periods were identified in four species: high initial rates of mortality; followed by a low, approximately constant rate of mortality; and finally, progressively increasing mortality after approximately 100 d. The lifetimes observed in this study suggest that the potential for long-distance dispersal may be substantially greater than previously thought. Indeed, detection of increasing mortality rates late in life suggests that energy reserves do not reach critically low levels until approximately 100 d after spawning. Conversely, increased mortality rates early in life decrease the likelihood that larvae transported away from their natal reef will survive to reach nearby reefs, and thus decrease connectivity at regional scales. These results show how variation in larval survivorship with age may help to explain the seeming paradox of high genetic structure at metapopulation scales

  15. Coral diseases and bleaching on Colombian Caribbean coral reefs

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Raúl Navas-Camacho

    2010-05-01

    Full Text Available Since 1998 the National Monitoring System for the Coral Reefs of Colombia (SIMAC has monitored the occurrence of coral bleaching and diseases in some Colombian coral reefs (permanent stations at San Andres Island, Rosario Islands, Tayrona, San Bernardo Islands and Urabá. The main purpose is to evaluate their health status and to understand the factors that have been contributing to their decline. To estimate these occurrences, annual surveys in 126 permanent belt transects (10x2m with different depth intervals (3-6 meters, 9-12 meters and 15-18 meters are performed at all reef sites. Data from the 1998-2004 period, revealed that San Andrés Island had many colonies with diseases (38.9 colonies/m2, and Urabá had high numbers with bleaching (54.4 colonies/m2. Of the seven reported coral diseases studied, Dark Spots Disease (DSD, and White Plague Disease (WPD were noteworthy because they occurred in all Caribbean monitored sites, and because of their high interannual infection incidence. Thirty five species of scleractinian corals were affected by at least one disease and a high incidence of coral diseases on the main reef builders is documented. Bleaching was present in 34 species. During the whole monitoring period, Agaricia agaricites and Siderastrea siderea were the species most severely affected by DSD and bleaching, respectively. Diseases on species such as Agaricia fragilis, A.grahamae, A. humilis, Diploria clivosa, Eusmilia fastigiata, Millepora complanata, and Mycetophyllia aliciae are recorded for first time in Colombia. We present bleaching and disease incidences, kinds of diseases, coral species affected, reef localities studied, depth intervals of surveys, and temporal (years variation for each geographic area. This variation makes difficult to clearly determine defined patterns or general trends for monitored reefs. This is the first long-term study of coral diseases and bleaching in the Southwestern Caribbean, and one of the few

  16. Geologic models and evaluation of undiscovered conventional and continuous oil and gas resources: Upper Cretaceous Austin Chalk

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pearson, Krystal

    2012-01-01

    The Upper Cretaceous Austin Chalk forms a low-permeability, onshore Gulf of Mexico reservoir that produces oil and gas from major fractures oriented parallel to the underlying Lower Cretaceous shelf edge. Horizontal drilling links these fracture systems to create an interconnected network that drains the reservoir. Field and well locations along the production trend are controlled by fracture networks. Highly fractured chalk is present along both regional and local fault zones. Fractures are also genetically linked to movement of the underlying Jurassic Louann Salt with tensile fractures forming downdip of salt-related structures creating the most effective reservoirs. Undiscovered accumulations should also be associated with structure-controlled fracture systems because much of the Austin that overlies the Lower Cretaceous shelf edge remains unexplored. The Upper Cretaceous Eagle Ford Shale is the primary source rock for Austin Chalk hydrocarbons. This transgressive marine shale varies in thickness and lithology across the study area and contains both oil- and gas-prone kerogen. The Eagle Ford began generating oil and gas in the early Miocene, and vertical migration through fractures was sufficient to charge the Austin reservoirs.

  17. Sedimentary Provenance Constraints on the Middle Jurassic to Late Cretaceous Paleogeography of the Sichuan Basin, SW China

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Y.; He, D.; Li, D.; Lu, R.

    2017-12-01

    Sedimentary provenance of the Middle Jurassic to Late Cretaceous sediments in the Sichuan Basin is constrained by sandstone petrology and detrital zircon U-Pb geochronology, which provides critical insights into mid-late Mesozoic paleogeographic evolution of the Sichuan Basin. Petrographic analyses of 22 sandstone samples indicate moderate to high mature sediments and are primarily derived from cratonic or recycled sources. U-Pb age data for the Middle Jurassic to Late Cretaceous detrital zircons generally show populations at 130-200, 200-330, 400-490, 680-890, 1730-1960, and 2360-2600 Ma, with up-section variations. The Middle Jurassic sediments contain a relatively high density of 1.85 and 2.5 Ga zircons and a low density of the 800 Ma zircons, which are consistent with derivation mainly from the Songpan-Ganzi terrane and the South Qinling belt, and secondarily from the Western Jiangnan Orogen. The Late Jurassic and Early Cretaceous sedimentation with a scattered age distribution shared common multiple-source to sink systems that were predominantly draining towards the south and southeast, but increasingly drained southward, and were later disrupted by a synchronous northeastward drainage capture. Late Cretaceous sediments have a distinct reduction in Block.

  18. 15N/14N variations in Cretaceous Atlantic sedimentary sequences: implication for past changes in marine nitrogen biogeochemistry

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rau, G.H.; Arthur, M.A.; Dean, W.E.

    1987-01-01

    At two locations in the Atlantic Ocean (DSDP Sites 367 and 530) early to middle Cretaceous organic-carbon-rich beds ("black shales") were found to have significantly lower ??15N values (lower 15N/14N ratios) than adjacent organic-carbon-poor beds (white limestones or green claystones). While these lithologies are of marine origin, the black strata in particular have ??15N values that are significantly lower than those previously found in the marine sediment record and most contemporary marine nitrogen pools. In contrast, black, organic-carbon-rich beds at a third site (DSDP Site 603) contain predominantly terrestrial organic matter and have C- and N-isotopic compositions similar to organic matter of modern terrestrial origin. The recurring 15N depletion in the marine-derived Cretaceous sequences prove that the nitrogen they contain is the end result of an episodic and atypical biogeochemistry. Existing isotopic and other data indicate that the low 15N relative abundance is the consequence of pelagic rather than post-depositional processes. Reduced ocean circulation, increased denitrification, and, hence, reduced euphotic zone nitrate availability may have led to Cretaceous phytoplankton assemblages that were periodically dominated by N2-fixing blue-green algae, a possible source of this sediment 15N-depletion. Lack of parallel isotopic shifts in Cretaceous terrestrially-derived nitrogen (Site 603) argues that the above change in nitrogen cycling during this period did not extend beyond the marine environment. ?? 1987.

  19. Geochemical evolution of Cenozoic-Cretaceous magmatism and its relation to tectonic setting, southwestern Idaho, U.S.A

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Norman, M.D.; Leeman, W.P.

    1989-01-01

    Magmatism in the western United States spanned a change in tectonic setting from Mesozoic and early Tertiary plate convergence to middle and late Tertiary crustal extension. This paper presents new major element, trace element, and isotopic (Sr, Nd, Pb) data on a diverse suite of Cretaceous to Neogene igneous rocks from the Owyhee area of southwestern Idaho to evaluate possible relationships between the evolving tectonic regime and temporal changes in igneous activity. The oldest studied rocks are Cretaceous granitic intrusives that probably formed by large-scale mixing of Precambrian crust with subduction-related magmas. Silicic Eocene tuffs are also rich in crustal components, but have isotopic compositions unlike the Cretaceous intrusives. These data require at least two crustal sources that may correspond to domains of significantly different age (Archean vs. Proterozoic). The oldest mafic lavas in the study area are Oligocene andesites and basalts compositionally similar to subduction-related magmas derived from asthenospheric mantle and erupted through thick continental crust. Direct crustal involvement during oligocene time was limited to minor interaction with the mafic magmas. Miocene activity produced bimodal basalt-rhyolite suites and minor volumes of hybrid lavas. Compositions of Miocene basalts demonstrate the decline of subduction-related processes, and increased involvement of subcontinental lithospheric mantle as a magma source. Crustally-derived Miocene rhyolites have isotopic compositions similar to those of the Cretaceous granitic rocks but trace element abundances more typical of within-plate magmas. (orig./WB)

  20. Late Cretaceous extension and exhumation of the Stong and Taku magmatic and metamorphic complexes, NE Peninsular Malaysia

    Science.gov (United States)

    François, T.; Md Ali, M. A.; Matenco, L.; Willingshofer, E.; Ng, T. F.; Taib, N. I.; Shuib, M. K.

    2017-08-01

    Fragmentation of large continental areas by post-orogenic extension requires favourable geodynamic conditions and frequently occurs along pre-existing suture zones or nappe contacts, as exemplified by the Stong and Taku magmatic and metamorphic complexes of northern Peninsular Malaysia. For this case, we have employed a field and microstructural kinematic study combined with low temperature thermo-chronology to analyse the tectonic and exhumation history. The results show that the Late Palaeozoic - Triassic Indosinian orogeny created successive phases of burial related metamorphism, shearing and contractional deformation. This orogenic structure was subsequently dismembered during a Cretaceous thermal event that culminated in the formation of a large scale Late Santonian - Early Maastrichtian extensional detachment, genetically associated with crustal melting, the emplacement of syn-kinematic plutons and widespread migmatisation. The emplacement of these magmatic rocks led to an array of simultaneously formed structures that document deformation conditions over a wide temperature range, represented by amphibolite- and greenschist- facies mylonites and as well as brittle structures, such as cataclastic zones and normal faults that formed during exhumation in the footwall of the detachment. The formation of this detachment and a first phase of Late Cretaceous cooling was followed by renewed Eocene - Oligocene exhumation, as evidenced from our fission track ages. We infer that an initial Cretaceous thermal anomaly was responsible for the formation of an extensional gneiss dome associated with simple shear and rotation of normal faults. These Cretaceous processes played a critical role in the establishment of the presently observed crustal structure of Peninsular Malaysia.

  1. Rib fracture in Prognathodon saturator (Mosasauridae, Late Cretaceous)

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Schulp, Anne S.; Walenkamp, G. H I M; Hofman, P.A.M.; Rothschild, B. M.; Jagt, J. W M

    2004-01-01

    Two unusual bumps occur on the internal surface of a rib of the marine reptile Prognathodon saturator from the Upper Cretaceous (Maastrichtian) of Maastricht, The Netherlands. These bumps are interpreted as stress fractures, possibly related to agonistic behaviour.

  2. Dinosaur morphological diversity and the end-Cretaceous extinction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brusatte, Stephen L; Butler, Richard J; Prieto-Márquez, Albert; Norell, Mark A

    2012-05-01

    The extinction of non-avian dinosaurs 65 million years ago is a perpetual topic of fascination, and lasting debate has focused on whether dinosaur biodiversity was in decline before end-Cretaceous volcanism and bolide impact. Here we calculate the morphological disparity (anatomical variability) exhibited by seven major dinosaur subgroups during the latest Cretaceous, at both global and regional scales. Our results demonstrate both geographic and clade-specific heterogeneity. Large-bodied bulk-feeding herbivores (ceratopsids and hadrosauroids) and some North American taxa declined in disparity during the final two stages of the Cretaceous, whereas carnivorous dinosaurs, mid-sized herbivores, and some Asian taxa did not. Late Cretaceous dinosaur evolution, therefore, was complex: there was no universal biodiversity trend and the intensively studied North American record may reveal primarily local patterns. At least some dinosaur groups, however, did endure long-term declines in morphological variability before their extinction.

  3. 40 CFR 230.44 - Coral reefs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-07-01

    ... 40 Protection of Environment 24 2010-07-01 2010-07-01 false Coral reefs. 230.44 Section 230.44... Aquatic Sites § 230.44 Coral reefs. (a) Coral reefs consist of the skeletal deposit, usually of calcareous... organisms present in growing portions of the reef. (b) Possible loss of values: The discharge of dredged or...

  4. Impact of herbivore identity on algal succession and coral growth on a Caribbean reef.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Deron E Burkepile

    2010-01-01

    Full Text Available Herbivory is an important top-down force on coral reefs that regulates macroalgal abundance, mediates competitive interactions between macroalgae and corals, and provides resilience following disturbances such as hurricanes and coral bleaching. However, reductions in herbivore diversity and abundance via disease or over-fishing may harm corals directly and may indirectly increase coral susceptibility to other disturbances.In two experiments over two years, we enclosed equivalent densities and masses of either single-species or mixed-species of herbivorous fishes in replicate, 4 m(2 cages at a depth of 17 m on a reef in the Florida Keys, USA to evaluate the effects of herbivore identity and species richness on colonization and development of macroalgal communities and the cascading effects of algae on coral growth. In Year 1, we used the redband parrotfish (Sparisoma aurofrenatum and the ocean surgeonfish (Acanthurus bahianus; in Year 2, we used the redband parrotfish and the princess parrotfish (Scarus taeniopterus. On new substrates, rapid grazing by ocean surgeonfish and princess parrotfish kept communities in an early successional stage dominated by short, filamentous algae and crustose coralline algae that did not suppress coral growth. In contrast, feeding by redband parrotfish allowed an accumulation of tall filaments and later successional macroalgae that suppressed coral growth. These patterns contrast with patterns from established communities not undergoing primary succession; on established substrates redband parrotfish significantly reduced upright macroalgal cover while ocean surgeonfish and princess parrotfish allowed significant increases in late successional macroalgae.This study further highlights the importance of biodiversity in affecting ecosystem function in that different species of herbivorous fishes had very different impacts on reef communities depending on the developmental stage of the community. The species

  5. Island life in the Cretaceous - faunal composition, biogeography, evolution, and extinction of land-living vertebrates on the Late Cretaceous European archipelago

    OpenAIRE

    Csiki Sava,Zoltan; Buffetaut,Eric; Ősi,Attila; Pereda-Suberbiola,Xabier; Brusatte,Stephen

    2015-01-01

    Abstract The Late Cretaceous was a time of tremendous global change, as the final stages of the Age of Dinosaurs were shaped by climate and sea level fluctuations and witness to marked paleogeographic and faunal changes, before the end-Cretaceous bolide impact. The terrestrial fossil record of Late Cretaceous Europe is becoming increasingly better understood, based largely on intensive fieldwork over the past two decades, promising new insights into latest Cretaceous faunal evolution. We revi...

  6. Can heterotrophic uptake of dissolved organic carbon and zooplankton mitigate carbon budget deficits in annually bleached corals?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Levas, Stephen; Grottoli, Andréa G.; Schoepf, Verena; Aschaffenburg, Matthew; Baumann, Justin; Bauer, James E.; Warner, Mark E.

    2016-06-01

    Annual coral bleaching events due to increasing sea surface temperatures are predicted to occur globally by the mid-century and as early as 2025 in the Caribbean, and severely impact coral reefs. We hypothesize that heterotrophic carbon (C) in the form of zooplankton and dissolved organic carbon (DOC) is a significant source of C to bleached corals. Thus, the ability to utilize multiple pools of fixed carbon and/or increase the amount of fixed carbon acquired from one or more pools of fixed carbon (defined here as heterotrophic plasticity) could underlie coral acclimatization and persistence under future ocean-warming scenarios. Here, three species of Caribbean coral— Porites divaricata, P. astreoides, and Orbicella faveolata—were experimentally bleached for 2.5 weeks in two successive years and allowed to recover in the field. Zooplankton feeding was assessed after single and repeat bleaching, while DOC fluxes and the contribution of DOC to the total C budget were determined after single bleaching, 11 months on the reef, and repeat bleaching. Zooplankton was a large C source for P. astreoides, but only following single bleaching. DOC was a source of C for single-bleached corals and accounted for 11-36 % of daily metabolic demand (CHARDOC), but represented a net loss of C in repeat-bleached corals. In repeat-bleached corals, DOC loss exacerbated the negative C budgets in all three species. Thus, the capacity for heterotrophic plasticity in corals is compromised under annual bleaching, and heterotrophic uptake of DOC and zooplankton does not mitigate C budget deficits in annually bleached corals. Overall, these findings suggest that some Caribbean corals may be more susceptible to repeat bleaching than to single bleaching due to a lack of heterotrophic plasticity, and coral persistence under increasing bleaching frequency may ultimately depend on other factors such as energy reserves and symbiont shuffling.

  7. CORAL REEFS. Genomic determinants of coral heat tolerance across latitudes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dixon, Groves B; Davies, Sarah W; Aglyamova, Galina A; Meyer, Eli; Bay, Line K; Matz, Mikhail V

    2015-06-26

    As global warming continues, reef-building corals could avoid local population declines through "genetic rescue" involving exchange of heat-tolerant genotypes across latitudes, but only if latitudinal variation in thermal tolerance is heritable. Here, we show an up-to-10-fold increase in odds of survival of coral larvae under heat stress when their parents come from a warmer lower-latitude location. Elevated thermal tolerance was associated with heritable differences in expression of oxidative, extracellular, transport, and mitochondrial functions that indicated a lack of prior stress. Moreover, two genomic regions strongly responded to selection for thermal tolerance in interlatitudinal crosses. These results demonstrate that variation in coral thermal tolerance across latitudes has a strong genetic basis and could serve as raw material for natural selection. Copyright © 2015, American Association for the Advancement of Science.

  8. Global microbialization of coral reefs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Haas, Andreas F; Fairoz, Mohamed F M; Kelly, Linda W; Nelson, Craig E; Dinsdale, Elizabeth A; Edwards, Robert A; Giles, Steve; Hatay, Mark; Hisakawa, Nao; Knowles, Ben; Lim, Yan Wei; Maughan, Heather; Pantos, Olga; Roach, Ty N F; Sanchez, Savannah E; Silveira, Cynthia B; Sandin, Stuart; Smith, Jennifer E; Rohwer, Forest

    2016-04-25

    Microbialization refers to the observed shift in ecosystem trophic structure towards higher microbial biomass and energy use. On coral reefs, the proximal causes of microbialization are overfishing and eutrophication, both of which facilitate enhanced growth of fleshy algae, conferring a competitive advantage over calcifying corals and coralline algae. The proposed mechanism for this competitive advantage is the DDAM positive feedback loop (dissolved organic carbon (DOC), disease, algae, microorganism), where DOC released by ungrazed fleshy algae supports copiotrophic, potentially pathogenic bacterial communities, ultimately harming corals and maintaining algal competitive dominance. Using an unprecedented data set of >400 samples from 60 coral reef sites, we show that the central DDAM predictions are consistent across three ocean basins. Reef algal cover is positively correlated with lower concentrations of DOC and higher microbial abundances. On turf and fleshy macroalgal-rich reefs, higher relative abundances of copiotrophic microbial taxa were identified. These microbial communities shift their metabolic potential for carbohydrate degradation from the more energy efficient Embden-Meyerhof-Parnas pathway on coral-dominated reefs to the less efficient Entner-Doudoroff and pentose phosphate pathways on algal-dominated reefs. This 'yield-to-power' switch by microorganism directly threatens reefs via increased hypoxia and greater CO2 release from the microbial respiration of DOC.

  9. Gateways and Water Mass Mixing in the Late Cretaceous North Atlantic

    Science.gov (United States)

    Asgharian Rostami, M.; Martin, E. E.; MacLeod, K. G.; Poulsen, C. J.; Vande Guchte, A.; Haynes, S.

    2017-12-01

    Regions of intermediate/deep water formation and water-mass mixing in the North Atlantic are poorly defined for the Late Cretaceous, a time of gateway evolution and cooler conditions following the Mid Cretaceous greenhouse. Improved proxy data combined with modeling efforts are required to effectively evaluate the relationship between CO2, paleogeography, and circulation during this cooler interval. We analyzed and compiled latest Cretaceous (79 - 66 Ma) ɛNd and δ13C records from seven bathyal (paleodepths 0.2 - 2 km) and eight abyssal (paleodepths > 2 km) sites in the North Atlantic. Data suggest local downwelling of Northern Component Water (NCW; ɛNd -9.5 and δ13C 1.7 ‰) is the primary source of intermediate/deep water masses in the basin. As this water flows southward and ages, δ13C values decrease and ɛNd values increase; however, additional chemical changes at several sites require mixing with contributions from several additional water masses. Lower ɛNd ( -10) and higher δ13C ( 1.9 ‰) values in the deep NW part of the basin indicate proximal contributions from a region draining old continental crust, potentially representing deep convection following opening of the Labrador Sea. In the deep NE Iberian Basin, higher ɛNd ( -7) and lower δ13C ( 0.8 ‰) during the Campanian suggest mixing with a Tethyan source (ɛNd -7 and δ13C 0.1 ‰) whose importance decreased with restriction of that gateway in the Maastrichtian. Data from bathyal sites suggest additional mixing. In the SE Cape Verde region, observed ɛNd variations from -10 in the Campanian to -13 and -12 in the early and late Maastrichtian, respectively, may record variations in output rates of Tethyan and/or NCW sources and Demerara Bottom Water (ɛNd -16), a proposed warm saline intermediate water mass formed in shallow, equatorial seas. Pacific inflow through the Caribbean gateway impacts intermediate sites at Blake Nose (ɛNd values -8), particularly the shallowest site during the late

  10. Implications of coral harvest and transplantation on reefs in northwestern Dominica

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andrew W Bruckner

    2010-10-01

    Full Text Available In June, 2002, the government of Dominica requested assistance in evaluating the coral culture and transplantation activities being undertaken by Oceanographic Institute of Dominica (OID, a coral farm culturing both western Atlantic and Indo-Pacific corals for restoration and commercial sales. We assessed the culture facilities of OID, the condition of reefs, potential impacts of coral collection and benefits of coral transplantation. Coral reefs (9 reefs, 3-20m depth were characterized by 35 species of scleractinian corals and a live coral cover of 8-35%. Early colonizing, brooders such as Porites astreoides (14.8% of all corals, P. porites (14.8%, Meandrina meandrites (14.7% and Agaricia agaricites (9.1% were the most abundant corals, but colonies were mostly small (mean=25cm diameter. Montastraea annularis (complex was the other dominant taxa (20.8% of all corals and colonies were larger (mean=70cm. Corals (pooled species were missing an average of 20% of their tissue, with a mean of 1.4% recent mortality. Coral diseases affected 6.4% of all colonies, with the highest prevalence at Cabrits West (11.0%, Douglas Bay (12.2% and Coconut Outer reef (20.7%. White plague and yellow band disease were causing the greatest loss of tissue, especially among M. annularis (complex, with localized impacts from corallivores, overgrowth by macroalgae, storm damage and sedimentation. While the reefs appeared to be undergoing substantial decline, restoration efforts by OID were unlikely to promote recovery. No Pacific species were identified at OID restoration sites, yet species chosen for transplantation with highest survival included short-lived brooders (Agaricia and Porites that were abundant in restoration sites, as well as non-reef builders (Palythoa and Erythropodium that monopolize substrates and overgrow corals. The species of highest value for restoration (massive broadcast spawners showed low survivorship and unrestored populations of these species

  11. Petroleum hydrocarbon toxicity to corals: A review.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Turner, Nicholas R; Renegar, D Abigail

    2017-06-30

    The proximity of coral reefs to coastal urban areas and shipping lanes predisposes corals to petroleum pollution from multiple sources. Previous research has evaluated petroleum toxicity to coral using a variety of methodology, including monitoring effects of acute and chronic spills, in situ exposures, and ex situ exposures with both adult and larval stage corals. Variability in toxicant, bioassay conditions, species and other methodological disparities between studies prevents comprehensive conclusions regarding the toxicity of hydrocarbons to corals. Following standardized protocols and quantifying the concentration and composition of toxicant will aid in comparison of results between studies and extrapolation to actual spills. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  12. Oceanic forcing of coral reefs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lowe, Ryan J; Falter, James L

    2015-01-01

    Although the oceans play a fundamental role in shaping the distribution and function of coral reefs worldwide, a modern understanding of the complex interactions between ocean and reef processes is still only emerging. These dynamics are especially challenging owing to both the broad range of spatial scales (less than a meter to hundreds of kilometers) and the complex physical and biological feedbacks involved. Here, we review recent advances in our understanding of these processes, ranging from the small-scale mechanics of flow around coral communities and their influence on nutrient exchange to larger, reef-scale patterns of wave- and tide-driven circulation and their effects on reef water quality and perceived rates of metabolism. We also examine regional-scale drivers of reefs such as coastal upwelling, internal waves, and extreme disturbances such as cyclones. Our goal is to show how a wide range of ocean-driven processes ultimately shape the growth and metabolism of coral reefs.

  13. Dental Disparity and Ecological Stability in Bird-like Dinosaurs prior to the End-Cretaceous Mass Extinction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Larson, Derek W; Brown, Caleb M; Evans, David C

    2016-05-23

    The causes, rate, and selectivity of the end-Cretaceous mass extinction continue to be highly debated [1-5]. Extinction patterns in small, feathered maniraptoran dinosaurs (including birds) are important for understanding extant biodiversity and present an enigma considering the survival of crown group birds (Neornithes) and the extinction of their close kin across the end-Cretaceous boundary [6]. Because of the patchy Cretaceous fossil record of small maniraptorans [7-12], this important transition has not been closely examined in this group. Here, we test the hypothesis that morphological disparity in bird-like dinosaurs was decreasing leading up to the end-Cretaceous mass extinction, as has been hypothesized in some dinosaurs [13, 14]. To test this, we examined tooth morphology, an ecological indicator in fossil reptiles [15-19], from over 3,100 maniraptoran teeth from four groups (Troodontidae, Dromaeosauridae, Richardoestesia, and cf. Aves) across the last 18 million years of the Cretaceous. We demonstrate that tooth disparity, a proxy for variation in feeding ecology, shows no significant decline leading up to the extinction event within any of the groups. Tooth morphospace occupation also remains static over this time interval except for increased size during the early Maastrichtian. Our data provide strong support that extinction within this group occurred suddenly after a prolonged period of ecological stability. To explain this sudden extinction of toothed maniraptorans and the survival of Neornithes, we propose that diet may have been an extinction filter and suggest that granivory associated with an edentulous beak was a key ecological trait in the survival of some lineages. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  14. High diversity in cretaceous ichthyosaurs from Europe prior to their extinction.

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    Valentin Fischer

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Ichthyosaurs are reptiles that inhabited the marine realm during most of the Mesozoic. Their Cretaceous representatives have traditionally been considered as the last survivors of a group declining since the Jurassic. Recently, however, an unexpected diversity has been described in Upper Jurassic-Lower Cretaceous deposits, but is widely spread across time and space, giving small clues on the adaptive potential and ecosystem control of the last ichthyosaurs. The famous but little studied English Gault Formation and 'greensands' deposits (the Upper Greensand Formation and the Cambridge Greensand Member of the Lower Chalk Formation offer an unprecedented opportunity to investigate this topic, containing thousands of ichthyosaur remains spanning the Early-Late Cretaceous boundary. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: To assess the diversity of the ichthyosaur assemblage from these sedimentary bodies, we recognized morphotypes within each type of bones. We grouped these morphotypes together, when possible, by using articulated specimens from the same formations and from new localities in the Vocontian Basin (France; a revised taxonomic scheme is proposed. We recognize the following taxa in the 'greensands': the platypterygiines 'Platypterygius' sp. and Sisteronia seeleyi gen. et sp. nov., indeterminate ophthalmosaurines and the rare incertae sedis Cetarthrosaurus walkeri. The taxonomic diversity of late Albian ichthyosaurs now matches that of older, well-known intervals such as the Toarcian or the Tithonian. Contrasting tooth shapes and wear patterns suggest that these ichthyosaurs colonized three distinct feeding guilds, despite the presence of numerous plesiosaur taxa. CONCLUSION/SIGNIFICANCE: Western Europe was a diversity hot-spot for ichthyosaurs a few million years prior to their final extinction. By contrast, the low diversity in Australia and U.S.A. suggests strong geographical disparities in the diversity pattern of Albian-early

  15. Are glendonites reliable indicators of cold conditions? Evidence from the Lower Cretaceous of Spitsbergen

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vickers, Madeleine; Price, Gregory; Watkinson, Matthew; Jerrett, Rhodri

    2017-04-01

    Glendonites are pseudomorphs after the mineral ikaite, and have been found in marine sediments throughout geological time. Ikaite is a metastable, hydrated form of calcium carbonate, which is only stable under specific conditions: between -2 and +5 °C, and with high alkalinity and phosphate concentrations. Glendonites are often associated with cold climates due to the strong temperature control on ikaite growth, and the coincidence in the geological record with episodes of global cooling. Glendonites are found in the Lower Cretaceous succession in Spitsbergen. During the Early Cretaceous, Spitsbergen was at a palaeolatitude of 60°N, and was part of a shallow epicontinental sea that formed during the Mesozoic as Atlantic rifting propagated northwards. Though the Early Cretaceous was generally characterised by greenhouse climate conditions, episodic cold snaps occurred during the Valanginian (the "Weissert Event") and during Aptian-Albian. Using high resolution carbon-isotope stratigraphy, we show that the first occurrences of glendonites are in the upper Lower Hauterivian and in the very upper Upper Hauterivian, stratigraphically higher than the Valanginian cooling event. Glendonites are also found in horizons in the Upper Aptian, coincident with the Aptian-Albian cold snap. Petrological analysis of the glendonite structure reveals differences between the Hauterivian and Aptian glendonites, with evidence for multiple diagenetic phases of growth in the Hauterivian glendonites, suggesting oscillating chemical conditions. This evidence suggests that local environmental conditions may have a stronger control on glendonite formation and preservation than global climate. We present a new model for ikaite growth and slow transformation to glendonite in marine sediments, which points to a more complex suite of diagenetic transformations than previously modelled. Furthermore, we critically assess whether such pseudomorphs after marine sedimentary ikaite may be indicators

  16. CORAL Server and CORAL Server Proxy: Scalable Access to Relational Databases from CORAL Applications

    CERN Document Server

    Valassi, A; Kalkhof, A; Salnikov, A; Wache, M

    2011-01-01

    The CORAL software is widely used at CERN for accessing the data stored by the LHC experiments using relational database technologies. CORAL provides a C++ abstraction layer that supports data persistency for several backends and deployment models, including local access to SQLite files, direct client access to Oracle and MySQL servers, and read-only access to Oracle through the FroNTier web server and cache. Two new components have recently been added to CORAL to implement a model involving a middle tier "CORAL server" deployed close to the database and a tree of "CORAL server proxy" instances, with data caching and multiplexing functionalities, deployed close to the client. The new components are meant to provide advantages for read-only and read-write data access, in both offline and online use cases, in the areas of scalability and performance (multiplexing for several incoming connections, optional data caching) and security (authentication via proxy certificates). A first implementation of the two new c...

  17. Microbial Regulation in Gorgonian Corals

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Laura D. Mydlarz

    2012-06-01

    Full Text Available Gorgonian corals possess many novel natural products that could potentially mediate coral-bacterial interactions. Since many bacteria use quorum sensing (QS signals to facilitate colonization of host organisms, regulation of prokaryotic cell-to-cell communication may represent an important bacterial control mechanism. In the present study, we examined extracts of twelve species of Caribbean gorgonian corals, for mechanisms that regulate microbial colonization, such as antibacterial activity and QS regulatory activity. Ethanol extracts of gorgonians collected from Puerto Rico and the Florida Keys showed a range of both antibacterial and QS activities using a specific Pseudomonas aeruginosa QS reporter, sensitive to long chain AHLs and a short chain N-acylhomoserine lactones (AHL biosensor, Chromobacterium violaceium. Overall, the gorgonian corals had higher antimicrobial activity against non-marine strains when compared to marine strains. Pseudopterogorgia americana, Pseusopterogorgia acerosa, and Pseudoplexuara flexuosa had the highest QS inhibitory effect. Interestingly, Pseudoplexuara porosa extracts stimulated QS activity with a striking 17-fold increase in signal. The stimulation of QS by P. porosa or other elements of the holobiont may encourage colonization or recruitment of specific microbial species. Overall, these results suggest the presence of novel stimulatory QS, inhibitory QS and bactericidal compounds in gorgonian corals. A better understanding of these compounds may reveal insight into coral-microbial ecology and whether a therapeutic potential exists.

  18. Coral reefs in the Anthropocene.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hughes, Terry P; Barnes, Michele L; Bellwood, David R; Cinner, Joshua E; Cumming, Graeme S; Jackson, Jeremy B C; Kleypas, Joanie; van de Leemput, Ingrid A; Lough, Janice M; Morrison, Tiffany H; Palumbi, Stephen R; van Nes, Egbert H; Scheffer, Marten

    2017-05-31

    Coral reefs support immense biodiversity and provide important ecosystem services to many millions of people. Yet reefs are degrading rapidly in response to numerous anthropogenic drivers. In the coming centuries, reefs will run the gauntlet of climate change, and rising temperatures will transform them into new configurations, unlike anything observed previously by humans. Returning reefs to past configurations is no longer an option. Instead, the global challenge is to steer reefs through the Anthropocene era in a way that maintains their biological functions. Successful navigation of this transition will require radical changes in the science, management and governance of coral reefs.

  19. AN APPROACH TO PROVENANCE, TECTONIC AND REDOX CONDITIONS OF JURASSIC-CRETACEOUS AKKUYU FORMATION, CENTRAL TAURIDS, TURKEY

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ali SARI

    2012-06-01

    Full Text Available - Late Jurassic-Early Cretaceous Akkuyu formation was deposited in a marine carbonate platform in Central Tarurids. The organic material of the unit is composed of Type III kerogen which is woody material transported from the land. Late Jurassic- Early Cretaceous is an important period which great anoxic events in deep sea bottom occurred due to the primary organic productivity in global sea surface. Use of several trace elements values (Ni, V, U, Cr, Co, Th revealed that Late Jurassic-Early Cretaceous Akkuyu formation shows oxic, disoxic and anoxic paleoredox conditions. In this period the primary productivity was considerably high. Examination of specimen derived from Akkuyu formation revealed that there exists a very good positive relationship between the major oxides of Al2O3, SiO2, Fe2O3, TiO2, and K2O. These combinations of major oxides indicate a detrital origin of source rock. Chemical weathering evaluations of Central Taurids in the Jurassic-Cretaceous period indicated moderate and strong weathering of source rock. K2O/Na2O versus SiO2; SiO2/Al2O3 versus K2O/Na2O; Al2O3/ SiO2 versus Fe2O3 + MgO ve TiO2 versus Fe2O3 + MgO diagrams indicated that Akkuyu formation was deposited along active and/or passive continental margin and derived from basalt and basalt+granite mixed rocks.

  20. CORAL Server and CORAL Server Proxy: Scalable Access to Relational Databases from CORAL Applications

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Valassi, A; Kalkhof, A; Bartoldus, R; Salnikov, A; Wache, M

    2011-01-01

    The CORAL software is widely used at CERN by the LHC experiments to access the data they store on relational databases, such as Oracle. Two new components have recently been added to implement a model involving a middle tier 'CORAL server' deployed close to the database and a tree of 'CORAL server proxies', providing data caching and multiplexing, deployed close to the client. A first implementation of the two new components, released in the summer 2009, is now deployed in the ATLAS online system to read the data needed by the High Level Trigger, allowing the configuration of a farm of several thousand processes. This paper reviews the architecture of the software, its development status and its usage in ATLAS.

  1. Discovery of fossil lamprey larva from the Lower Cretaceous reveals its three-phased life cycle.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chang, Mee-mann; Wu, Feixiang; Miao, Desui; Zhang, Jiangyong

    2014-10-28

    Lampreys are one of the two surviving jawless vertebrate groups and one of a few vertebrate groups with the best exemplified metamorphosis during their life cycle, which consists of a long-lasting larval stage, a peculiar metamorphosis, and a relatively short adulthood with a markedly different anatomy. Although the fossil records have revealed that many general features of extant lamprey adults were already formed by the Late Devonian (ca. 360 Ma), little is known about the life cycle of the fossil lampreys because of the lack of fossilized lamprey larvae or transformers. Here we report the first to our knowledge discovery of exceptionally preserved premetamorphic and metamorphosing larvae of the fossil lamprey Mesomyzon mengae from the Lower Cretaceous of Inner Mongolia, China. These fossil ammocoetes look surprisingly modern in having an eel-like body with tiny eyes, oral hood and lower lip, anteriorly positioned branchial region, and a continuous dorsal skin fin fold and in sharing a similar feeding habit, as judged from the detritus left in the gut. In contrast, the larger metamorphosing individuals have slightly enlarged eyes relative to large otic capsules, thickened oral hood or pointed snout, and discernable radials but still anteriorly extended branchial area and lack a suctorial oral disk, which characterize the early stages of the metamorphosis of extant lampreys. Our discovery not only documents the larval conditions of fossil lampreys but also indicates the three-phased life cycle in lampreys emerged essentially in their present mode no later than the Early Cretaceous.

  2. The cumulative impact of annual coral bleaching can turn some coral species winners into losers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grottoli, Andréa G; Warner, Mark E; Levas, Stephen J; Aschaffenburg, Matthew D; Schoepf, Verena; McGinley, Michael; Baumann, Justin; Matsui, Yohei

    2014-12-01

    Mass coral bleaching events caused by elevated seawater temperatures result in extensive coral loss throughout the tropics, and are projected to increase in frequency and severity. If bleaching becomes an annual event later in this century, more than 90% of coral reefs worldwide may be at risk of long-term degradation. While corals can recover from single isolated bleaching and can acclimate to recurring bleaching events that are separated by multiple years, it is currently unknown if and how they will survive and possibly acclimatize to annual coral bleaching. Here, we demonstrate for the first time that annual coral bleaching can dramatically alter thermal tolerance in Caribbean corals. We found that high coral energy reserves and changes in the dominant algal endosymbiont type (Symbiodinium spp.) facilitated rapid acclimation in Porites divaricata, whereas low energy reserves and a lack of algal phenotypic plasticity significantly increased susceptibility in Porites astreoides to bleaching the following year. Phenotypic plasticity in the dominant endosymbiont type of Orbicella faveolata did not prevent repeat bleaching, but may have facilitated rapid recovery. Thus, coral holobiont response to an isolated single bleaching event is not an accurate predictor of its response to bleaching the following year. Rather, the cumulative impact of annual coral bleaching can turn some coral species 'winners' into 'losers', and can also facilitate acclimation and turn some coral species 'losers' into 'winners'. Overall, these findings indicate that cumulative impact of annual coral bleaching could result in some species becoming increasingly susceptible to bleaching and face a long-term decline, while phenotypically plastic coral species will acclimatize and persist. Thus, annual coral bleaching and recovery could contribute to the selective loss of coral diversity as well as the overall decline of coral reefs in the Caribbean. © 2014 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  3. Dampak Pemutihan Karang Tahun 2016 Terhadap Ekosistem Terumbu Karang: Studi Kasus Di TWP Gili Matra (Gili Air, Gili Meno dan Gili Trawangan Provinsi NTB Coral Bleaching Impact in 2016 Towards Coral Reef Ecosystem: Case Studies TWP Gili Matra (Gili Air,

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Fakhrizal Setiawan

    2018-02-01

    Full Text Available ABSTRACTIncreased sea surface temperatures due to global warming that occurred from the early to mid 2016 caused of coral bleaching in several locations in TWP Gili Matra. Observations of coral bleaching  obtained from coral colonies compotition affected by bleaching (50%, white (18%, death (1% and was not affected (31%. These implications resulting decline in coral cover but not significant (F (1,013 = 0.333, p > 0.05 from 23,43% ± 2,61 SE in 2012 to 18,48% ± 4,14 SE in 2016 and a significant decrease (P (58,06 = 3,8e-06 recruitment of coral (coral Juvenil from 6,66 ind.m-1 ± 1,04 SE in 2012 to 1,41 ind.m-1 ± 0,16 SE in 2016. the other impact is a significant reduction (P(20.84 = 0,00053, p <0,001 the abundance of reef fish from 28.733,26 ind.ha-1 ± 3.757,89 SE in 2012 to 11.431,18 ind.ha-1 ± 702,53 SE in 2016 and a decline in the biomass of reef fish but not significant (F (0,58 = 0,46, P> 0.05 from 506,56 kg.ha-1 ± 99,05 SE in 2012 to 438,41 kg.ha-1 ± 45,69 SE in 2016. The decline of coral recruitment resulted in the recovery of the affected areas bleaching becomes slow because of the juvenile new coral mostly dead. The second impact of bleaching is an abundance of fish decrease, indicating that is available only fish big size (adult and very less of small fishes, including juvenile. Keywords: global warming, coral bleaching, coral cover, reef fishes

  4. Identifying the ichthyoplankton of a coral reef using DNA barcodes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hubert, Nicolas; Espiau, Benoit; Meyer, Christopher; Planes, Serge

    2015-01-01

    Marine fishes exhibit spectacular phenotypic changes during their ontogeny, and the identification of their early stages is challenging due to the paucity of diagnostic morphological characters at the species level. Meanwhile, the importance of early life stages in dispersal and connectivity has recently experienced an increasing interest in conservation programmes for coral reef fishes. This study aims at assessing the effectiveness of DNA barcoding for the automated identification of coral reef fish larvae through large-scale ecosystemic sampling. Fish larvae were mainly collected using bongo nets and light traps around Moorea between September 2008 and August 2010 in 10 sites distributed in open waters. Fish larvae ranged from 2 to 100 mm of total length, with the most abundant individuals being <5 mm. Among the 505 individuals DNA barcoded, 373 larvae (i.e. 75%) were identified to the species level. A total of 106 species were detected, among which 11 corresponded to pelagic and bathypelagic species, while 95 corresponded to species observed at the adult stage on neighbouring reefs. This study highlights the benefits and pitfalls of using standardized molecular systems for species identification and illustrates the new possibilities enabled by DNA barcoding for future work on coral reef fish larval ecology. © 2014 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  5. Variation in habitat soundscape characteristics influences settlement of a reef-building coral.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lillis, Ashlee; Bohnenstiehl, DelWayne; Peters, Jason W; Eggleston, David

    2016-01-01

    Coral populations, and the productive reef ecosystems they support, rely on successful recruitment of reef-building species, beginning with settlement of dispersing larvae into habitat favourable to survival. Many substrate cues have been identified as contributors to coral larval habitat selection; however, the potential for ambient acoustic cues to influence coral settlement responses is unknown. Using in situ settlement chambers that excluded other habitat cues, larval settlement of a dominant Caribbean reef-building coral, Orbicella faveolata , was compared in response to three local soundscapes, with differing acoustic and habitat properties. Differences between reef sites in the number of larvae settled in chambers isolating acoustic cues corresponded to differences in sound levels and reef characteristics, with sounds at the loudest reef generating significantly higher settlement during trials compared to the quietest site (a 29.5 % increase). These results suggest that soundscapes could be an important influence on coral settlement patterns and that acoustic cues associated with reef habitat may be related to larval settlement. This study reports an effect of soundscape variation on larval settlement for a key coral species, and adds to the growing evidence that soundscapes affect marine ecosystems by influencing early life history processes of foundational species.

  6. Variation in habitat soundscape characteristics influences settlement of a reef-building coral

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ashlee Lillis

    2016-10-01

    Full Text Available Coral populations, and the productive reef ecosystems they support, rely on successful recruitment of reef-building species, beginning with settlement of dispersing larvae into habitat favourable to survival. Many substrate cues have been identified as contributors to coral larval habitat selection; however, the potential for ambient acoustic cues to influence coral settlement responses is unknown. Using in situ settlement chambers that excluded other habitat cues, larval settlement of a dominant Caribbean reef-building coral, Orbicella faveolata, was compared in response to three local soundscapes, with differing acoustic and habitat properties. Differences between reef sites in the number of larvae settled in chambers isolating acoustic cues corresponded to differences in sound levels and reef characteristics, with sounds at the loudest reef generating significantly higher settlement during trials compared to the quietest site (a 29.5 % increase. These results suggest that soundscapes could be an important influence on coral settlement patterns and that acoustic cues associated with reef habitat may be related to larval settlement. This study reports an effect of soundscape variation on larval settlement for a key coral species, and adds to the growing evidence that soundscapes affect marine ecosystems by influencing early life history processes of foundational species.

  7. Secondarily flightless birds or Cretaceous non-avian theropods?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kavanau, J Lee

    2010-02-01

    Recent studies by Varricchio et al. reveal that males cared for the eggs of troodontids and oviraptorids, so-called "non-avian theropods" of the Cretaceous, just as do those of most Paleognathic birds (ratites and tinamous) today. Further, the clutches of both groups have large relative volumes, and consist of many eggs of relatively large size. By comparison, clutch care by most extant birds is biparental and the clutches are of small relative volume, and consist of but few small eggs. Varricchio et al. propose that troodontids and oviraptorids were pre-avian and that paternal egg care preceded the origin of birds. On the contrary, unmentioned by them is that abundant paleontological evidence has led several workers to conclude that troodontids and oviraptorids were secondary flightless birds. This evidence ranges from bird-like bodies and bone designs, adapted for climbing, perching, gliding, and ultimately flight, to relatively large, highly developed brains, poor sense of smell, and their feeding habits. Because ratites also are secondarily flightless and tinamous are reluctant, clumsy fliers, the new evidence strengthens the view that troodontids and oviraptorids were secondarily flightless. Although secondary flightlessness apparently favors paternal care of clutches of large, abundant eggs, such care is not likely to have been primitive. There are a suite of previously unknown independent findings that point to the evolution of, first, maternal, followed by biparental egg care in earliest ancestors of birds. This follows from the discovery of remarkable relict avian reproductive behaviors preserved by virtue of the highly conservative nature of vertebrate brain evolution. These behaviors can be elicited readily by exposing breeding birds to appropriate conditions, both environmental and with respect to their eggs and chicks. They give significant new clues for a coherent theory of avian origin and early evolution.

  8. Quantifying Coral Reef Ecosystem Services

    Science.gov (United States)

    Coral reefs have been declining during the last four decades as a result of both local and global anthropogenic stresses. Numerous research efforts to elucidate the nature, causes, magnitude, and potential remedies for the decline have led to the widely held belief that the recov...

  9. Foraminiferal biostratigraphy of Upper Cretaceous (Campanian - Maastrichtian) sequences in the Peri-Tethys basin; Moghan area, NW Iran

    Science.gov (United States)

    Omidvar, Mahboobeh; Safari, Amrollah; Vaziri-Moghaddam, Hossain; Ghalavand, Hormoz

    2018-04-01

    The Upper Cretaceous sediments in the Moghan area, NW Iran, contain diverse planktonic and benthic foraminifera, with a total of 33 genera and 53 species (17 genera and 38 species of planktonic foraminifera and 16 genera and 15 species from benthic foraminifera), which led to the identification of six biozones spanning the middle Campanian to late Maastrichtian. A detailed paleontological study and biostratigraphic zonation of these sequences has been carried out in four surface sections. This study shows that there are two different facies in the Moghan area, based on the faunal content. A deep open marine condition exists in the Molok, Selenchai and Nasirkandi sections. In these sections, Upper Cretaceous sequences have diverse planktonic foraminiferal species including the Globotruncana ventricosa (middle to late Campanian), Globotruncanella havanensis (late Campanian), Globotruncana aegyptiaca (latest Campanian), Gansserina gansseri (latest Campanian to early Maastrichtian), Contusotruncana contusa- Racemiguembelina fructicosa (early to late Maastrichtian) and Abathomphalus mayaroensis (late Maastrichtian) zones. This deep open marine setting grades laterally into shallower marine condition dominated by large benthic foraminifera such as Orbitoides media, Orbitoides gruenbachensis, Orbitoides cf. apiculata, Lepidorbitoides minor, Pseudosiderolites sp., Siderolites praecalcitrapoides, Siderolites aff. calcitrapoides and Siderolites calcitrapoides. This facies is mainly recorded in the Hovay section. A detailed biostratigraphic zonation scheme is presented for the studied sections and correlated with the results of other studies in the Tethyan realm. This is the first biozonation scheme for Upper Cretaceous sequences of the Moghan area that can be used as a basis for ongoing studies in this area and other parts of Tethys basin.

  10. Lower Cretaceous fossils from China shed light on the ancestral body plan of crown softshell turtles (Trionychidae, Cryptodira).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brinkman, Donald; Rabi, Márton; Zhao, Lijun

    2017-07-27

    Pan-trionychids or softshell turtles are a highly specialized and widespread extant group of aquatic taxa with an evolutionary history that goes back to the Early Cretaceous. The earliest pan-trionychids had already fully developed the "classic" softshell turtle morphology and it has been impossible to resolve whether they are stem members of the family or are within the crown. This has hindered our understanding of the evolution of the two basic body plans of crown-trionychids. Thus it remains unclear whether the more heavily ossified shell of the cyclanorbines or the highly reduced trionychine morphotype is the ancestral condition for softshell turtles. A new pan-trionychid from the Early Cretaceous of Zhejiang, China, Perochelys hengshanensis sp. nov., allows a revision of softshell-turtle phylogeny. Equal character weighting resulted in a topology that is fundamentally inconsistent with molecular divergence date estimates of deeply nested extant species. In contrast, implied weighting retrieved Lower Cretaceous Perochelys spp. and Petrochelys kyrgyzensis as stem trionychids, which is fully consistent with their basal stratigraphic occurrence and an Aptian-Santonian molecular age estimate for crown-trionychids. These results indicate that the primitive morphology for soft-shell turtles is a poorly ossified shell like that of crown-trionychines and that shell re-ossification in cyclanorbines (including re-acquisition of peripheral elements) is secondary.

  11. Embracing a world of subtlety and nuance on coral reefs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mumby, Peter J.

    2017-09-01

    Climate change will homogenise the environment and generate a preponderance of mediocre reefs. Managing seascapes of mediocrity will be challenging because our science is ill prepared to deal with the `shades of grey' of reef health; we tend to study natural processes in the healthiest reefs available. Yet much can be gained by examining the drivers and implications of even subtle changes in reef state. Where strong ecological interactions are discovered, even small changes in abundance can have profound impacts on coral resilience. Indeed, if we are to develop effective early warnings of critical losses of resilience, then monitoring must place greater emphasis on measuring and interpreting changes in reef recovery rates. In terms of mechanism, a more nuanced approach is needed to explore the generality of what might be considered `dogma'. A more nuanced approach to science will serve managers needs well and help minimise the rise of mediocrity in coral reef ecosystems.

  12. Seasonal mesophotic coral bleaching of Stylophora pistillata in the Northern Red Sea.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nir, Orit; Gruber, David F; Shemesh, Eli; Glasser, Eliezra; Tchernov, Dan

    2014-01-01

    Coral bleaching occurs when environmental stress induces breakdown of the coral-algae symbiosis and the host initiates algae expulsion. Two types of coral bleaching had been thoroughly discussed in the scientific literature; the first is primarily associated with mass coral bleaching events; the second is a seasonal loss of algae and/or pigments. Here, we describe a phenomenon that has been witnessed for repeated summers in the mesophotic zone (40-63 m) in the northern Red Sea: seasonal bleaching and recovery of several hermatypic coral species. In this study, we followed the recurring bleaching process of the common coral Stylophora pistillata. Bleaching occurred from April to September with a 66% decline in chlorophyll a concentration, while recovery began in October. Using aquarium and transplantation experiments, we explored environmental factors such as temperature, photon flux density and heterotrophic food availability. Our experiments and observations did not yield one single factor, alone, responsible for the seasonal bleaching. The dinoflagellate symbionts (of the genus Symbiodinium) in shallow (5 m) Stylophora pistillata were found to have a net photosynthetic rate of 56.98-92.19 µmol O2 cm(-2) day(-1). However, those from mesophotic depth (60 m) during months when they are not bleached are net consumers of oxygen having a net photosynthetic rate between -12.86 - (-10.24) µmol O2 cm(-2) day(-1). But during months when these mesophotic corals are partially-bleached, they yielded higher net production, between -2.83-0.76 µmol O2 cm(-2) day(-1). This study opens research questions as to why mesophotic zooxanthellae are more successfully meeting the corals metabolic requirements when Chl a concentration decreases by over 60% during summer and early fall.

  13. New Insights into the Carbon Isotope Variations in Coral Skeletons (Invited)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Swart, P. K.

    2010-12-01

    The origin of the carbon isotopic composition of coral skeletons has been a subject of speculation and controversy since the first stable C and O isotopic measurements were made on corals in the 1960s and the first models of fractionation were proposed by Weber and coworkers. Early models focused on the interactions between the zooxanthellae and the coral organism and the relationship with insolation. Models were proposed that linked higher levels of photosynthesis to both 13C enriched and 13C depleted skeletal material. While the model which showed elevated 13C values related to enhanced photosynthesis generally has found favor and fits the majority of the data from experimental and field studies, more recent work has also shown the importance of the natural variability of the δ13C of the dissolved inorganic carbon on interannual and longer time scales. This variability can overwhelm photosynthetic induced variability. For example, changes over the time period of 100s of years, caused by the addition of fossil fuel CO2 to the atmosphere, has resulted in a general decline in the δ13C of coral skeletons since ~1800. These changes are even larger in instances in which local variations in δ13C are related to land use changes and the openness of the environment. Recently there has been concern regarding the decrease in the pH of the oceans related to increases in oceanic pCO2. This also has potential to changes the δ13C of the coral skeleton. Finally there are seasonal variations in the types of organic compounds being oxidized by the coral. This may be related to the types of materials being translocated between the zooxanthellae and the coral. All these factors make changes in the δ13C of coral skeletons much more than a reflection of the influence of insolation.

  14. Seasonal mesophotic coral bleaching of Stylophora pistillata in the Northern Red Sea.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Orit Nir

    Full Text Available Coral bleaching occurs when environmental stress induces breakdown of the coral-algae symbiosis and the host initiates algae expulsion. Two types of coral bleaching had been thoroughly discussed in the scientific literature; the first is primarily associated with mass coral bleaching events; the second is a seasonal loss of algae and/or pigments. Here, we describe a phenomenon that has been witnessed for repeated summers in the mesophotic zone (40-63 m in the northern Red Sea: seasonal bleaching and recovery of several hermatypic coral species. In this study, we followed the recurring bleaching process of the common coral Stylophora pistillata. Bleaching occurred from April to September with a 66% decline in chlorophyll a concentration, while recovery began in October. Using aquarium and transplantation experiments, we explored environmental factors such as temperature, photon flux density and heterotrophic food availability. Our experiments and observations did not yield one single factor, alone, responsible for the seasonal bleaching. The dinoflagellate symbionts (of the genus Symbiodinium in shallow (5 m Stylophora pistillata were found to have a net photosynthetic rate of 56.98-92.19 µmol O2 cm(-2 day(-1. However, those from mesophotic depth (60 m during months when they are not bleached are net consumers of oxygen having a net photosynthetic rate between -12.86 - (-10.24 µmol O2 cm(-2 day(-1. But during months when these mesophotic corals are partially-bleached, they yielded higher net production, between -2.83-0.76 µmol O2 cm(-2 day(-1. This study opens research questions as to why mesophotic zooxanthellae are more successfully meeting the corals metabolic requirements when Chl a concentration decreases by over 60% during summer and early fall.

  15. Sharing the slope: depth partitioning of agariciid corals and associated

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Bongaerts, P.; Frade, P.R.; Ogier, J.J.; Hay, K.B.; van Bleijswijk, J.; Englebert, N.; Vermeij, M.J.A.; Bak, R.P.M.; Visser, P.M.; Hoegh-Guldberg, O.

    2013-01-01

    Background: Scleractinian corals and their algal endosymbionts (genus Symbiodinium) exhibit distinct bathymetric distributions on coral reefs. Yet, few studies have assessed the evolutionary context of these ecological distributions by exploring the genetic diversity of closely related coral species

  16. Threatened corals provide underexplored microbial habitats.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shinichi Sunagawa

    2010-03-01

    Full Text Available Contemporary in-depth sequencing of environmental samples has provided novel insights into microbial community structures, revealing that their diversity had been previously underestimated. Communities in marine environments are commonly composed of a few dominant taxa and a high number of taxonomically diverse, low-abundance organisms. However, studying the roles and genomic information of these "rare" organisms remains challenging, because little is known about their ecological niches and the environmental conditions to which they respond. Given the current threat to coral reef ecosystems, we investigated the potential of corals to provide highly specialized habitats for bacterial taxa including those that are rarely detected or absent in surrounding reef waters. The analysis of more than 350,000 small subunit ribosomal RNA (16S rRNA sequence tags and almost 2,000 nearly full-length 16S rRNA gene sequences revealed that rare seawater biosphere members are highly abundant or even dominant in diverse Caribbean corals. Closely related corals (in the same genus/family harbored similar bacterial communities. At higher taxonomic levels, however, the similarities of these communities did not correlate with the phylogenetic relationships among corals, opening novel questions about the evolutionary stability of coral-microbial associations. Large proportions of OTUs (28.7-49.1% were unique to the coral species of origin. Analysis of the most dominant ribotypes suggests that many uncovered bacterial taxa exist in coral habitats and await future exploration. Our results indicate that coral species, and by extension other animal hosts, act as specialized habitats of otherwise rare microbes in marine ecosystems. Here, deep sequencing provided insights into coral microbiota at an unparalleled resolution and revealed that corals harbor many bacterial taxa previously not known. Given that two of the coral species investigated are listed as threatened under

  17. Primary Life Stage Boron Isotope and Trace Elements Incorporation in Aposymbiotic Acropora millepora Coral under Ocean Acidification and Warming

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Henry C. Wu

    2017-05-01

    Full Text Available Early-life stages of reef-building corals are vital to coral existence and reef maintenance. It is therefore crucial to study juvenile coral response to future climate change pressures. Moreover, corals are known to be reliable recorders of environmental conditions in their skeletal materials. Aposymbiotic Acropora millepora larvae were cultured in different seawater temperature (27 and 29°C and pCO2 (390 and 750 μatm conditions to understand the impacts of “end of century” ocean acidification (OA and ocean warming (OW conditions on skeletal morphology and geochemistry. The experimental conditions impacted primary polyp juvenile coral skeletal morphology and growth resulting in asymmetric translucent appearances with brittle skeleton features. The impact of OA resulted in microstructure differences with decreased precipitation or lengthening of fasciculi and disorganized aragonite crystals that led to more concentrations of centers of calcifications. The coral skeletal δ11B composition measured by laser ablation MC-ICP-MS was significantly affected by pCO2 (p = 0.0024 and water temperature (p = 1.46 × 10−5. Reconstructed pH of the primary polyp skeleton using the δ11B proxy suggests a difference in coral calcification site and seawater pH consistent with previously observed coral pH up-regulation. Similarly, trace element results measured by laser ablation ICP-MS indicate the impact of pCO2. Primary polyp juvenile Sr/Ca ratio indicates a bias in reconstructed sea surface temperature (SST under higher pCO2 conditions. Coral microstructure content changes (center of calcification and fasciculi due to OA possibly contributed to the variability in B/Ca ratios. Our results imply that increasing OA and OW may lead to coral acclimation issues and species-specific inaccuracies of the commonly used Sr/Ca-SST proxy.

  18. Exploration and Discovery of Hydrocarbon Seeps, Coral Ecosystems, and Shipwrecks in the Deep Gulf of Mexico

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shank, T. M.; Hsing, P.; Carney, R. S.; Herrera, S.; Heyl, T.; Munro, C.; Bors, E.; Kiene, W.; Vecchione, M.; Evans, A.; Irion, J.; Warren, D.; Malik, M.; Lobecker, M.; Potter, J.

    2012-12-01

    Between March 20 and April 6, 2012, the NOAA Ship Okeanos Explorer served as a platform for ship-board and shore-side scientists to explore the deep Gulf of Mexico, targeting the northern West Florida Escarpment, DeSoto Canyon, the vicinity (within 11km) of the Deepwater Horizon (DWH) well, and deepwater shipwrecks. We systematically explored and discovered natural hydrocarbon seeps, diverse coral ecosystems, wooden and iron-hulled shipwrecks more than 100 years old colonized by coral communities, and sperm whale habitat between 600 and 1200m. A total of sixteen dives took advantage of new and recent maps to explore and groundtruth both hard and soft-bottom habitats, from cretaceous carbonates to mounds of coral rubble. The final ROV dive successfully groundtruthed expected methane-release areas imaged by the ship's mapping systems up to 1150m above the seafloor. The source of the mapping imagery was a stream of bubbles issuing from beneath thriving seep mussel communities. We visited five sites in the Mississippi Canyon (MC) area (lease blocks MC294, MC297, MC388, MC255, and MC036; the DWH incident took place in MC252). These sites were 11.3 km SW, 6.8 km SW, 7.6 km SW, 25.7 km E, and 27.4 km to the NE of the DWH, respectively. We used high-definition imaging systems on the Little Hercules ROV and Seirios camera platform to document more than 130 coral colonies and over 400 associated individual animals to continue to assessing the impact of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. All of these efforts were conducted to provide fundamental knowledge of unknown and poorly known regions, ecosystems, and items of historical significance in the deep Gulf of Mexico.

  19. NOAA's Coral Reef Conservation Program: 2016 projects to address coral reef conservation issues

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — In 2016 the following projects will take place to address aspects of coral reef conservation: Enhancing Management of Pacific ESA-listed Corals with Improved Utility...

  20. EOP Settlement colonization and succession patterns of gold coral Kulamana haumeaae in Hawaiian deep coral assemblages

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — Relational tabular data on corals relevant to the parasitic life history of gold coral. Surveys conducted throughout the Hawaiian Archipelago with attention on...

  1. Constraints on deformation of the Southern Andes since the Cretaceous from anisotropy of magnetic susceptibility

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maffione, Marco; Hernandez-Moreno, Catalina; Ghiglione, Matias C.; Speranza, Fabio; van Hinsbergen, Douwe J. J.; Lodolo, Emanuele

    2015-12-01

    The southernmost segment of the Andean Cordillera underwent a complex deformation history characterized by alternation of contractional, extensional, and strike-slip tectonics. Key elements of southern Andean deformation that remain poorly constrained, include the origin of the orogenic bend known as the Patagonian Orocline (here renamed as Patagonian Arc), and the exhumation mechanism of an upper amphibolite facies metamorphic complex currently exposed in Cordillera Darwin. Here, we present results of anisotropy of magnetic susceptibility (AMS) from 22 sites in Upper Cretaceous to upper Eocene sedimentary rocks within the internal structural domain of the Magallanes fold-and-thrust belt in Tierra del Fuego (Argentina). AMS parameters from most sites reveal a weak tectonic overprint of the original magnetic fabric, which was likely acquired upon layer-parallel shortening soon after sedimentation. Magnetic lineation from 17 sites is interpreted to have formed during compressive tectonic phases associated to a continuous N-S contraction. Our data, combined with the existing AMS database from adjacent areas, show that the Early Cretaceous-late Oligocene tectonic phases in the Southern Andes yielded continuous contraction, variable from E-W in the Patagonian Andes to N-S in the Fuegian Andes, which defined a radial strain field. A direct implication is that the exhumation of the Cordillera Darwin metamorphic complex occurred under compressive, rather than extensional or strike-slip tectonics, as alternatively proposed. If we agree with recent works considering the curved Magallanes fold-and-thrust belt as a primary arc (i.e., no relative vertical-axis rotation of the limbs occurs during its formation), then other mechanisms different from oroclinal bending should be invoked to explain the documented radial strain field. We tentatively propose a kinematic model in which reactivation of variably oriented Jurassic faults at the South American continental margin controlled

  2. Astronomically Forced Hydrology of the Late Cretaceous Sub-tropical Potosí Basin, Bolivia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tasistro-Hart, A.; Maloof, A. C.; Schoene, B.; Eddy, M. P.

    2017-12-01

    Orbital forcings paced the ice ages of the Pleistocene, demonstrating that periodic variations in the latitudinal distribution of insolation amplified by ice-albedo feedbacks can guide global climate. How these forcings operate in the hot-houses that span most of the planet's history, however, is unknown. The lacustrine El Molino formation of the late Cretaceous-early Paleogene Potosí Basin in present-day Bolivia contains carbonate-mud parasequences that record fluctuating hydrological conditions from 73 to 63 Ma. This study presents the first cyclostratigraphic analysis using high-resolution drone-derived imagery and 3D elevation models, combined with conventional stratigraphic measurements and magnetic susceptibility data. The drone-derived data are integrated over the entire outcrop at two field areas using a novel application of stratigraphic potential field modeling that increases signal-to-noise ratios prior to spectral analysis. We demonstrate that these parasequences exhibit significant periodicities consistent with eccentricity (400 and 100 kyr), obliquity (50 kyr, 40 kyr, and 29 kyr), precession (17-23 kyr), and semi-precession (9-11 kyr). New U-Pb ID-TIMS zircon ages from intercalacted ash beds corroborate the interpreted sedimentation rates at two sites, indicating that the Potosí Basin contains evidence for hot-house astronomical forcing of sub-tropical lacustrine hydrology. Global climate simulations of late Cretaceous orbital end-member configurations demonstrate precessional-eccentricity and obliquity driven modulation of basin hydrology. In model simulations, the forcings drive long-term shifts in the location of the intertropical convergence zone, changing precipitation along the northern extent of the Potosí Basin's catchment area. This study is the first to demonstrate orbital forcing of a lacustrine system during the Maastrichtian and could ultimately contribute to a precise age for the Cretaceous-Paleogene boundary.

  3. A Triassic to Cretaceous Sundaland-Pacific subduction margin in West Sarawak, Borneo

    Science.gov (United States)

    Breitfeld, H. Tim; Hall, Robert; Galin, Thomson; Forster, Margaret A.; BouDagher-Fadel, Marcelle K.

    2017-01-01

    Metamorphic rocks in West Sarawak are poorly exposed and studied. They were previously assumed to be pre-Carboniferous basement but had never been dated. New 40Ar/39Ar ages from white mica in quartz-mica schists reveal metamorphism between c. 216 to 220 Ma. The metamorphic rocks are associated with Triassic acid and basic igneous rocks, which indicate widespread magmatism. New U-Pb dating of zircons from the Jagoi Granodiorite indicates Triassic magmatism at c. 208 Ma and c. 240 Ma. U-Pb dating of zircons from volcaniclastic sediments of the Sadong and Kuching Formations confirms contemporaneous volcanism. The magmatic activity is interpreted to represent a Triassic subduction margin in westernmost West Sarawak with sediments deposited in a forearc basin derived from the magmatic arc at the Sundaland-Pacific margin. West Sarawak and NW Kalimantan are underlain by continental crust that was already part of Sundaland or accreted to Sundaland in the Triassic. One metabasite sample, also previously assumed to be pre-Carboniferous basement, yielded Early Cretaceous 40Ar/39Ar ages. They are interpreted to indicate resumption of subduction which led to deposition of volcaniclastic sediments and widespread magmatism. U-Pb ages from detrital zircons in the Cretaceous Pedawan Formation are similar to those from the Schwaner granites of NW Kalimantan, and the Pedawan Formation is interpreted as part of a Cretaceous forearc basin containing material eroded from a magmatic arc that extended from Vietnam to west Borneo. The youngest U-Pb ages from zircons in a tuff layer from the uppermost part of the Pedawan Formation indicate that volcanic activity continued until c. 86 to 88 Ma when subduction terminated.

  4. Bottlenecks to coral recovery in the Seychelles

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chong-Seng, K. M.; Graham, N. A. J.; Pratchett, M. S.

    2014-06-01

    Processes that affect recovery of coral assemblages require investigation because coral reefs are experiencing a diverse array of more frequent disturbances. Potential bottlenecks to coral recovery include limited larval supply, low rates of settlement, and high mortality of new recruits or juvenile corals. We investigated spatial variation in local abundance of scleractinian corals in the Seychelles at three distinct life history stages (recruits, juveniles, and adults) on reefs with differing benthic conditions. Following widespread coral loss due to the 1998 bleaching event, some reefs are recovering (i.e., relatively high scleractinian coral cover: `coral-dominated'), some reefs have low cover of living macrobenthos and unconsolidated rubble substrates (`rubble-dominated'), and some reefs have high cover of macroalgae (`macroalgal-dominated'). Rates of coral recruitment to artificial settlement tiles were similar across all reef conditions, suggesting that larval supply does not explain differential coral recovery across the three reef types. However, acroporid recruits were absent on macroalgal-dominated reefs (0.0 ± 0.0 recruits tile-1) in comparison to coral-dominated reefs (5.2 ± 1.6 recruits tile-1). Juvenile coral colony density was significantly lower on macroalgal-dominated reefs (2.4 ± 1.1 colonies m-2), compared to coral-dominated reefs (16.8 ± 2.4 m-2) and rubble-dominated reefs (33.1 ± 7.3 m-2), suggesting that macroalgal-dominated reefs have either a bottleneck to successful settlement on the natural substrates or a high post-settlement mortality bottleneck. Rubble-dominated reefs had very low cover of adult corals (10.0 ± 1.7 %) compared to coral-dominated reefs (33.4 ± 3.6 %) despite no statistical difference in their juvenile coral densities. A bottleneck caused by low juvenile colony survivorship on unconsolidated rubble-dominated reefs is possible, or alternatively, recruitment to rubble-dominated reefs has only recently begun. This

  5. Paleolatitudes of the Tibetan Himalaya from primary and secondary magnetizations of Jurassic to Lower Cretaceous sedimentary rocks

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huang, Wentao; van Hinsbergen, Douwe J. J.; Dekkers, Mark J.; Garzanti, Eduardo; Dupont-Nivet, Guillaume; Lippert, Peter C.; Li, Xiaochun; Maffione, Marco; Langereis, Cor G.; Hu, Xiumian; Guo, Zhaojie; Kapp, Paul

    2015-01-01

    The Tibetan Himalaya represents the northernmost continental unit of the Indian plate that collided with Asia in the Cenozoic. Paleomagnetic studies on the Tibetan Himalaya can help constrain the dimension and paleogeography of "Greater India," the Indian plate lithosphere that subducted and underthrusted below Asia after initial collision. Here we present a paleomagnetic investigation of a Jurassic (limestones) and Lower Cretaceous (volcaniclastic sandstones) section of the Tibetan Himalaya. The limestones yielded positive fold test, showing a prefolding origin of the isolated remanent magnetizations. Detailed paleomagnetic analyses, rock magnetic tests, end-member modeling of acquisition curves of isothermal remanent magnetization, and petrographic investigation reveal that the magnetic carrier of the Jurassic limestones is authigenic magnetite, whereas the dominant magnetic carrier of the Lower Cretaceous volcaniclastic sandstones is detrital magnetite. Our observations lead us to conclude that the Jurassic limestones record a prefolding remagnetization, whereas the Lower Cretaceous volcaniclastic sandstones retain a primary remanence. The volcaniclastic sandstones yield an Early Cretaceous paleolatitude of 55.5°S [52.5°S, 58.6°S] for the Tibetan Himalaya, suggesting it was part of the Indian continent at that time. The size of "Greater India" during Jurassic time cannot be estimated from these limestones. Instead, a paleolatitude of the Tibetan Himalaya of 23.8°S [21.8°S, 26.1°S] during the remagnetization process is suggested. It is likely that the remagnetization, caused by the oxidation of early diagenetic pyrite to magnetite, was induced during 103-83 or 77-67 Ma. The inferred paleolatitudes at these two time intervals imply very different tectonic consequences for the Tibetan Himalaya.

  6. Investigations of a Cretaceous limestone with spectral induced polarization and scanning electron microscopy

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Johansson, Sara; Sparrembom, Charlotte; Fiandaca, Gianluca

    2017-01-01

    limestone was carried out in the Kristianstad basin, Sweden. The time domain IP data was processed with a recently developed method in order to suppress noise from the challenging urban setting in the survey area. The processing also enabled extraction of early decay times resulting in broader spectra...... in early time ranges for bedrock characterization. The inverted sections showed variations within the limestone that could be caused by variations in texture and composition. Samples from a deep drilling in the Kristianstad basin were investigated with scanning electron microscopy and energy dispersive X......Characterization of varying bedrock properties is a common need in various contexts, ranging from large infrastructure pre-investigations to environmental protection. A direct current resistivity and time domain induced polarization (IP) survey aiming to characterize properties of a Cretaceous...

  7. Coral mucus fuels the sponge loop in warm- and cold-water coral reef ecosystems

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Rix, L.; de Goeij, J.M.; Mueller, C.E.; Struck, U.; Middelburg, J.J.; van Duyl, F.C.; Al-Horani, F.A.; Wild, C.; Naumann, M.S.; Van Oevelen, D.

    2016-01-01

    Shallow warm-water and deep-sea cold-water corals engineer the coral reef framework and fertilize reef communities by releasing coral mucus, a source of reef dissolved organic matter (DOM). By transforming DOM into particulate detritus, sponges play a key role in transferring the energy and

  8. Marine reptiles from the Late Cretaceous of northern Patagonia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gasparini, Z.; Casadio, S.; Fernández, M.; Salgado, L.

    2001-04-01

    During the Campanian-Maastrichtian, Patagonia was flooded by the Atlantic and reduced to an archipelago. Several localities of northern Patagonia have yielded marine reptiles. Analysis of several assemblages suggests that the diversity and abundance of pelagic marine reptiles in northern Patagonia was higher by the end of the Cretaceous than previously thought. Several plesiosaurids, including Aristonectes parvidens and the polycotylid Sulcusuchus, and the first remains of mosasaurinae have been found. The Cretaceous marine reptile record from South America is scanty. Nevertheless, materials described here suggest that Tethyan and Weddelian forms converged in northern Patagonia, as seen with invertebrates.

  9. Beneficial Microorganisms for Corals (BMC): Proposed Mechanisms for Coral Health and Resilience.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peixoto, Raquel S; Rosado, Phillipe M; Leite, Deborah Catharine de Assis; Rosado, Alexandre S; Bourne, David G

    2017-01-01

    The symbiotic association between the coral animal and its endosymbiotic dinoflagellate partner Symbiodinium is central to the success of corals. However, an array of other microorganisms associated with coral (i.e., Bacteria, Archaea, Fungi, and viruses) have a complex and intricate role in maintaining homeostasis between corals and Symbiodinium . Corals are sensitive to shifts in the surrounding environmental conditions. One of the most widely reported responses of coral to stressful environmental conditions is bleaching. During this event, corals expel Symbiodinium cells from their gastrodermal tissues upon experiencing extended seawater temperatures above their thermal threshold. An array of other environmental stressors can also destabilize the coral microbiome, resulting in compromised health of the host, which may include disease and mortality in the worst scenario. However, the exact mechanisms by which the coral microbiome supports coral health and increases resilience are poorly understood. Earlier studies of coral microbiology proposed a coral probiotic hypothesis, wherein a dynamic relationship exists between corals and their symbiotic microorganisms, selecting for the coral holobiont that is best suited for the prevailing environmental conditions. Here, we discuss the microbial-host relationships within the coral holobiont, along with their potential roles in maintaining coral health. We propose the term BMC (Beneficial Microorganisms for Corals) to define (specific) symbionts that promote coral health. This term and concept are analogous to the term Plant Growth Promoting Rhizosphere (PGPR), which has been widely explored and manipulated in the agricultural industry for microorganisms that inhabit the rhizosphere and directly or indirectly promote plant growth and development through the production of regulatory signals, antibiotics and nutrients. Additionally, we propose and discuss the potential mechanisms of the effects of BMC on corals, suggesting

  10. Algae as reservoirs for coral pathogens.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Michael J Sweet

    Full Text Available Benthic algae are associated with coral death in the form of stress and disease. It's been proposed that they release exudates, which facilitate invasion of potentially pathogenic microbes at the coral-algal interface, resulting in coral disease. However, the original source of these pathogens remains unknown. This study examined the ability of benthic algae to act as reservoirs of coral pathogens by characterizing surface associated microbes associated with major Caribbean and Indo-Pacific algal species/types and by comparing them to potential pathogens of two dominant coral diseases: White Syndrome (WS in the Indo-Pacific and Yellow Band Disease (YBD in the Caribbean. Coral and algal sampling was conducted simultaneously at the same sites to avoid spatial effects. Potential pathogens were defined as those absent or rare in healthy corals, increasing in abundance in healthy tissues adjacent to a disease lesion, and dominant in disease lesions. Potentially pathogenic bacteria were detected in both WS and YBD and were also present within the majority of algal species/types (54 and 100% for WS and YBD respectively. Pathogenic ciliates were associated only with WS and not YBD lesions and these were also present in 36% of the Indo-Pacific algal species. Although potential pathogens were associated with many algal species, their presence was inconsistent among replicate algal samples and detection rates were relatively low, suggestive of low density and occurrence. At the community level, coral-associated microbes irrespective of the health of their host differed from algal-associated microbes, supporting that algae and corals have distinctive microbial communities associated with their tissue. We conclude that benthic algae are common reservoirs for a variety of different potential coral pathogens. However, algal-associated microbes alone are unlikely to cause coral death. Initial damage or stress to the coral via other competitive mechanisms is

  11. The age and diversification of terrestrial New World ecosystems through Cretaceous and Cenozoic time.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Graham, Alan

    2011-03-01

    Eight ecosystems that were present in the Cretaceous about 100 Ma (million years ago) in the New World eventually developed into the 12 recognized for the modern Earth. Among the forcing mechanisms that drove biotic change during this interval was a decline in global temperatures toward the end of the Cretaceous, augmented by the asteroid impact at 65 Ma and drainage of seas from continental margins and interiors; separation of South America from Africa beginning in the south at ca. 120 Ma and progressing northward until completed 90-100 Ma; the possible emission of 1500 gigatons of methane and CO(2) attributed to explosive vents in the Norwegian Sea at ca. 55 Ma, resulting in a temperature rise of 5°-6°C in an already warm world; disruption of the North Atlantic land bridge at ca. 45 Ma at a time when temperatures were falling; rise of the Andes Mountains beginning at ca. 40 Ma; opening of the Drake Passage between South America and Antarctica at ca. 32 Ma with formation of the cold Humboldt at ca. 30 Ma; union of North and South America at ca. 3.5 Ma; and all within the overlay of evolutionary processes. These processes generated a sequence of elements (e.g., species growing in moist habitats within an overall dry environment; gallery forests), early versions (e.g., mangrove communities without Rhizophora until the middle Eocene), and essentially modern versions of present-day New World ecosystems. As a first approximation, the fossil record suggests that early versions of aquatic communities (in the sense of including a prominent angiosperm component) appeared early in the Middle to Late Cretaceous, the lowland neotropical rainforest at 64 Ma (well developed by 58-55 Ma), shrubland/chaparral-woodland-savanna and grasslands around the middle Miocene climatic optimum at ca. 15-13 Ma, deserts in the middle Miocene/early Pliocene at ca. 10 Ma, significant tundra at ca. 7-5 Ma, and alpine tundra (páramo) shortly thereafter when cooling temperatures were augmented

  12. Amorphous calcium carbonate particles form coral skeletons

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mass, Tali; Giuffre, Anthony J.; Sun, Chang-Yu; Stifler, Cayla A.; Frazier, Matthew J.; Neder, Maayan; Tamura, Nobumichi; Stan, Camelia V.; Marcus, Matthew A.; Gilbert, Pupa U. P. A.

    2017-09-01

    Do corals form their skeletons by precipitation from solution or by attachment of amorphous precursor particles as observed in other minerals and biominerals? The classical model assumes precipitation in contrast with observed “vital effects,” that is, deviations from elemental and isotopic compositions at thermodynamic equilibrium. Here, we show direct spectromicroscopy evidence in Stylophora pistillata corals that two amorphous precursors exist, one hydrated and one anhydrous amorphous calcium carbonate (ACC); that these are formed in the tissue as 400-nm particles; and that they attach to the surface of coral skeletons, remain amorphous for hours, and finally, crystallize into aragonite (CaCO3). We show in both coral and synthetic aragonite spherulites that crystal growth by attachment of ACC particles is more than 100 times faster than ion-by-ion growth from solution. Fast growth provides a distinct physiological advantage to corals in the rigors of the reef, a crowded and fiercely competitive ecosystem. Corals are affected by warming-induced bleaching and postmortem dissolution, but the finding here that ACC particles are formed inside tissue may make coral skeleton formation less susceptible to ocean acidification than previously assumed. If this is how other corals form their skeletons, perhaps this is how a few corals survived past CO2 increases, such as the Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum that occurred 56 Mya.

  13. A too acid world for coral reefs

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Allemand, D.; Reynaud, St.; Salvat, B.

    2010-01-01

    While briefly presenting how corals grow and exchange with their environment and after having recalled that temperature increase was already a threat for them, this article outlines that ocean acidification is now considered as another danger. This acidification is due to the dissolution in sea water of CO 2 produced by human activities. This entails a slower calcification which is the process by which corals grow their skeleton. But, some researches showed that some corals manage to survive normally in such acid conditions, and even without skeleton for some other species. Anyhow, coral reefs will tend to disappear with environmental and socio-economical consequences

  14. Cyanobacteria in Coral Reef Ecosystems: A Review

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    L. Charpy

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Cyanobacteria have dominated marine environments and have been reef builders on Earth for more than three million years (myr. Cyanobacteria still play an essential role in modern coral reef ecosystems by forming a major component of epiphytic, epilithic, and endolithic communities as well as of microbial mats. Cyanobacteria are grazed by reef organisms and also provide nitrogen to the coral reef ecosystems through nitrogen fixation. Recently, new unicellular cyanobacteria that express nitrogenase were found in the open ocean and in coral reef lagoons. Furthermore, cyanobacteria are important in calcification and decalcification. All limestone surfaces have a layer of boring algae in which cyanobacteria often play a dominant role. Cyanobacterial symbioses are abundant in coral reefs; the most common hosts are sponges and ascidians. Cyanobacteria use tactics beyond space occupation to inhibit coral recruitment. Cyanobacteria can also form pathogenic microbial consortia in association with other microbes on living coral tissues, causing coral tissue lysis and death, and considerable declines in coral reefs. In deep lagoons, coccoid cyanobacteria are abundant and are grazed by ciliates, heteroflagellates, and the benthic coral reef community. Cyanobacteria produce metabolites that act as attractants for some species and deterrents for some grazers of the reef communities.

  15. Biological impacts of oil pollution: coral reefs

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Knap, A H [Bermuda Biological Station, Ferry Reach (Bermuda)

    1992-01-01

    Coral reefs are the largest structures made by living things and exist as extremely productive ecosystems in tropical and sub-tropical areas of the world. Their location in nearshore waters means that there is a potential danger to corals from tanker accidents, refinery operations, oil exploration and production. There are now a number of published scientific papers concerning the effects of oils on corals. This report summarises and interprets the findings, and provides background information on the structure and ecology of coral reefs. Clean-up options and their implications are discussed in the light of the latest evidence from case histories and field experiments. (author)

  16. The Rise of Flowering Plants and Land Surface Physics: The Cretaceous and Eocene Were Different

    Science.gov (United States)

    Upchurch, G. R.; Feild, T.

    2010-12-01

    The Cretaceous and Eocene have served as the poster children of past greenhouse climates. One difference between the two time periods is that angiosperms (flowering plants) underwent a major diversification and rise to dominance during the mid-Cretaceous to Paleocene. Flowering plants differ from all other living and fossil plants in having significantly higher rates of transpiration and photosynthesis, which in modern leaves correlate with the density of venation (Dv), a feature that can be measured directly from fossils. This increase in Dv, coupled with an increase in the abundance of angiosperms, is thought to have had major impact on the climate system. This is, in part, because transpiration plays an important role in determining the ratio of sensible to latent heat flux from the land surface and in determining precipitation rate in regions such as the equatorial rainforest. Analysis of Dv in fossil leaves indicates two phases of increase in transpiration rate for angiosperms during the Cretaceous-Paleocene. The oldest known angiosperms (Aptian-early Albian) have a low Dv characteristic of extant and fossil ferns and gymnosperms. At this time angiosperms are low-stature plants of minor importance in terms of relative abundance and diversity (ferns, and maximum Dv reaches levels characteristic of many trees from the temperate zone. This first phase coincides with the first local dominance of angiosperms, the first occurrence of moderate to large angiosperm trees (up to 1 m in diameter) , and the first common occurrence of angiosperms in the Arctic. The second phase of Dv increase occurs during the Maastrichtian to Paleocene, where average Dv reaches levels characteristic of modern tropical forests and maximum Dv reaches the level found in highly productive modern vegetation. This second phase coincides with the rise to dominance of angiosperms in regional vegetation, a corresponding decline of conifers and ferns, and the modernization of hydraulic architecture

  17. Tectonostratigraphic reconstruction Cretaceous volcano-sedimentary in the northwestern Andes: from extensional tectonics to arc accretion.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zapata, S.; Patino, A. M.; Cardona, A.; Mejia, D.; Leon, S.; Jaramillo, J. S.; Valencia, V.; Parra, M.; Hincapie, S.

    2014-12-01

    Active continental margins characterized by continuous convergence experienced overimposed tectonic configurations that allowed the formation of volcanic arcs, back arc basins, transtensional divergent tectonics or the accretion of exotic volcanic terranes. Such record, particularly the extensional phases, can be partially destroyed and obscure by multiple deformational events, the accretion of exotic terranes and strike slip fragmentation along the margin. The tectonic evolution of the northern Andes during the Mesozoic is the result of post Pangea extension followed by the installation of a long-lived Jurassic volcanic arc (209 - 136 ma) that apparently stops between 136 Ma and 110 Ma. The Quebradagrande Complex has been define as a single Lower Cretaceous volcano-sedimentary unit exposed in the western flank of the Central Cordillera of the Colombian Andes that growth after the Late Jurassic to Early Cretaceous magmatic hiatus. The origin of this unit have been related either to an oceanic volcanic arc or a marginal basin environment. The existence of such contrasting models reflect the regional perspective followed in published studies and the paucity of detail analysis of the volcano-sedimentary sequences.We integrate multiple approaches including structural mapping, stratigraphy, geochemistry, U-Pb provenance and geochronology to improve the understanding of this unit and track the earlier phases of accumulation that are mask on the overimposed tectonic history. Our preliminary results suggest the existence of different volcano-sedimentary units that accumulated between 100 Ma and 82 Ma.The older Lower Cretaceous sequences was deposited over Triassic metamorphic continental crust and include a upward basin deepening record characterized by thick fan delta conglomerates, followed by distal turbidites and a syn-sedimentary volcanic record at 100 ma. The other sequence include a 85 - 82 Ma fringing arc that was also formed close to the continental margin or

  18. Isotopic evaluation of ocean circulation in the Late Cretaceous North American seaway

    Science.gov (United States)

    Coulson, Alan B.; Kohn, Matthew J.; Barrick, Reese E.

    2011-12-01

    During the mid- and Late Cretaceous period, North America was split by the north-south oriented Western Interior Seaway. Its role in creating and maintaining Late Cretaceous global greenhouse conditions remains unclear. Different palaeoceanographic reconstructions portray diverse circulation patterns. The southward extent of relatively cool, low-salinity, low-δ18O surface waters critically distinguishes among these models, but past studies of invertebrates could not independently assess water temperature and isotopic compositions. Here we present oxygen isotopes in biophosphate from coeval marine turtle and fish fossils from western Kansas, representing the east central seaway, and from the Mississippi embayment, representing the marginal Tethys Ocean. Our analyses yield precise seawater isotopic values and geographic temperature differences during the main transition from the Coniacian to the early Campanian age (87-82 Myr), and indicate that the seaway oxygen isotope value and salinity were 2‰ and 3‰ lower, respectively, than in the marginal Tethys Ocean. We infer that the influence of northern freshwater probably reached as far south as Kansas. Our revised values imply relatively large temperature differences between the Mississippi embayment and central seaway, explain the documented regional latitudinal palaeobiogeographic zonation and support models with relatively little inflow of surface waters from the Tethys Ocean to the Western Interior Seaway.

  19. The Lower Cretaceous Way Group of northern Chile: An alluvial fan-fan delta complex

    Science.gov (United States)

    Flint, S.; Clemmey, H.; Turner, P.

    1986-01-01

    Alluvial fan sediments of the Lower Cretaceous Coloso Basin in northern Chile were deposited in a half-graben and derived from andesitic volcanics of a former island arc. Transport directions were towards the east, away from the present-day Peru-Chile trench. Grain flow, density modified grain flow and sheetflow processes were responsible for most of the sediment deposition with cohesive debris flows playing only a minor part. An early phase of conglomerate deposition (Coloso Formation) into a restricted basin records the transition from proximal fan facies with abundant grain flows and remobilized screes to mid-fan facies dominated by sheetflows. Stratiform copper mineralization near the top of the lower conglomerates is related to the unroofing of the Jurassic island arc. This mineralization comprises copper sulphide-cemented sands and gravels and formed by the reaction of mineralized detritus with diagenetic and hydrothermal solutions. A later phase of deposition (Lombriz Formation) includes sandstones, siltstones and conglomerates with a source area different from the Coloso Formation. This change in source may be related to strike-slip tectonics as the basin extended. The Lombriz conglomerates pass distally (eastwards) into red sandstones and purple siltstones with thin limestones deposited under marine conditions. This sequence is interpreted as a major fan delta complex. It passes conformably into marine carbonates of the Tableado Formation signifying the complete drowning of the basin in lower Cretaceous times.

  20. Uranium distribution and sandstone depositional environments: oligocene and upper Cretaceous sediments, Cheyenne basin, Colorado

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Nibbelink, K.A.; Ethridge, F.G.

    1984-01-01

    Wyoming-type roll-front uranium deposits occur in the Upper Cretaceous Laramie and Fox Hills sandstones in the Cheyenne basin of northeastern Colorado. The location, geometry, and trend of specific depositional environments of the Oligocene White River and the Upper Cretaceous Laramie and Fox Hills formations are important factors that control the distribution of uranium in these sandstones. The Fox Hills Sandstone consists of up to 450 ft (140 m) of nearshore marine wave-dominated delta and barrier island-tidal channel sandstones which overlie offshore deposits of the Pierre Shale and which are overlain by delta-plain and fluvial deposits of the Laramie Formation. Uranium, which probably originated from volcanic ash in the White River Formation, was transported by groundwater through the fluvial-channel deposits of the White River into the sandstones of the Laramie and Fox Hills formations where it was precipitated. Two favorable depositional settings for uranium mineralization in the Fox Hills Sandstone are: (1) the landward side of barrier-island deposits where barrier sandstones thin and interfinger with back-barrier organic mudstones, and (2) the intersection of barrier-island and tidal channel sandstones. In both settings, sandstones were probably reduced during early burial by diagenesis of contained and adjacent organic matter. The change in permeability trends between the depositional strike-oriented barrier sandstones and the dip-oriented tidal-channel sandstones provided sites for dispersed groundwater flow and, as demonstrated in similar settings in other depositional systems, sites for uranium mineralization

  1. The bivalve Anopaea (Inoceramidae) from the Upper Jurassic-lowermost Cretaceous of Mexico

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zell, Patrick; Crame, J. Alistair; Stinnesbeck, Wolfgang; Beckmann, Seija

    2015-07-01

    In Mexico, the Upper Jurassic to lowermost Cretaceous La Casita and coeval La Caja and La Pimienta formations are well-known for their abundant and well-preserved marine vertebrates and invertebrates. The latter include conspicuous inoceramid bivalves of the genus Anopaea not formally described previously from Mexico. Anopaea bassei (Lecolle de Cantú, 1967), Anopaea cf. stoliczkai (Holdhaus, 1913), Anopaea cf. callistoensis Crame and Kelly, 1995 and Anopaea sp. are rare constituents in distinctive Tithonian-lower Berriasian levels of the La Caja Formation and one Tithonian horizon of the La Pimienta Formation. Anopaea bassei was previously documented from the Tithonian of central Mexico and Cuba, while most other members of Anopaea described here are only known from southern high latitudes. The Mexican assemblage also includes taxa which closely resemble Anopaea stoliczkai from the Tithonian of India, Indonesia and the Antarctic Peninsula, and Anopaea callistoensis from the late Tithonian to ?early Berriasian of the Antarctic Peninsula. Our new data expand the palaeogeographical distribution of the high latitude Anopaea to the Gulf of Mexico region and substantiate faunal exchange, in the Late Jurassic-earliest Cretaceous, between Mexico and the Antarctic Realm.

  2. Diversification of Rosaceae since the Late Cretaceous based on plastid phylogenomics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Shu-Dong; Jin, Jian-Jun; Chen, Si-Yun; Chase, Mark W; Soltis, Douglas E; Li, Hong-Tao; Yang, Jun-Bo; Li, De-Zhu; Yi, Ting-Shuang

    2017-05-01

    Phylogenetic relationships in Rosaceae have long been problematic because of frequent hybridisation, apomixis and presumed rapid radiation, and their historical diversification has not been clarified. With 87 genera representing all subfamilies and tribes of Rosaceae and six of the other eight families of Rosales (outgroups), we analysed 130 newly sequenced plastomes together with 12 from GenBank in an attempt to reconstruct deep relationships and reveal temporal diversification of this family. Our results highlight the importance of improving sequence alignment and the use of appropriate substitution models in plastid phylogenomics. Three subfamilies and 16 tribes (as previously delimited) were strongly supported as monophyletic, and their relationships were fully resolved and strongly supported at most nodes. Rosaceae were estimated to have originated during the Late Cretaceous with evidence for rapid diversification events during several geological periods. The major lineages rapidly diversified in warm and wet habits during the Late Cretaceous, and the rapid diversification of genera from the early Oligocene onwards occurred in colder and drier environments. Plastid phylogenomics offers new and important insights into deep phylogenetic relationships and the diversification history of Rosaceae. The robust phylogenetic backbone and time estimates we provide establish a framework for future comparative studies on rosaceous evolution. © 2017 The Authors. New Phytologist © 2017 New Phytologist Trust.

  3. A new pterosaur (Pterodactyloidea: Azhdarchidae from the Upper Cretaceous of Morocco.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nizar Ibrahim

    Full Text Available The Kem Kem beds in South Eastern Morocco contain a rich early Upper (or possibly late Lower Cretaceous vertebrate assemblage. Fragmentary remains, predominantly teeth and jaw tips, represent several kinds of pterosaur although only one species, the ornithocheirid Coloborhynchus moroccensis, has been named. Here, we describe a new azhdarchid pterosaur, Alanqa saharica nov. gen. nov. sp., based on an almost complete well preserved mandibular symphysis from Aferdou N'Chaft. We assign additional fragmentary jaw remains, some of which have been tentatively identified as azhdarchid and pteranodontid, to this new taxon which is distinguished from other azhdarchids by a remarkably straight, elongate, lance-shaped mandibular symphysis that bears a pronounced dorsal eminence near the posterior end of its dorsal (occlusal surface. Most remains, including the holotype, represent individuals of approximately three to four meters in wingspan, but a fragment of a large cervical vertebra, that probably also belongs to A. saharica, suggests that wingspans of six meters were achieved in this species. The Kem Kem beds have yielded the most diverse pterosaur assemblage yet reported from Africa and provide the first clear evidence for the presence of azhdarchids in Gondwana at the start of the Late Cretaceous. This, the relatively large size achieved by Alanqa, and the additional evidence of variable jaw morphology in azhdarchids provided by this taxon, indicates a longer and more complex history for this clade than previously suspected.

  4. Surviving in a marine desert: The sponge loop retains resources within coral reefs

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    de Goeij, J.M.; van Oevelen, D.; Vermeij, M.J.A.; Osinga , R.; Middelburg, J.J.; de Goeij, A.F.P.M.; Admiraal, W.

    2013-01-01

    Ever since Darwin’s early descriptions of coral reefs, scientists have debated how one of the world’s most productive and diverse ecosystems can thrive in the marine equivalent of a desert. It is an enigma how the flux of dissolved organic matter (DOM), the largest resource produced on reefs, is

  5. Surviving in a marine desert: the sponge loop retains resources within coral reefs

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    de Goei, J.M.; van Oevelen, D.; Vermeij, M.J.A.; Osinga, R.; Middelburg, J.J.; de Goei, A.F.P.M.; Admiraal, W.

    2013-01-01

    Ever since Darwin’s early descriptions of coral reefs, scientists have debated how one of the world’s most productive and diverse ecosystems can thrive in the marine equivalent of a desert. It is an enigma how the flux of dissolved organic matter (DOM), the largest resource produced on reefs, is

  6. The status of coral reef ecology research in the Red Sea

    KAUST Repository

    Berumen, Michael L.; Hoey, Andrew; Bass, William H.; Bouwmeester, Jessica; Catania, Daniela; Cochran, Jesse; Khalil, Maha T.; Miyake, Sou; Mughal, Mehreen; Spaet, Julia L.Y.; Saenz Agudelo, Pablo

    2013-01-01

    The Red Sea has long been recognized as a region of high biodiversity and endemism. Despite this diversity and early history of scientific work, our understanding of the ecology of coral reefs in the Red Sea has lagged behind that of other large

  7. Effects of the 2000 southern Mozambique floods on a marginal coral ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    In early 2000 the southern part of Mozambique suffered the worst flooding in 50 years, causing fatalities and considerable material loss. This study aimed to investigate the impact of this flood on the coral communities in Xai-Xai lagoon. Benthic cover was assessed in January 2000 (before the floods) and September 2000 ...

  8. Demography and monitoring of Welsh's milkweed (Asclepias welshii) at Coral Pink Sand Dunes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brent C. Palmer; L. Armstrong

    2001-01-01

    Results are presented of a 12-year monitoring program on the Coral Pink Sand Dunes and Sand Hills populations of the threatened Welsh's milkweed, Asclepias welshii N & P Holmgren. The species is an early sera1 member of the dune flora, colonizing blowouts and advancing with shifting dunes. When an area stabilizes and other vegetation encroaches, A. welshii is...

  9. Surviving in a Marine Desert: The Sponge Loop Retains Resources Within Coral Reefs

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    de Goeij, J.M.; van Oevelen, D.; Vermeij, M.J.A.; Osinga, R.; Middelburg, J.J.; de Goeij, A.F.P.M.; Admiraal, W.

    2013-01-01

    Ever since Darwin’s early descriptions of coral reefs, scientists have debated how one of the world’s most productive and diverse ecosystems can thrive in the marine equivalent of a desert. It is an enigma how the flux of dissolved organic matter (DOM), the largest resource produced on reefs, is

  10. Coral diseases and bleaching on Colombian Caribbean coral reefs

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Raúl Navas-Camacho

    2010-05-01

    Full Text Available Since 1998 the National Monitoring System for the Coral Reefs of Colombia (SIMAC has monitored the occurrence of coral bleaching and diseases in some Colombian coral reefs (permanent stations at San Andres Island, Rosario Islands, Tayrona, San Bernardo Islands and Urabá. The main purpose is to evaluate their health status and to understand the factors that have been contributing to their decline. To estimate these occurrences, annual surveys in 126 permanent belt transects (10x2m with different depth intervals (3-6 meters, 9-12 meters and 15-18 meters are performed at all reef sites. Data from the 1998-2004 period, revealed that San Andrés Island had many colonies with diseases (38.9 colonies/m2, and Urabá had high numbers with bleaching (54.4 colonies/m2. Of the seven reported coral diseases studied, Dark Spots Disease (DSD, and White Plague Disease (WPD were noteworthy because they occurred in all Caribbean monitored sites, and because of their high interannual infection incidence. Thirty five species of scleractinian corals were affected by at least one disease and a high incidence of coral diseases on the main reef builders is documented. Bleaching was present in 34 species. During the whole monitoring period, Agaricia agaricites and Siderastrea siderea were the species most severely affected by DSD and bleaching, respectively. Diseases on species such as Agaricia fragilis, A.grahamae, A. humilis, Diploria clivosa, Eusmilia fastigiata, Millepora complanata, and Mycetophyllia aliciae are recorded for first time in Colombia. We present bleaching and disease incidences, kinds of diseases, coral species affected, reef localities studied, depth intervals of surveys, and temporal (years variation for each geographic area. This variation makes difficult to clearly determine defined patterns or general trends for monitored reefs. This is the first long-term study of coral diseases and bleaching in the Southwestern Caribbean, and one of the few

  11. Loss of live coral compromises predator-avoidance behaviour in coral reef damselfish.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boström-Einarsson, Lisa; Bonin, Mary C; Munday, Philip L; Jones, Geoffrey P

    2018-05-17

    Tropical reefs have experienced an unprecedented loss of live coral in the past few decades and the biodiversity of coral-dependent species is under threat. Many reef fish species decline in abundance as coral cover is lost, yet the mechanisms responsible for these losses are largely unknown. A commonly hypothesised cause of fish decline is the loss of shelter space between branches as dead corals become overgrown by algae. Here we tested this hypothesis by quantifying changes in predator-avoidance behaviour of a common damselfish, Pomacentrus moluccensis, before and after the death of their coral colony. Groups of P. moluccensis were placed on either healthy or degraded coral colonies, startled using a visual stimulus and their sheltering responses compared over a 7-week period. P. moluccensis stopped sheltering amongst the coral branches immediately following the death of the coral, despite the presence of ample shelter space. Instead, most individuals swam away from the dead coral, potentially increasing their exposure to predators. It appears that the presence of live coral rather than shelter per se is the necessary cue that elicits the appropriate behavioural response to potential predators. The disruption of this link poses an immediate threat to coral-associated fishes on degrading reefs.

  12. Competitive interactions between corals and turf algae depend on coral colony form.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Swierts, Thomas; Vermeij, Mark Ja

    2016-01-01

    Turf algae are becoming more abundant on coral reefs worldwide, but their effects on other benthic organisms remain poorly described. To describe the general characteristics of competitive interactions between corals and turf algae, we determined the occurrence and outcomes of coral-turf algal interactions among different coral growth forms (branching, upright, massive, encrusting, plating, and solitary) on a shallow reef in Vietnam. In total, the amount of turf algal interaction, i.e., the proportion of the coral boundary directly bordering turf algae, was quantified for 1,276 coral colonies belonging to 27 genera and the putative outcome of each interaction was noted. The amount of turf algal interaction and the outcome of these interactions differed predictably among the six growth forms. Encrusting corals interacted most often with turf algae, but also competed most successfully against turf algae. The opposite was observed for branching corals, which rarely interacted with turf algae and rarely won these competitive interactions. Including all other growth forms, a positive relationship was found between the amount of competitive interactions with neighboring turf algae and the percentage of such interaction won by the coral. This growth form dependent ability to outcompete turf algae was not only observed among coral species, but also among different growth forms in morphologically plastic coral genera (Acropora, Favia, Favites, Montastrea, Montipora, Porites) illustrating the general nature of this relationship.

  13. Climate change and coral reef bleaching: An ecological assessment of long-term impacts, recovery trends and future outlook

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baker, Andrew C.; Glynn, Peter W.; Riegl, Bernhard

    2008-12-01

    Since the early 1980s, episodes of coral reef bleaching and mortality, due primarily to climate-induced ocean warming, have occurred almost annually in one or more of the world's tropical or subtropical seas. Bleaching is episodic, with the most severe events typically accompanying coupled ocean-atmosphere phenomena, such as the El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO), which result in sustained regional elevations of ocean temperature. Using this extended dataset (25+ years), we review the short- and long-term ecological impacts of coral bleaching on reef ecosystems, and quantitatively synthesize recovery data worldwide. Bleaching episodes have resulted in catastrophic loss of coral cover in some locations, and have changed coral community structure in many others, with a potentially critical influence on the maintenance of biodiversity in the marine tropics. Bleaching has also set the stage for other declines in reef health, such as increases in coral diseases, the breakdown of reef framework by bioeroders, and the loss of critical habitat for associated reef fishes and other biota. Secondary ecological effects, such as the concentration of predators on remnant surviving coral populations, have also accelerated the pace of decline in some areas. Although bleaching severity and recovery have been variable across all spatial scales, some reefs have experienced relatively rapid recovery from severe bleaching impacts. There has been a significant overall recovery of coral cover in the Indian Ocean, where many reefs were devastated by a single large bleaching event in 1998. In contrast, coral cover on western Atlantic reefs has generally continued to decline in response to multiple smaller bleaching events and a diverse set of chronic secondary stressors. No clear trends are apparent in the eastern Pacific, the central-southern-western Pacific or the Arabian Gulf, where some reefs are recovering and others are not. The majority of survivors and new recruits on

  14. Late Cretaceous neosuchian crocodiles from the Sultanate of Oman

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Buscalioni, Angela D.; Schulp, Anne S.; Jagt, John W M; Hanna, Samir S.; Hartman, Axel Frans

    Two apparently new crocodilian taxa from the Late Cretaceous (Late Campanian-Maastrichtian) Al-Khod Conglomerate of the Sultanate of Oman are described. The fragmentary state of preservation precludes formal naming, yet enables comparisons to be made with other taxa. One is a short-snouted

  15. Noble metals in cretaceous/tertiary sediments from El Kef

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kuslys, M.; Kraehenbuehl, U.

    1983-01-01

    Sediments from El Kef, Tunisia, were analysed by RNAA for Au, Ir and Os. All three elements show a 10-20 fold enrichment at the Cretaceous/Tertiary boundary. This enrichment must be the result of the addition of material with a high concentration of noble metals. It is plausible that this exotic material has an extra-terrestrial origin. (orig.)

  16. Noble metals in Cretaceous/Tertiary sediments from El Kef

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kuslys, M.; Kraehenbuehl, U.

    1983-01-01

    Sediments from El Kef, Tunisia, were analysed by RNAA for Au, Ir and Os. All three elements show a 10-20 fold enrichment at the Cretaceous/Tertiary boundary. This enrichment must be the result of the addition of material with a high concentration of noble metals. It is plausible that this exotic material has an extraterrestrial origin. (orig.)

  17. Cretaceous magmatism in North-Eastern India and Gondwanaland ...

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    jsray

    Cretaceous magmatism of NEI: Major Objectives. • Age and duration of Sylhet Traps and its connection to Kerguelene hotspot and Gondwanaland breakup? • Age of carbonatite magmatism associated with the traps? • Relationship of basaltic-carbonatite magmatism with. Aptian (~116 Ma) Mass Extinction event? • Nature of ...

  18. Stratigraphy of Guichon Formation (lower cretaceous) in litoral basin, Uruguay

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Goso, C.; Perea, D.; Perinotto, J.

    1999-01-01

    This report is about the stratigraphic al analysis of the Guichon Formation (lower cretaceous, litoral basin in Uruguay). The facies association is represented by conglomerates mainly fine sandstones and mud stones wi ch is interpreted as an alluvial system. A regional palaeogeography and a new geochronological alternative are established for this formation. (author).

  19. Patterns of larval development in Cretaceous pipid frogs

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Roček, Zbyněk; van Dijk, E.

    2006-01-01

    Roč. 51, č. 1 (2006), s. 111-126 ISSN 0567-7920 R&D Projects: GA AV ČR IAA3013206 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z30130516 Keywords : Anura * Pipidae * Cretaceous Subject RIV: EG - Zoology Impact factor: 1.076, year: 2006 http://app.pan.pl/archive/published/app51/app51-111.pdf

  20. Origin of Cretaceous phosphorites from the onshore of Tamil Nadu ...

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Cretaceous phosphorites occur as light brown to yellow- ish brown or white nodules in Karai Shale of the Uttatur Group in the onshore Cauvery basin. Nodules exhibit phosphatic nucleus encrusted by a chalky shell of carbonate. The nucleus of the nodules consists of light and dark coloured laminae, phosphate ...

  1. A sequence of events across the Cretaceous-Tertiary boundary

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Smit, J.; Romein, A.J.T.

    1985-01-01

    The lithological and biological sequence of events across the Cretaceous-Tertiary (K/T), as developed in thick and complete landbased sections and termed the standard K/T event sequence, is also found in many DSDP cores from all over the globe. Microtektite-like spherules have been found in

  2. The end-Cretaceous in the southwestern Tethys (Elles, Tunisia)

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Thibault, Nicolas Rudolph; Galbrun, Bruno; Gardin, Silvia

    2016-01-01

    An integrated study of magnetic mass susceptibility (MS), bulk stable isotopes and calcareous nannofossil paleoecological changes is undertaken on the late Maastrichtian of the Elles section, Tunisia, spanning the last ca. 1 Myr of the Cretaceous. A cyclostratigraphic analysis reveals the presenc...

  3. Soil development on loess overlying Cretaceous sediments and Devonian limestones

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Žigová, Anna; Šťastný, Martin

    2015-01-01

    Roč. 12, č. 3 (2015), s. 267-278 ISSN 1214-9705 Institutional support: RVO:67985831 Keywords : loess * Cretaceous and Devonian rocks * mineral composition * soil development * Luvic Chernozem * Albic Luvisol Subject RIV: DF - Soil Science Impact factor: 0.561, year: 2015

  4. Late Cretaceous seasonal ocean variability from the Arctic.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Davies, Andrew; Kemp, Alan E S; Pike, Jennifer

    2009-07-09

    The modern Arctic Ocean is regarded as a barometer of global change and amplifier of global warming and therefore records of past Arctic change are critical for palaeoclimate reconstruction. Little is known of the state of the Arctic Ocean in the greenhouse period of the Late Cretaceous epoch (65-99 million years ago), yet records from such times may yield important clues to Arctic Ocean behaviour in near-future warmer climates. Here we present a seasonally resolved Cretaceous sedimentary record from the Alpha ridge of the Arctic Ocean. This palaeo-sediment trap provides new insight into the workings of the Cretaceous marine biological carbon pump. Seasonal primary production was dominated by diatom algae but was not related to upwelling as was previously hypothesized. Rather, production occurred within a stratified water column, involving specially adapted species in blooms resembling those of the modern North Pacific subtropical gyre, or those indicated for the Mediterranean sapropels. With increased CO(2) levels and warming currently driving increased stratification in the global ocean, this style of production that is adapted to stratification may become more widespread. Our evidence for seasonal diatom production and flux testify to an ice-free summer, but thin accumulations of terrigenous sediment within the diatom ooze are consistent with the presence of intermittent sea ice in the winter, supporting a wide body of evidence for low temperatures in the Late Cretaceous Arctic Ocean, rather than recent suggestions of a 15 degrees C mean annual temperature at this time.

  5. Spectral classifying base on color of live corals and dead corals covered with algae

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nurdin, Nurjannah; Komatsu, Teruhisa; Barille, Laurent; Akbar, A. S. M.; Sawayama, Shuhei; Fitrah, Muh. Nur; Prasyad, Hermansyah

    2016-05-01

    Pigments in the host tissues of corals can make a significant contribution to their spectral signature and can affect their apparent color as perceived by a human observer. The aim of this study is classifying the spectral reflectance of corals base on different color. It is expected that they can be used as references in discriminating between live corals, dead coral covered with algae Spectral reflectance data was collected in three small islands, Spermonde Archipelago, Indonesia by using a hyperspectral radiometer underwater. First and second derivative analysis resolved the wavelength locations of dominant features contributing to reflectance in corals and support the distinct differences in spectra among colour existed. Spectral derivative analysis was used to determine the specific wavelength regions ideal for remote identification of substrate type. The analysis results shown that yellow, green, brown and violet live corals are spectrally separable from each other, but they are similar with dead coral covered with algae spectral.

  6. Estimating Latest Cretaceous and Tertiary Atmospheric PCO2 from Stomatal Indices

    Science.gov (United States)

    Royer, D. L.; Wing, S. L.; Beerling, D. J.

    2001-05-01

    Most modern C3 seed plants show an inverse relationship between PCO2 and stomatal index (SI), where SI is the proportion of epidermal cells that are stomatal packages. This plant-atmosphere response therefore provides a reliable approach for estimating paleo-CO2 levels. Since stomatal responses to CO2 are generally species-specific, one is limited in paleo-reconstructions to species that exist both in the fossil record and living today. Fossils morphologically similar to living Ginkgo biloba and Metasequoia glyptostroboides extend back to the early and late Cretaceous, respectively, indicating that the fossil and living forms are very closely related. Measurements of SI made on fossil Ginkgo and Metasequoia were calibrated with historical collections of G. biloba and M. glyptostroboides leaves from sites that developed during the anthropogenically-driven CO2 increases of the past 145 years (288-369 ppmv) and with saplings of G. biloba and M. glyptostroboides grown in CO2 controlled growth chambers (350-800 ppmv). Both nonlinear regressions are highly significant (Ginkgo: n = 40, r2 = 0.91; Metasequoia: n = 18; r2 = 0.85). Results from a sequence of 23 latest Cretaceous to early Eocene-aged Ginkgo-bearing sites indicate that CO2 remained between 300 and 450 ppmv with the exception of one high estimate ( ~800 ppmv) near the Paleocene/Eocene boundary, and results from 4 middle Miocene-aged Ginkgo- and Metasequoia-bearing sites indicate that CO2 was between 320 and 400 ppmv. If correct, the CO2 values estimated here are too low to explain via the CO2 greenhouse effect alone the higher global mean temperatures (e.g., 3-4 ° C for the early Eocene) inferred from models and geological data for these two intervals.

  7. Causes and consequences of short-term sea-level changes in the Cretaceous green- and "hothouse": Topics and context of IGCP Project 609

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sames, Benjamin; Wagreich, Michael

    2015-04-01

    In contrast to the well-understood process of glacial eustasy, controlled mainly by waxing and waning of continental ice sheets, significant short-term, i.e. 10s kyr to a few myr (3rd to 4th order cycles) sea-level changes during the Cretaceous major greenhouse episode remain enigmatic. Such cyclic changes are often explained by the presence of ephemeral ice sheets even during the hottest greenhouse phases ("hothouse periods"), such as the mid-Cretaceous. Though Cretaceous global eustasy involves processes like brief glacial episodes (glacio-eustasy) for which evidence was given - at least for the Early Cretaceous and the late Late Cretaceous - other mechanisms have to be taken into consideration for the "hothouse periods" during which continental ice shields are highly improbable, like the storage and release of groundwater (termed "limno-eustasy" or "aquifer-eustasy"), the possible effect and magnitude of which might have been highly underestimated. Investigation of the timing, the causes, and the consequences of significant short-term (i.e. mainly kyr to 100s of kyr) sea-level changes during the last major greenhouse episode of Earth history, the Cretaceous, is the ultimate goal of the UNESCO IGCP (International Geoscience Programme) project number 609 "Climate-environmental deteriorations during greenhouse phases: Causes and consequences of short-term Cretaceous sea-level changes" (2013-2017; http://www.univie.ac.at/igcp609/). This also comprises the global versus regional correlation and extent of the sequences, their cyclicities, as well as the processes and triggering mechanisms for these, and marine to non-marine correlations. Recent refinements of the geological time scale have made major advances for the Cretaceous to yield a resolution comparable to that of younger Earth history. It is now for the first time possible to correlate and date short-term Cretaceous sea-level records with a resolution appropriate for their detailed analysis. Recognized

  8. A relic coral fauna threatened by global changes and human activities, Eastern Brazil.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leão, Zelinda M A N; Kikuchi, Ruy K P

    2005-01-01

    Coral species composition of drilled cores from emergent bank reefs, and coral cover of the surface of old and living reefs located along the coast of the state of Bahia, Eastern Brazil, revealed that there is a marked change in the occurrence of the major building coral species in different time intervals of the reef structure, as well as in the living surface of reefs located in two different geographical sites. Holocene core sections from two reef areas (12 degrees 40'S-38 degrees 00'W and 18 degrees 00'S-39 degrees 00'W) have as major reef builders, on its topmost core interval (3 to 4 ky old), the endemic coral Mussismilia braziliensis Verrill, 1868, which also dominate on the 2.5-3.5 ky old surfaces of truncated reef tops. At the base of the cores (the 2m lower interval, older than 4 ky BP), another endemic coral Mussismilia harttii Verrill, 1868 is the dominant reef component. The relative abundance of M. braziliensis on the living surfaces of shallow reefs from both areas, shows that in the southern area, it is up to 98% on reefs located 60 km off the coast, in depths between 3 and 4m, but do not exceed 1.3% on the surface of the northern reefs located 1-2 km off the coast in depths 4-5m. The Holocene falling sea level that occurred along the coast of Brazil since 5.1 ky BP, causes an increasing runoff into the area of coastal reefs. This phenomenon may have affected the nearshore reef building fauna, replacing a more susceptive coral fauna with one better adapted to low light levels and higher sediment influx. The high turbidity associated with early Holocene shelf flooding, should also be responsible for the absence of M. braziliensis during the initial stages of reef buildup in Brazil. At the present time, the rapidly increasing human pressure, due to changes in land uses of the coastal zone (increasing sedimentation rate, nutrification of coastal waters, industrial pollution) and underwater practices, such as overfishing and an intense tourism, is

  9. Coral reefs as drivers of cladogenesis: expanding coral reefs, cryptic extinction events, and the development of biodiversity hotspots.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cowman, P F; Bellwood, D R

    2011-12-01

    Diversification rates within four conspicuous coral reef fish families (Labridae, Chaetodontidae, Pomacentridae and Apogonidae) were estimated using Bayesian inference. Lineage through time plots revealed a possible late Eocene/early Oligocene cryptic extinction event coinciding with the collapse of the ancestral Tethyan/Arabian hotspot. Rates of diversification analysis revealed elevated cladogenesis in all families in the Oligocene/Miocene. Throughout the Miocene, lineages with a high percentage of coral reef-associated taxa display significantly higher net diversification rates than expected. The development of a complex mosaic of reef habitats in the Indo-Australian Archipelago (IAA) during the Oligocene/Miocene appears to have been a significant driver of cladogenesis. Patterns of diversification suggest that coral reefs acted as a refuge from high extinction, as reef taxa are able to sustain diversification at high extinction rates. The IAA appears to support both cladogenesis and survival in associated lineages, laying the foundation for the recent IAA marine biodiversity hotspot. © 2011 The Authors. Journal of Evolutionary Biology © 2011 European Society For Evolutionary Biology.

  10. First complete sauropod dinosaur skull from the Cretaceous of the Americas and the evolution of sauropod dentition.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chure, Daniel; Britt, Brooks B; Whitlock, John A; Wilson, Jeffrey A

    2010-04-01

    Sauropod dinosaur bones are common in Mesozoic terrestrial sediments, but sauropod skulls are exceedingly rare--cranial materials are known for less than one third of sauropod genera and even fewer are known from complete skulls. Here we describe the first complete sauropod skull from the Cretaceous of the Americas, Abydosaurus mcintoshi, n. gen., n. sp., known from 104.46 +/- 0.95 Ma (megannum) sediments from Dinosaur National Monument, USA. Abydosaurus shares close ancestry with Brachiosaurus, which appeared in the fossil record ca. 45 million years earlier and had substantially broader teeth. A survey of tooth shape in sauropodomorphs demonstrates that sauropods evolved broad crowns during the Early Jurassic but did not evolve narrow crowns until the Late Jurassic, when they occupied their greatest range of crown breadths. During the Cretaceous, brachiosaurids and other lineages independently underwent a marked diminution in tooth breadth, and before the latest Cretaceous broad-crowned sauropods were extinct on all continental landmasses. Differential survival and diversification of narrow-crowned sauropods in the Late Cretaceous appears to be a directed trend that was not correlated with changes in plant diversity or abundance, but may signal a shift towards elevated tooth replacement rates and high-wear dentition. Sauropods lacked many of the complex herbivorous adaptations present within contemporaneous ornithischian herbivores, such as beaks, cheeks, kinesis, and heterodonty. The spartan design of sauropod skulls may be related to their remarkably small size--sauropod skulls account for only 1/200th of total body volume compared to 1/30th body volume in ornithopod dinosaurs.

  11. Tectonic evolution of the Sicilian Maghrebian Chain inferred from stratigraphic and petrographic evidences of Lower Cretaceous and Oligocene flysch

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Puglisi Diego

    2014-08-01

    Full Text Available The occurrence of a Lower Cretaceous flysch group, cropping out from the Gibraltar Arc to the Balkans with a very similar structural setting and sedimentary provenance always linked to the dismantling of internal areas, suggests the existence of only one sedimentary basin (Alpine Tethys s.s., subdivided into many other minor oceanic areas. The Maghrebian Basin, mainly developed on thinned continental crust, was probably located in the westernmost sector of the Alpine Tethys. Cretaceous re-organization of the plates triggered one (or more tectonic phases, well recorded in almost all the sectors of the Alpine Tethys. However, the Maghrebian Basin seems to have been deformed by Late- or post-Cretaceous tectonics, connected with a “meso-Alpine” phase (pre-Oligocene, already hypothesized since the beginning of the nineties. Field geological evidence and recent biostratigraphic data also support this important meso- Alpine tectonic phase in the Sicilian segment of the Maghrebian Chain, indicated by the deformations of a Lower Cretaceous flysch sealed by Lower Oligocene turbidite deposits. This tectonic development is emphasized here because it was probably connected with the onset of rifting in the southern paleomargin of the European plate, the detaching of the so-called AlKaPeCa block (Auct.; i.e. Alboran + Kabylian + Calabria and Peloritani terranes and its fragmentation into several microplates. The subsequent early Oligocene drifting of these microplates led to the progressive closure of the Maghrebian Basin and the opening of new back-arc oceanic basins, strongly controlled by extensional processes, in the western Mediterranean (i.e. Gulf of Lion, Valencia Trough, Provençal Basin and Alboran Sea.

  12. Diversity patterns amongst herbivorous dinosaurs and plants during the Cretaceous: implications for hypotheses of dinosaur/angiosperm co-evolution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Butler, R J; Barrett, P M; Kenrick, P; Penn, M G

    2009-03-01

    poor sampling in the Turonian-Santonian interval. Stegosauria shows a significant negative correlation with flowering plants and a significant positive correlation with the nonflowering cycadophytes (cycads, Bennettitales). This interesting pattern is worthy of further investigation, and it reflects the decline of both stegosaurs and cycadophytes during the Early Cretaceous.

  13. Neogene reef coral assemblages of the Bocas del Toro region, Panama: the rise of Acropora palmata

    Science.gov (United States)

    Klaus, J. S.; McNeill, D. F.; Budd, A. F.; Coates, A. G.

    2012-03-01

    Temporal patterns are evaluated in Neogene reef coral assemblages from the Bocas del Toro Basin of Panama in order to understand how reef ecosystems respond to long-term environmental change. Analyses are based on a total of 1,702 zooxanthellate coral specimens collected from six coral-bearing units ranging in age from the earliest Late Miocene to the Early Pleistocene: (1) Valiente Formation (12-11 Ma), (2) Fish Hole Member of the Old Bank Formation (5.8-5.6 Ma), (3) La Gruta Member of the Isla Colon Formation (2.2-1.4 Ma), (4) Ground Creek Member of the Isla Colon Formation (2.2-1.4 Ma), (5) Mimitimbi Member of the Urracá Formation (1.2-0.8 Ma), and (6) Hill Point Member of the Urracá Formation (1.2-0.8 Ma). Over 100 coral species occur in the six units, with faunal assemblages ranging from less than 10% extant taxa (Valiente Formation) to over 85% extant taxa (Ground Creek Member). The collections provide new temporal constraints on the emergence of modern Caribbean reefs, with the La Gruta Member containing the earliest occurrence of large monospecific stands of the dominant Caribbean reef coral Acropora palmata, and the Urracá Formation containing the last fossil occurrences of 15 regionally extinct taxa. Canonical correspondence analysis of 41 Late Miocene to Recent reef coral assemblages from the Caribbean region suggests changes in community structure coincident with effective oceanic closure of the Central American Seaway (~3.5 Ma). These changes, including increased Acropora dominance, may have contributed to a protracted period of elevated extinction debt prior to the major peak in regional coral extinctions (~2-1 Ma).

  14. The status of coral reef ecology research in the Red Sea

    KAUST Repository

    Berumen, Michael L.

    2013-06-21

    The Red Sea has long been recognized as a region of high biodiversity and endemism. Despite this diversity and early history of scientific work, our understanding of the ecology of coral reefs in the Red Sea has lagged behind that of other large coral reef systems. We carried out a quantitative assessment of ISI-listed research published from the Red Sea in eight specific topics (apex predators, connectivity, coral bleaching, coral reproductive biology, herbivory, marine protected areas, non-coral invertebrates and reef-associated bacteria) and compared the amount of research conducted in the Red Sea to that from Australia\\'s Great Barrier Reef (GBR) and the Caribbean. On average, for these eight topics, the Red Sea had 1/6th the amount of research compared to the GBR and about 1/8th the amount of the Caribbean. Further, more than 50 % of the published research from the Red Sea originated from the Gulf of Aqaba, a small area (<2 % of the area of the Red Sea) in the far northern Red Sea. We summarize the general state of knowledge in these eight topics and highlight the areas of future research priorities for the Red Sea region. Notably, data that could inform science-based management approaches are badly lacking in most Red Sea countries. The Red Sea, as a geologically "young" sea located in one of the warmest regions of the world, has the potential to provide insight into pressing topics such as speciation processes as well as the capacity of reef systems and organisms to adapt to global climate change. As one of the world\\'s most biodiverse coral reef regions, the Red Sea may yet have a significant role to play in our understanding of coral reef ecology at a global scale. © 2013 Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg.

  15. Identification of scleractinian coral recruits using fluorescent censusing and DNA barcoding techniques.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Chia-Min Hsu

    Full Text Available The identification of coral recruits has been problematic due to a lack of definitive morphological characters being available for higher taxonomic resolution. In this study, we tested whether fluorescent detection of coral recruits used in combinations of different DNA-barcoding markers (cytochrome oxidase I gene [COI], open reading frame [ORF], and nuclear Pax-C intron [PaxC] could be useful for increasing the resolution of coral spat identification in ecological studies. One hundred and fifty settlement plates were emplaced at nine sites on the fringing reefs of Kenting National Park in southern Taiwan between April 2011 and September 2012. A total of 248 living coral spats and juveniles (with basal areas ranging from 0.21 to 134.57 mm(2 were detected on the plates with the aid of fluorescent light and collected for molecular analyses. Using the COI DNA barcoding technique, 90.3% (224/248 of coral spats were successfully identified into six genera, including Acropora, Isopora, Montipora, Pocillopora, Porites, and Pavona. PaxC further separated I. cuneata and I. palifera of Isopora from Acropora, and ORF successfully identified the species of Pocillopora (except P. meandrina and P. eydouxi. Moreover, other cnidarian species such as actinarians, zoanthids, and Millepora species were visually found using fluorescence and identified by COI DNA barcoding. This combination of existing approaches greatly improved the taxonomic resolution of early coral life stages, which to date has been mainly limited to the family level based on skeletal identification. Overall, this study suggests important improvements for the identification of coral recruits in ecological studies.

  16. Identification of scleractinian coral recruits using fluorescent censusing and DNA barcoding techniques.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hsu, Chia-Min; de Palmas, Stéphane; Kuo, Chao-Yang; Denis, Vianney; Chen, Chaolun Allen

    2014-01-01

    The identification of coral recruits has been problematic due to a lack of definitive morphological characters being available for higher taxonomic resolution. In this study, we tested whether fluorescent detection of coral recruits used in combinations of different DNA-barcoding markers (cytochrome oxidase I gene [COI], open reading frame [ORF], and nuclear Pax-C intron [PaxC]) could be useful for increasing the resolution of coral spat identification in ecological studies. One hundred and fifty settlement plates were emplaced at nine sites on the fringing reefs of Kenting National Park in southern Taiwan between April 2011 and September 2012. A total of 248 living coral spats and juveniles (with basal areas ranging from 0.21 to 134.57 mm(2)) were detected on the plates with the aid of fluorescent light and collected for molecular analyses. Using the COI DNA barcoding technique, 90.3% (224/248) of coral spats were successfully identified into six genera, including Acropora, Isopora, Montipora, Pocillopora, Porites, and Pavona. PaxC further separated I. cuneata and I. palifera of Isopora from Acropora, and ORF successfully identified the species of Pocillopora (except P. meandrina and P. eydouxi). Moreover, other cnidarian species such as actinarians, zoanthids, and Millepora species were visually found using fluorescence and identified by COI DNA barcoding. This combination of existing approaches greatly improved the taxonomic resolution of early coral life stages, which to date has been mainly limited to the family level based on skeletal identification. Overall, this study suggests important improvements for the identification of coral recruits in ecological studies.

  17. Microbial disease and the coral holobiont

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bourne, David G.; Garren, Melissa; Work, Thierry M.; Rosenberg, Eugene; Smith, Garriet W.; Harvell, C. Drew

    2009-01-01

    Tropical coral reefs harbour a reservoir of enormous biodiversity that is increasingly threatened by direct human activities and indirect global climate shifts. Emerging coral diseases are one serious threat implicated in extensive reef deterioration through disruption of the integrity of the coral holobiont – a complex symbiosis between the coral animal, endobiotic alga and an array of microorganisms. In this article, we review our current understanding of the role of microorganisms in coral health and disease, and highlight the pressing interdisciplinary research priorities required to elucidate the mechanisms of disease. We advocate an approach that applies knowledge gained from experiences in human and veterinary medicine, integrated into multidisciplinary studies that investigate the interactions between host, agent and environment of a given coral disease. These approaches include robust and precise disease diagnosis, standardised ecological methods and application of rapidly developing DNA, RNA and protein technologies, alongside established histological, microbial ecology and ecological expertise. Such approaches will allow a better understanding of the causes of coral mortality and coral reef declines and help assess potential management options to mitigate their effects in the longer term.

  18. CORAL REEF BIOLOGICAL CRITERIA: USING THE CLEAN ...

    Science.gov (United States)

    Coral reefs are declining at unprecedented rates worldwide due to multiple interactive stressors including climate change and land-based sources of pollution. The Clean Water Act (CWA) can be a powerful legal instrument for protecting water resources, including the biological inhabitants of coral reefs. The objective of the CWA is to restore and maintain the chemical, physical and biological integrity of water resources. Coral reef protection and restoration under the Clean Water Act begins with water quality standards - provisions of state or Federal law that consist of a designated use(s) for the waters of the United States and water quality criteria sufficient to protect the uses. Aquatic life use is the designated use that is measured by biological criteria (biocriteria). Biocriteria are expectations set by a jurisdiction for the quality and quantity of living aquatic resources in a defined waterbody. Biocriteria are an important addition to existing management tools for coral reef ecosystems. The Technical Support Document “Coral Reef Biological Criteria: Using the Clean Water Act to Protect a National Treasure” will provide a framework to aid States and Territories in their development, adoption, and implementation of coral reef biocriteria in their respective water quality standards. The Technical Support Document “Coral Reef Biological Criteria: Using the Clean Water Act to Protect a National Treasure” will provide a framework for coral re

  19. The Stylasterine coral Allopora stellulata (Stewart)

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Boschma, H.

    1960-01-01

    The description of Stylaster stellulatus Stewart was based on a specimen obtained at Tahiti, the coral was stated to be extremely rare, and only found at one small island in the neighbourhood. The description contains all the peculiarities for a specific definition of the coral, the salient points

  20. Coral larvae move toward reef sounds

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Vermeij, M.J.A.; Marhaver, K.L.; Huijbers, C.M.; Nagelkerken, I.; Simpson, S.D.

    2010-01-01

    Free-swimming larvae of tropical corals go through a critical life-phase when they return from the open ocean to select a suitable settlement substrate. During the planktonic phase of their life cycle, the behaviours of small coral larvae (<1 mm) that influence settlement success are difficult to

  1. The mushroom coral as a habitat

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Hoeksema, B.W.; Meij, van der S.E.T.; Fransen, C.H.J.M.

    2012-01-01

    The evolution of symbiotic relationships involving reef corals has had much impact on tropical marine biodiversity. Because of their endosymbiotic algae (zooxanthellae) corals can grow fast in tropical shallow seas where they form reefs that supply food, substrate and shelter for other organisms.

  2. Mesopredator trophodynamics on thermally stressed coral reefs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hempson, Tessa N.; Graham, Nicholas A. J.; MacNeil, M. Aaron; Hoey, Andrew S.; Almany, Glenn R.

    2018-03-01

    Ecosystems are becoming vastly modified through disturbance. In coral reef ecosystems, the differential susceptibility of coral taxa to climate-driven bleaching is predicted to shift coral assemblages towards reefs with an increased relative abundance of taxa with high thermal tolerance. Many thermally tolerant coral species are characterised by low structural complexity, with reduced habitat niche space for the small-bodied coral reef fishes on which piscivorous mesopredators feed. This study used a patch reef array to investigate the potential impacts of climate-driven shifts in coral assemblages on the trophodynamics of reef mesopredators and their prey communities. The `tolerant' reef treatment consisted only of coral taxa of low susceptibility to bleaching, while `vulnerable' reefs included species of moderate to high thermal vulnerability. `Vulnerable' reefs had higher structural complexity, and the fish assemblages that established on these reefs over 18 months had higher species diversity, abundance and biomass than those on `tolerant' reefs. Fish assemblages on `tolerant' reefs were also more strongly influenced by the introduction of a mesopredator ( Cephalopholis boenak). Mesopredators on `tolerant' reefs had lower lipid content in their muscle tissue by the end of the 6-week experiment. Such sublethal energetic costs can compromise growth, fecundity, and survivorship, resulting in unexpected population declines in long-lived mesopredators. This study provides valuable insight into the altered trophodynamics of future coral reef ecosystems, highlighting the potentially increased vulnerability of reef fish assemblages to predation as reef structure declines, and the cost of changing prey availability on mesopredator condition.

  3. Coral aquaculture: applying scientific knowledge to ex situ production

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Leal, M.C.; Ferrier-Pagès, C.; Petersen, D.; Osinga, R.

    2016-01-01

    Coral aquaculture is an activity of growing interest due to the degradation of coral reefs worldwide and concomitant growing demand for corals by three industries: marine ornamental trade, pharmaceutical industry and reef restoration. Although captive breeding and propagation of corals is a

  4. 75 FR 48934 - Coral Reef Conservation Program Implementation Guidelines

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-08-12

    ...-01] RIN 0648-ZC19 Coral Reef Conservation Program Implementation Guidelines AGENCY: National Oceanic... Guidelines (Guidelines) for the Coral Reef Conservation Program (CRCP or Program) under the Coral Reef... assistance for coral reef conservation projects under the Act. NOAA revised the Implementation Guidelines for...

  5. 76 FR 30110 - Fisheries of the Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico, and South Atlantic; Coral and Coral Reefs Off the...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-05-24

    ... the Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico, and South Atlantic; Coral and Coral Reefs Off the Southern Atlantic..., Coral Reefs, and Live/Hardbottom Habitat of the South Atlantic Region. The applicant has requested.... HHSN261200900012C) between the National Cancer Institute ( http://www.cancer.gov/ ) and the Coral Reef Research...

  6. 76 FR 66273 - Snapper-Grouper Fishery Off the Southern Atlantic States and Coral and Coral Reefs Fishery in the...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-10-26

    ...-Grouper Fishery Off the Southern Atlantic States and Coral and Coral Reefs Fishery in the South Atlantic... the South Atlantic Region and the FMP for Coral, Coral Reefs, and Live/Hard Bottom Habitats of the... Aquariums to collect, with certain conditions, various species of reef fish and live rock in Federal waters...

  7. Projected near-future levels of temperature and pCO2 reduce coral fertilization success.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rebecca Albright

    Full Text Available Increases in atmospheric carbon dioxide (pCO2 are projected to contribute to a 1.1-6.4°C rise in global average surface temperatures and a 0.14-0.35 reduction in the average pH of the global surface ocean by 2100. If realized, these changes are expected to have negative consequences for reef-building corals including increased frequency and severity of coral bleaching and reduced rates of calcification and reef accretion. Much less is known regarding the independent and combined effects of temperature and pCO2 on critical early life history processes such as fertilization. Here we show that increases in temperature (+3°C and pCO2 (+400 µatm projected for this century negatively impact fertilization success of a common Indo-Pacific coral species, Acropora tenuis. While maximum fertilization did not differ among treatments, the sperm concentration required to obtain 50% of maximum fertilization increased 6- to 8- fold with the addition of a single factor (temperature or CO2 and nearly 50- fold when both factors interact. Our results indicate that near-future changes in temperature and pCO2 narrow the range of sperm concentrations that are capable of yielding high fertilization success in A. tenuis. Increased sperm limitation, in conjunction with adult population decline, may have severe consequences for coral reproductive success. Impaired sexual reproduction will further challenge corals by inhibiting population recovery and adaptation potential.

  8. Juvenile corals can acquire more carbon from high-performance algal symbionts

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cantin, N. E.; van Oppen, M. J. H.; Willis, B. L.; Mieog, J. C.; Negri, A. P.

    2009-06-01

    Algal endosymbionts of the genus Symbiodinium play a key role in the nutrition of reef building corals and strongly affect the thermal tolerance and growth rate of the animal host. This study reports that 14C photosynthate incorporation into juvenile coral tissues was doubled in Acropora millepora harbouring Symbiodinium C1 compared with juveniles from common parentage harbouring Symbiodinium D in a laboratory experiment. Rapid light curves performed on the same corals revealed that the relative electron transport rate of photosystem II (rETRMAX) was 87% greater in Symbiodinium C1 than in Symbiodinium D in hospite. The greater relative electron transport through photosystem II of Symbiodinium C1 is positively correlated with increased carbon delivery to the host under the applied experimental conditions ( r 2 = 0.91). This may translate into a competitive advantage for juveniles harbouring Symbiodinium C1 under certain field conditions, since rapid early growth typically limits mortality. Both symbiont types exhibited severe reductions in 14C incorporation during a 10-h exposure to the electron transport blocking herbicide diuron (DCMU), confirming the link between electron transport through PSII and photosynthate incorporation within the host tissue. These findings advance the current understanding of symbiotic relationships between corals and their symbionts, providing evidence that enhanced growth rates of juvenile corals may result from greater translocation of photosynthates from Symbiodinium C1.

  9. Climate-driven coral reorganisation influences aggressive behaviour in juvenile coral-reef fishes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kok, Judith E.; Graham, Nicholas A. J.; Hoogenboom, Mia O.

    2016-06-01

    Globally, habitat degradation is altering the abundance and diversity of species in a variety of ecosystems. This study aimed to determine how habitat degradation, in terms of changing coral composition under climate change, affected abundance, species richness and aggressive behaviour of juveniles of three damselfishes ( Pomacentrus moluccensis, P. amboinensis and Dischistodus perspicillatus, in order of decreasing reliance on coral). Patch reefs were constructed to simulate two types of reefs: present-day reefs that are vulnerable to climate-induced coral bleaching, and reefs with more bleaching-robust coral taxa, thereby simulating the likely future of coral reefs under a warming climate. Fish communities were allowed to establish naturally on the reefs during the summer recruitment period. Climate-robust reefs had lower total species richness of coral-reef fishes than climate-vulnerable reefs, but total fish abundance was not significantly different between reef types (pooled across all species and life-history stages). The nature of aggressive interactions, measured as the number of aggressive chases, varied according to coral composition; on climate-robust reefs, juveniles used the substratum less often to avoid aggression from competitors, and interspecific aggression became relatively more frequent than intraspecific aggression for juveniles of the coral-obligate P. moluccensis. This study highlights the importance of coral composition as a determinant of behaviour and diversity of coral-reef fishes.

  10. Big Data Approaches To Coral-Microbe Symbiosis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zaneveld, J.; Pollock, F. J.; McMinds, R.; Smith, S.; Payet, J.; Hanna, B.; Welsh, R.; Foster, A.; Ohdera, A.; Shantz, A. A.; Burkepile, D. E.; Maynard, J. A.; Medina, M.; Vega Thurber, R.

    2016-02-01

    Coral reefs face increasing challenges worldwide, threatened by overfishing and nutrient pollution, which drive growth of algal competitors of corals, and periods of extreme temperature, which drive mass coral bleaching. I will discuss two projects that examine how coral's complex relationships with microorganisms affect the response of coral colonies and coral species to environmental challenge. Microbiological studies have documented key roles for coral's microbial symbionts in energy harvest and defense against pathogens. However, the evolutionary history of corals and their microbes is little studied. As part of the Global Coral Microbiome Project, we are characterizing bacterial, archaeal, fungal, and Symbiodinium diversity across >1400 DNA samples from all major groups of corals, collected from 15 locations worldwide. This collection will allow us to ask how coral- microbe associations evolved over evolutionary time, and to determine whether microbial symbiosis helps predict the relative vulnerability of certain coral species to environmental stress. In the second project, we experimentally characterized how the long-term effects of human impacts such as overfishing and nutrient pollution influence coral-microbe symbiosis. We conducted a three-year field experiment in the Florida Keys applying nutrient pollution or simulated overfishing to reef plots, and traced the effects on reef communities, coral microbiomes, and coral health. The results show that extremes of temperature and algal competition destabilize coral microbiomes, increasing pathogen blooms, coral disease, and coral death. Surprisingly, these local stressors interacted strongly with thermal stress: the greatest microbiome disruption, and >80% of coral mortality happened in the hottest periods. Thus, overfishing and nutrient pollution may interact with increased climate-driven episodes of sub-bleaching thermal stress to increase coral mortality by disrupt reef communities down to microbial scales.

  11. Paleomagnetism of Jurassic and Cretaceous rocks in central Patagonia: a key to constrain the timing of rotations during the breakup of southwestern Gondwana?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Geuna, Silvana E.; Somoza, Rubén; Vizán, Haroldo; Figari, Eduardo G.; Rinaldi, Carlos A.

    2000-08-01

    A paleomagnetic study in Jurassic and Cretaceous rocks from the Cañadón Asfalto basin, central Patagonia, indicates the occurrence of about 25-30° clockwise rotation in Upper Jurassic-lowermost Cretaceous rocks, whereas the overlying mid-Cretaceous rocks do not show evidence of rotation. This constrains the tectonic rotation to be related to a major regional unconformity in Patagonia, which in turn seems to be close in time with the early opening of the South Atlantic Ocean. The sense and probably the timing of this rotation are similar to those of other paleomagnetically detected rotations in different areas of southwestern Gondwana, suggesting a possible relationship between these and major tectonic processes related with fragmentation of the supercontinent. On the other hand, the mid-Cretaceous rocks in the region yield a paleopole located at Lat. 87° South, Long. 159° East, A95=3.8°. This pole position is consistent with coeval high-quality paleopoles of other plates when transferred to South American coordinates, implying it is an accurate determination of the Aptian (circa 116 Ma) geomagnetic field in South America.

  12. Evidence of Egg Diversity in Squamate Evolution from Cretaceous Anguimorph Embryos.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Vincent Fernandez

    Full Text Available Lizards are remarkable amongst amniotes, for they display a unique mosaic of reproduction modes ranging from egg-laying to live-bearing. Within this patchwork, geckoes are believed to represent the only group to ever have produced fully calcified rigid-shelled eggs, contrasting with the ubiquitous parchment shelled-eggs observed in other lineages. However, this hypothesis relies only on observations of modern taxa and fossilised gecko-like eggshells which have never been found in association with any embryonic or parental remains. We report here the first attested fossil eggs of lizards from the Early Cretaceous of Thailand, combining hard eggshells with exquisitely preserved embryos of anguimoph (e.g. Komodo dragons, mosasaurs. These fossils shed light on an apparently rare reproduction strategy of squamates, demonstrate that the evolution of rigid-shelled eggs are not an exclusive specialization of geckoes, and suggest a high plasticity in the reproductive organs mineralizing eggshells.

  13. Dinosaur tracks from the Cedar Mountain Formation (Lower Cretaceous), Arches National Park, Utah

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lockley, Martin G.; White, Diane K.; Kirkland, James I.; Santucci, Vincent L.

    2004-01-01

    The seventh and largest known dinosaur tracksite from the Cedar Mountain Formation is reported from two important stratigraphic levels in the Ruby Ranch Member within the boundaries of Arches National Park. Previous reports of sites with a few isolated tracks are of limited utility in indicating the fauna represented by track makers. The Arches site reveals evidence of several theropod morphotypes, including a possible match for the coelurosaur Nedcolbertia and an apparently didactyl Utahraptor-like dromeosaurid. Sauropod tracks indicate a wide-gauge morphotype (cf. Brontopodus). Ornithischian tracks suggest the presence of an iguandontid-like ornithopod and a large ankylosaur. Dinosaur track diversity is high in comparison with other early Cretaceous vertebrate ichnofaunas, and it correlates well with faunal lists derived from skeletal remains, thus providing a convincing census of the known fauna.

  14. Ocean acidification compromises recruitment success of the threatened Caribbean coral Acropora palmata.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Albright, Rebecca; Mason, Benjamin; Miller, Margaret; Langdon, Chris

    2010-11-23

    Ocean acidification (OA) refers to the ongoing decline in oceanic pH resulting from the uptake of atmospheric CO(2). Mounting experimental evidence suggests that OA will have negative consequences for a variety of marine organisms. Whereas the effect of OA on the calcification of adult reef corals is increasingly well documented, effects on early life history stages are largely unknown. Coral recruitment, which necessitates successful fertilization, larval settlement, and postsettlement growth and survivorship, is critical to the persistence and resilience of coral reefs. To determine whether OA threatens successful sexual recruitment of reef-building corals, we tested fertilization, settlement, and postsettlement growth of Acropora palmata at pCO(2) levels that represent average ambient conditions during coral spawning (∼400 μatm) and the range of pCO(2) increases that are expected to occur in this century [∼560 μatm (mid-CO(2)) and ∼800 μatm (high-CO(2))]. Fertilization, settlement, and growth were all negatively impacted by increasing pCO(2), and impairment of fertilization was exacerbated at lower sperm concentrations. The cumulative impact of OA on fertilization and settlement success is an estimated 52% and 73% reduction in the number of larval settlers on the reef under pCO(2) conditions projected for the middle and the end of this century, respectively. Additional declines of 39% (mid-CO(2)) and 50% (high-CO(2)) were observed in postsettlement linear extension rates relative to controls. These results suggest that OA has the potential to impact multiple, sequential early life history stages, thereby severely compromising sexual recruitment and the ability of coral reefs to recover from disturbance.

  15. Tectonic setting of Cretaceous basins on the NE Tibetan Plateau: Insights from the Jungong basin

    Science.gov (United States)

    Craddock, W.H.; Kirby, E.; Dewen, Z.; Jianhui, L.

    2012-01-01

    Quantifying the Cenozoic growth of high topography in the Indo-Asian collision zone remains challenging, due in part to significant shortening that occurred within Eurasia before collision. A growing body of evidence suggests that regions far removed from the suture zone experienced deformation before and during the early phases of Himalayan orogenesis. In the present-day north-eastern Tibetan Plateau, widespread deposits of Cretaceous sediment attest to significant basin formation; however, the tectonic setting of these basins remains enigmatic. We present a study of a regionally extensive network of sedimentary basins that are spatially associated with a system of SE-vergent thrust faults and are now exposed in the high ranges of the north-eastern corner of the Tibetan Plateau. We focus on a particularly well-exposed basin, located ~20km north of the Kunlun fault in the Anyemaqen Shan. The basin is filled by ~900m of alluvial sediments that become finer-grained away from the basin-bounding fault. Additionally, beds in the proximal footwall of the basin-bounding fault exhibit progressive, up-section shallowing and several intraformational unconformities which can be traced into correlative conformities in the distal part of the basin. The observations show sediment accumulated in the basin during fault motion. Regional constraints on the timing of sediment deposition are provided by both fossil assemblages from the Early Cretaceous, and by K-Ar dating of volcanic rocks that floor and cross-cut sedimentary fill. We argue that during the Cretaceous, the interior NE Tibetan Plateau experienced NW-SE contractional deformation similar to that documented throughout the Qinling-Dabie orogen to the east. The Songpan-Ganzi terrane apparently marked the southern limit of this deformation, such that it may have been a relatively rigid block in the Tibetan lithosphere, separating regions experiencing deformation north of the convergent Tethyan margin from regions deforming

  16. Reinvestigating an enigmatic Late Cretaceous monocot: morphology, taxonomy, and biogeography of Viracarpon

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kelly K.S. Matsunaga

    2018-04-01

    Full Text Available Angiosperm-dominated floras of the Late Cretaceous are essential for understanding the evolutionary, ecological, and geographic radiation of flowering plants. The Late Cretaceous–early Paleogene Deccan Intertrappean Beds of India contain angiosperm-dominated plant fossil assemblages known from multiple localities in central India. Numerous monocots have been documented from these assemblages, providing a window into an important but poorly understood time in their diversification. One component of the Deccan monocot diversity is the genus Viracarpon, known from anatomically preserved infructescences. Viracarpon was first collected over a century ago and has been the subject of numerous studies. However, resolution of its three-dimensional (3D morphology and anatomy, as well as its taxonomic affinities, has remained elusive. In this study we investigated the morphology and taxonomy of genus Viracarpon, combining traditional paleobotanical techniques and X-ray micro-computed tomography (μCT. Re-examination of type and figured specimens, 3D reconstructions of fruits, and characterization of structures in multiple planes of section using μCT data allowed us to resolve conflicting interpretations of fruit morphology and identify additional characters useful in refining potential taxonomic affinities. Among the four Viracarpon species previously recognized, we consider two to be valid (Viracarpon hexaspermum and Viracarpon elongatum, and the other two to be synonyms of these. Furthermore, we found that permineralized infructescences of Coahuilocarpon phytolaccoides from the late Campanian of Mexico correspond closely in morphology to V. hexaspermum. We argue that Viracarpon and Coahuilocarpon are congeneric and provide the new combination, Viracarpon phytolaccoides (Cevallos-Ferriz, Estrada-Ruiz & Perez-Hernandez Matsunaga, S.Y. Smith, & Manchester comb. nov. The significant geographic disjunction between these two occurrences indicates that the

  17. A transitional snake from the Late Cretaceous period of North America.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Longrich, Nicholas R; Bhullar, Bhart-Anjan S; Gauthier, Jacques A

    2012-08-09

    Snakes are the most diverse group of lizards, but their origins and early evolution remain poorly understood owing to a lack of transitional forms. Several major issues remain outstanding, such as whether snakes originated in a marine or terrestrial environment and how their unique feeding mechanism evolved. The Cretaceous Coniophis precedens was among the first Mesozoic snakes discovered, but until now only an isolated vertebra has been described and it has therefore been overlooked in discussions of snake evolution. Here we report on previously undescribed material from this ancient snake, including the maxilla, dentary and additional vertebrae. Coniophis is not an anilioid as previously thought a revised phylogenetic analysis of Ophidia shows that it instead represents the most primitive known snake. Accordingly, its morphology and ecology are critical to understanding snake evolution. Coniophis occurs in a continental floodplain environment, consistent with a terrestrial rather than a marine origin; furthermore, its small size and reduced neural spines indicate fossorial habits, suggesting that snakes evolved from burrowing lizards. The skull is intermediate between that of lizards and snakes. Hooked teeth and an intramandibular joint indicate that Coniophis fed on relatively large, soft-bodied prey. However, the maxilla is firmly united with the skull, indicating an akinetic rostrum. Coniophis therefore represents a transitional snake, combining a snake-like body and a lizard-like head. Subsequent to the evolution of a serpentine body and carnivory, snakes evolved a highly specialized, kinetic skull, which was followed by a major adaptive radiation in the Early Cretaceous period. This pattern suggests that the kinetic skull was a key innovation that permitted the diversification of snakes.

  18. Pre-Cretaceous Agaricomycetes yet to be discovered: Reinvestigation of a putative Triassic bracket fungus from southern Germany

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A. P. Kiecksee

    2012-08-01

    Full Text Available Agaricomycetes are major components of extant terrestrial ecosystems; however, their fruiting bodies are exceedingly rare as fossils. Reinvestigation of a peculiar fossil from Late Triassic sediments of southern Germany interpreted as a bracket fungus revealed that this fossil in fact represents a wood abnormality, resulting from injury to the cambium and subsequent callus growth in a Baieroxylon -like ginkgoalean wood. As a result, the fossil record of the Agaricomycetes does not yet pre-date the Early Cretaceous, suggesting a late diversification of basidiomycetes possessing large fruiting bodies. doi:10.1002/mmng.201200006

  19. Global warming and coral reefs

    Digital Repository Service at National Institute of Oceanography (India)

    Wafar, M.V.M.

    , notably at Ratnagiri. Malwan. Redi Port and Vizhingam. Relic reefs with living herm<:ltypic corals at depths ranging fror:l 25 to 45m are the Gaves hani Bank off~\\angalore,and the submerged banks (Bass<:ls de Pedro. Sesostris Bank and Cora Divh... the snore (Qaslm and Wafar, 1979). The other representative Sea le\\lel Variation 417 of the extensive reelS of the outer shelf that survived Pleistocene drowning is the Gaveshani Bank, fanhc: south (J 3° 24' N; 73° 45' E), about 100 km off \\1 ar:ga lore...

  20. Biogeography of late Silurian and devonian rugose corals

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oliver, W.A.

    1977-01-01

    Three marine benthic faunal realms can be recognized in the Early and Middle Devonian. The Eastern Americas Realm consisted of most of the eastern half of North America and South America north of the Amazon. This realm extended in a southwest direction from the Devonian equator to approximately 35??S and was an isolated epicontinental sea during much of its history. The Eastern Americas Realm was bounded on the west by the Transcontinental Arch, on the north by the Canadian Shield and on the east and southeast by a peninsular extension of the Old Red Continent. These barriers were emergent during much, but not all, of Devonian time. Seaways beyond these barriers belonged to the Old World Realm. The Malvinokaffric Realm that was farther south was apparently temperate to arctic in climate and latitudinal position and contained few corals. Rugose corals in the Eastern Americas Realm show increasing generic-level endemism from the Late Silurian through the Early Devonian; during the late Early Devonian, 92% of the rugosan genera are not known anywhere else in the world. Endemism decreased through the Middle Devonian to zero in the early Late Devonian. The Early Devonian increase in endemism paralleled, and was probably related to, the development of the Old Red Continent as a barrier between America and Africa-Europe. The waning of endemism in the Middle Devonian reflects the breaching of the land barriers. This permitted some migration in and out of the realm in early Middle Devonian time but greatest movements were in late Middle Devonian time. Principal migration directions were from western or Arctic North America into the Michigan-Hudson Bay area and from the southern Appalachian area into Africa. ?? 1977.

  1. Partial mortality in massive reef corals as an indicator of sediment stress on coral reefs

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Nugues, Maggy M.; Roberts, Callum M.

    2003-01-01

    Partial mortality and fission on colonies of four common massive coral species were examined at sites differing in their exposure to river sediments in St. Lucia, West Indies. Rates of partial mortality were higher close to the river mouths, where more sediments were deposited, than away from the rivers in two coral species. Frequency of fission showed no significant trend. The percent change in coral cover on reefs from 1995 to 1998 was negatively related to the rate of partial mortality estimated in 1998 in all species. This suggests that partial mortality rates could reflect longer-term temporal changes in coral communities. Similar conclusions could also be reached using a less precise measure and simply recording partial mortality on colonies as <50% and ≥50% dead tissue. We conclude that partial mortality in some species of massive reef corals, expressed as the amount of dead tissue per colony, could provide a rapid and effective means of detecting sediment stress on coral reefs

  2. Metagenomic and ecophysiological analysis of biofilms colonizing coral substrates: "Life after death of coral"

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sanchez, A., Sr.; Cerqueda-Garcia, D.; Falcón, L. I.; Iglesias-Prieto, R., Sr.

    2015-12-01

    Coral reefs are the most productive ecosystems on the planet and are the most important carbonated structures of biological origin. However, global warming is affecting the health and functionality of these ecosystems. Specifically, most of the Acropora sp. stony corals have declined their population all over the Mexican Caribbean in more than ~80% of their original coverage, resulting in vast extensions of dead coral rubble. When the coral dies, the skeleton begins to be colonized by algae, sponges, bacteria and others, forming a highly diverse biofilm. We analyzed the metagenomes of the dead A. palmata rubbles from Puerto Morelos, in the Mexican Caribbean. Also, we quantified the elemental composition of biomass and measured nitrogen fixation and emission of greenhouse gases over 24 hrs. This works provides information on how the community is composed and functions after the death of the coral, visualizing a possible picture for a world without coral reefs.

  3. Partial mortality in massive reef corals as an indicator of sediment stress on coral reefs

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Nugues, Maggy M.; Roberts, Callum M

    2003-03-01

    Partial mortality and fission on colonies of four common massive coral species were examined at sites differing in their exposure to river sediments in St. Lucia, West Indies. Rates of partial mortality were higher close to the river mouths, where more sediments were deposited, than away from the rivers in two coral species. Frequency of fission showed no significant trend. The percent change in coral cover on reefs from 1995 to 1998 was negatively related to the rate of partial mortality estimated in 1998 in all species. This suggests that partial mortality rates could reflect longer-term temporal changes in coral communities. Similar conclusions could also be reached using a less precise measure and simply recording partial mortality on colonies as <50% and {>=}50% dead tissue. We conclude that partial mortality in some species of massive reef corals, expressed as the amount of dead tissue per colony, could provide a rapid and effective means of detecting sediment stress on coral reefs.

  4. Stable mucus-associated bacterial communities in bleached and healthy corals of Porites lobata from the Arabian Seas

    KAUST Repository

    Hadaidi, Ghaida Ali Hassan; Rö thig, Till; Yum, Lauren; Ziegler, Maren; Arif, Chatchanit; Roder, Cornelia; Burt, John; Voolstra, Christian R.

    2017-01-01

    Coral reefs are subject to coral bleaching manifested by the loss of endosymbiotic algae from coral host tissue. Besides algae, corals associate with bacteria. In particular, bacteria residing in the surface mucus layer are thought to mediate coral

  5. Reef corals bleach to resist stress.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Obura, David O

    2009-02-01

    A rationale is presented here for a primary role of bleaching in regulation of the coral-zooxanthellae symbiosis under conditions of stress. Corals and zooxanthellae have fundamentally different metabolic rates, requiring active homeostasis to limit zooxanthellae production and manage translocated products to maintain the symbiosis. The control processes for homeostasis are compromised by environmental stress, resulting in metabolic imbalance between the symbionts. For the coral-zooxanthella symbiosis the most direct way to minimize metabolic imbalance under stress is to reduce photosynthetic production by zooxanthellae. Two mechanisms have been demonstrated that do this: reduction of the chlorophyll concentration in individual zooxanthellae and reduction of the relative biomass of zooxanthellae. Both mechanisms result in visual whitening of the coral, termed bleaching. Arguments are presented here that bleaching provides the final control to minimize physiological damage from stress as an adversity response to metabolic imbalance. As such, bleaching meets the requirements of a stress response syndrome/general adaptive mechanism that is sensitive to internal states rather than external parameters. Variation in bleaching responses among holobionts reflects genotypic and phenotypic differentiation, allowing evolutionary change by natural selection. Thus, reef corals bleach to resist stress, and thereby have some capacity to adapt to and survive change. The extreme thermal anomalies causing mass coral bleaching worldwide lie outside the reaction norms for most coral-zooxanthellae holobionts, revealing the limitations of bleaching as a control mechanism.

  6. New directions in coral reef microbial ecology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Garren, Melissa; Azam, Farooq

    2012-04-01

    Microbial processes largely control the health and resilience of coral reef ecosystems, and new technologies have led to an exciting wave of discovery regarding the mechanisms by which microbial communities support the functioning of these incredibly diverse and valuable systems. There are three questions at the forefront of discovery: What mechanisms underlie coral reef health and resilience? How do environmental and anthropogenic pressures affect ecosystem function? What is the ecology of microbial diseases of corals? The goal is to understand the functioning of coral reefs as integrated systems from microbes and molecules to regional and ocean-basin scale ecosystems to enable accurate predictions of resilience and responses to perturbations such as climate change and eutrophication. This review outlines recent discoveries regarding the microbial ecology of different microenvironments within coral ecosystems, and highlights research directions that take advantage of new technologies to build a quantitative and mechanistic understanding of how coral health is connected through microbial processes to its surrounding environment. The time is ripe for natural resource managers and microbial ecologists to work together to create an integrated understanding of coral reef functioning. In the context of long-term survival and conservation of reefs, the need for this work is immediate. © 2011 Society for Applied Microbiology and Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

  7. Definition of Greater Gulf Basin Lower Cretaceous and Upper Cretaceous Lower Cenomanian Shale Gas Assessment Unit, United States Gulf of Mexico Basin Onshore and State Waters

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dennen, Kristin O.; Hackley, Paul C.

    2012-01-01

    An assessment unit (AU) for undiscovered continuous “shale” gas in Lower Cretaceous (Aptian and Albian) and basal Upper Cretaceous (lower Cenomanian) rocks in the USA onshore Gulf of Mexico coastal plain recently was defined by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS). The AU is part of the Upper Jurassic-Cretaceous-Tertiary Composite Total Petroleum System (TPS) of the Gulf of Mexico Basin. Definition of the AU was conducted as part of the 2010 USGS assessment of undiscovered hydrocarbon resources in Gulf Coast Mesozoic stratigraphic intervals. The purpose of defining the Greater Gulf Basin Lower Cretaceous Shale Gas AU was to propose a hypothetical AU in the Cretaceous part of the Gulf Coast TPS in which there might be continuous “shale” gas, but the AU was not quantitatively assessed by the USGS in 2010.

  8. Arctic black shale formation during Cretaceous Oceanic Anoxic Event 2

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Lenniger, Marc; Nøhr-Hansen, Henrik; Hills, Len V.

    2014-01-01

    The Late Cretaceous Oceanic Anoxic Event 2 (OAE2) represents a major perturbation of the global carbon cycle caused by the widespread deposition of organic-rich black shales. Although the paleoceanographic response and the spatial extent of bottom-water anoxia in low and mid-paleolatitudes are re......The Late Cretaceous Oceanic Anoxic Event 2 (OAE2) represents a major perturbation of the global carbon cycle caused by the widespread deposition of organic-rich black shales. Although the paleoceanographic response and the spatial extent of bottom-water anoxia in low and mid...... caused massive organic-carbon burial on the Arctic shelf in general, with important implications for hydrocarbon source-rock distribution in the Arctic region....

  9. Integration of coral reef ecosystem process studies and remote sensing: Chapter 5

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brook, John; Yates, Kimberly; Halley, Robert

    2006-01-01

    Worldwide, local-scale anthropogenic stress combined with global climate change is driving shifts in the state of reef benthic communities from coral-rich to micro- or macroalgal-dominated (Knowlton, 1992; Done, 1999). Such phase shifts in reef benthic communities may be either abrupt or gradual, and case studies from diverse ocean basins demonstrate that recovery, while uncertain (Hughes, 1994), typically involves progression through successional stages (Done, 1992). These transitions in benthic community structure involve changes in community metabolism, and accordingly, the holistic evaluation of associated biogeochemical variables is of great intrinsic value (Done, 1992). Effective reef management requires advance prediction of coral reef alteration in the face of anthropogenic stress and change in the global environment (Hatcher, 1997a). In practice, this goal requires techniques that can rapidly discern, at an early stage, sublethal effects that may cause long-term increases in mortality (brown, 1988; Grigg and Dollar, 1990). Such methods would improve our understanding of the differences in the population, community, and ecosystem structure, as well as function, between pristine and degraded reefs. This knowledge base could then support scientifically based management strategies (Done, 1992). Brown (1988) noted the general lack of rigor in the assessment of stress on coral reefs and suggested that more quantitative approaches than currently exist are needed to allow objective understanding of coral reef dynamics. Sensitive techniques for the timely appraisal of pollution effects or generalized endemic stress in coral reefs are sorely lacking (Grigg and Dollar, 1990; Wilkinsin, 1992). Moreover, monitoring methods based on population inventories, sclerochronology, or reproductive biology tend to myopic and may give inconsistent results. Ideally, an improved means of evaluating reef stress would discriminate mortality due to natural causes from morality to

  10. Linking Wave Forcing to Coral Cover and Structural Complexity Across Coral Reef Flats

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harris, D. L.; Rovere, A.; Parravicini, V.; Casella, E.

    2015-12-01

    The hydrodynamic regime is a significant component in the geomorphic and ecological development of coral reefs. The energy gradients and flow conditions generated by the breaking and transformation of waves across coral reef crests and flats drive changes in geomorphic structure, and coral growth form and distribution. One of the key aspects in regulating the wave energy propagating across reef flats is the rugosity or roughness of the benthic substrate. Rugosity and structural complexity of coral reefs is also a key indicator of species diversity, ecological functioning, and reef health. However, the links between reef rugosity, coral species distribution and abundance, and hydrodynamic forcing are poorly understood. In this study we examine this relationship by using high resolution measurement of waves in the surf zone and coral reef benthic structure.Pressure transducers (logging at 4 Hz) were deployed in cross reef transects at two sites (Tiahura and Ha'apiti reef systems) in Moorea, French Polynesia with wave characteristics determined on a wave by wave basis. A one dimensional hydrodynamic model (XBeach) was calibrated from this data to determine wave processes on the reef flats under average conditions. Transects of the reef benthic structure were conducted using photographic analysis and the three dimensional reef surface was constructed using structure from motion procedures. From this analysis reef rugosity, changes in coral genus and growth form, and across reef shifts in benthic community were determined. The results show clear changes in benthic assemblages along wave energy gradients with some indication of threshold values of wave induced bed shear stress above which live coral cover was reduced. Reef rugosity was shown to be significantly along the cross-reef transect which has important implications for accurate assessment of wave dissipation across coral reef flats. Links between reef rugosity and coral genus were also observed and may indicate

  11. Cumulative Human Impacts on Coral Reefs: Assessing Risk and Management Implications for Brazilian Coral Reefs

    OpenAIRE

    Rafael A. Magris; Alana Grech; Robert L. Pressey

    2018-01-01

    Effective management of coral reefs requires strategies tailored to cope with cumulative disturbances from human activities. In Brazil, where coral reefs are a priority for conservation, intensifying threats from local and global stressors are of paramount concern to management agencies. Using a cumulative impact assessment approach, our goal was to inform management actions for coral reefs in Brazil by assessing their exposure to multiple stressors (fishing, land-based activities, coastal de...

  12. Cretaceous sedimentology of the Barmer Basin, Rajasthan, India

    OpenAIRE

    Beaumont, Hazel

    2017-01-01

    The Barmer Basin, western India, is a well-known and prospected petroleum system. However, the Lower Cretaceous Ghaggar-Hakra Formation has not been recognised as basin fill and not documented prior to this study. The formation outcrops in rotational fault blocks at the Sarnoo Hills and surrounding areas, on the eastern Barmer Basin margin. The thesis here describes and analyses the nature and evolution of the formation at both outcrop and within the subsurface, producing facies and depositio...

  13. Source rock potential of middle cretaceous rocks in Southwestern Montana

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dyman, T.S.; Palacas, J.G.; Tysdal, R.G.; Perry, W.J.; Pawlewicz, M.J.

    1996-01-01

    The middle Cretaceous in southwestern Montana is composed of a marine and nonmarine succession of predominantly clastic rocks that were deposited along the western margin of the Western Interior Seaway. In places, middle Cretaceous rocks contain appreciable total organic carbon (TOC), such as 5.59% for the Mowry Shale and 8.11% for the Frontier Formation in the Madison Range. Most samples, however, exhibit less than 1.0% TOC. The genetic or hydrocarbon potential (S1+S2) of all the samples analyzed, except one, yield less than 1 mg HC/g rock, strongly indicating poor potential for generating commercial amounts of hydrocarbons. Out of 51 samples analyzed, only one (a Thermopolis Shale sample from the Snowcrest Range) showed a moderate petroleum potential of 3.1 mg HC/g rock. Most of the middle Cretaceous samples are thermally immature to marginally mature, with vitrinite reflectance ranging from about 0.4 to 0.6% Ro. Maturity is high in the Pioneer Mountains, where vitrinite reflectance averages 3.4% Ro, and at Big Sky Montana, where vitrinite reflectance averages 2.5% Ro. At both localities, high Ro values are due to local heat sources, such as the Pioneer batholith in the Pioneer Mountains.

  14. Coral life history and symbiosis: Functional genomic resources for two reef building Caribbean corals, Acropora palmata and Montastraea faveolata

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Szmant Alina M

    2008-02-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Scleractinian corals are the foundation of reef ecosystems in tropical marine environments. Their great success is due to interactions with endosymbiotic dinoflagellates (Symbiodinium spp., with which they are obligately symbiotic. To develop a foundation for studying coral biology and coral symbiosis, we have constructed a set of cDNA libraries and generated and annotated ESTs from two species of corals, Acropora palmata and Montastraea faveolata. Results We generated 14,588 (Ap and 3,854 (Mf high quality ESTs from five life history/symbiosis stages (spawned eggs, early-stage planula larvae, late-stage planula larvae either infected with symbionts or uninfected, and adult coral. The ESTs assembled into a set of primarily stage-specific clusters, producing 4,980 (Ap, and 1,732 (Mf unigenes. The egg stage library, relative to the other developmental stages, was enriched in genes functioning in cell division and proliferation, transcription, signal transduction, and regulation of protein function. Fifteen unigenes were identified as candidate symbiosis-related genes as they were expressed in all libraries constructed from the symbiotic stages and were absent from all of the non symbiotic stages. These include several DNA interacting proteins, and one highly expressed unigene (containing 17 cDNAs with no significant protein-coding region. A significant number of unigenes (25 encode potential pattern recognition receptors (lectins, scavenger receptors, and others, as well as genes that may function in signaling pathways involved in innate immune responses (toll-like signaling, NFkB p105, and MAP kinases. Comparison between the A. palmata and an A. millepora EST dataset identified ferritin as a highly expressed gene in both datasets that appears to be undergoing adaptive evolution. Five unigenes appear to be restricted to the Scleractinia, as they had no homology to any sequences in the nr databases nor to the non

  15. Coral life history and symbiosis: functional genomic resources for two reef building Caribbean corals, Acropora palmata and Montastraea faveolata.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schwarz, Jodi A; Brokstein, Peter B; Voolstra, Christian; Terry, Astrid Y; Manohar, Chitra F; Miller, David J; Szmant, Alina M; Coffroth, Mary Alice; Medina, Mónica

    2008-02-25

    Scleractinian corals are the foundation of reef ecosystems in tropical marine environments. Their great success is due to interactions with endosymbiotic dinoflagellates (Symbiodinium spp.), with which they are obligately symbiotic. To develop a foundation for studying coral biology and coral symbiosis, we have constructed a set of cDNA libraries and generated and annotated ESTs from two species of corals, Acropora palmata and Montastraea faveolata. We generated 14,588 (Ap) and 3,854 (Mf) high quality ESTs from five life history/symbiosis stages (spawned eggs, early-stage planula larvae, late-stage planula larvae either infected with symbionts or uninfected, and adult coral). The ESTs assembled into a set of primarily stage-specific clusters, producing 4,980 (Ap), and 1,732 (Mf) unigenes. The egg stage library, relative to the other developmental stages, was enriched in genes functioning in cell division and proliferation, transcription, signal transduction, and regulation of protein function. Fifteen unigenes were identified as candidate symbiosis-related genes as they were expressed in all libraries constructed from the symbiotic stages and were absent from all of the non symbiotic stages. These include several DNA interacting proteins, and one highly expressed unigene (containing 17 cDNAs) with no significant protein-coding region. A significant number of unigenes (25) encode potential pattern recognition receptors (lectins, scavenger receptors, and others), as well as genes that may function in signaling pathways involved in innate immune responses (toll-like signaling, NFkB p105, and MAP kinases). Comparison between the A. palmata and an A. millepora EST dataset identified ferritin as a highly expressed gene in both datasets that appears to be undergoing adaptive evolution. Five unigenes appear to be restricted to the Scleractinia, as they had no homology to any sequences in the nr databases nor to the non-scleractinian cnidarians Nematostella vectensis and

  16. Changes in biodiversity and functioning of reef fish assemblages following coral bleaching and coral loss

    KAUST Repository

    Pratchett, M.S.; Hoey, A.S.; Wilson, S.K.; Messmer, V.; Graham, N.A.J.

    2011-01-01

    Coral reef ecosystems are increasingly subject to severe, large-scale disturbances caused by climate change (e.g., coral bleaching) and other more direct anthropogenic impacts. Many of these disturbances cause coral loss and corresponding changes in habitat structure, which has further important effects on abundance and diversity of coral reef fishes. Declines in the abundance and diversity of coral reef fishes are of considerable concern, given the potential loss of ecosystem function. This study explored the effects of coral loss, recorded in studies conducted throughout the world, on the diversity of fishes and also on individual responses of fishes within different functional groups. Extensive (>60%) coral loss almost invariably led to declines in fish diversity. Moreover, most fishes declined in abundance following acute disturbances that caused >10% declines in local coral cover. Response diversity, which is considered critical in maintaining ecosystem function and promoting resilience, was very low for corallivores, but was much higher for herbivores, omnivores and carnivores. Sustained and ongoing climate change thus poses a significant threat to coral reef ecosystems and diversity hotspots are no less susceptible to projected changes in diversity and function.

  17. Coral reef fish assemblages at Clipperton Atoll (Eastern Tropical Pacific and their relationship with coral cover

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Aurora M. Ricart

    2016-11-01

    Full Text Available Clipperton Atoll, one of the most isolated coral reefs worldwide, is of great scientific interest due to its geomorphology and high levels of endemism. This study explored the reef fish assemblage structure of Clipperton Atoll and its relationship with live coral cover. Nine stations were sampled at three sites and three depths (6, 12 and 20 m around the reef, measuring fish species richness and biomass and hermatypic coral cover (at genus level. We evaluated variation in species richness, biomass and diversity of fish assemblages among sites and depths, as well as the relationship between the entire fish assemblage composition and live coral cover. The results showed that species richness and biomass were similar among sites, but differed across depths, increasing with depth. In contrast, diversity differed among sites but not among depths. Multivariate analyses indicated that fish assemblage composition differed among sites and depths in relation to changes in cover of coral of the genera Pocillopora, Porites, Pavona and Leptoseris, which dominate at different depths. The results showed that fish species richness and diversity were low at Clipperton Atoll and that, in isolated coral reefs with a low habitat heterogeneity and low human disturbance, live coral cover has a significant influence on the spatial variation of the reef fish assemblages. This study highlights the importance of coral habitat structure in shaping coral reef fish assemblages.

  18. Changes in biodiversity and functioning of reef fish assemblages following coral bleaching and coral loss

    KAUST Repository

    Pratchett, M.S.

    2011-08-12

    Coral reef ecosystems are increasingly subject to severe, large-scale disturbances caused by climate change (e.g., coral bleaching) and other more direct anthropogenic impacts. Many of these disturbances cause coral loss and corresponding changes in habitat structure, which has further important effects on abundance and diversity of coral reef fishes. Declines in the abundance and diversity of coral reef fishes are of considerable concern, given the potential loss of ecosystem function. This study explored the effects of coral loss, recorded in studies conducted throughout the world, on the diversity of fishes and also on individual responses of fishes within different functional groups. Extensive (>60%) coral loss almost invariably led to declines in fish diversity. Moreover, most fishes declined in abundance following acute disturbances that caused >10% declines in local coral cover. Response diversity, which is considered critical in maintaining ecosystem function and promoting resilience, was very low for corallivores, but was much higher for herbivores, omnivores and carnivores. Sustained and ongoing climate change thus poses a significant threat to coral reef ecosystems and diversity hotspots are no less susceptible to projected changes in diversity and function.

  19. Regulation of apoptotic mediators reveals dynamic responses to thermal stress in the reef building coral Acropora millepora.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pernice, Mathieu; Dunn, Simon R; Miard, Thomas; Dufour, Sylvie; Dove, Sophie; Hoegh-Guldberg, Ove

    2011-01-24

    Mass coral bleaching is increasing in scale and frequency across the world's coral reefs and is being driven primarily by increased levels of thermal stress arising from global warming. In order to understand the impacts of projected climate change upon corals reefs, it is important to elucidate the underlying cellular mechanisms that operate during coral bleaching and subsequent mortality. In this respect, increased apoptotic cell death activity is an important cellular process that is associated with the breakdown of the mutualistic symbiosis between the cnidarian host and their dinoflagellate symbionts. The PRESENT study reports the impacts of different stressors (colchicine and heat stress) on three phases of apoptosis: (i) the potential initiation by differential expression of Bcl-2 members, (ii) the execution of apoptotic events by activation of caspase 3-like proteases and (iii) and finally, the cell disposal indicated by DNA fragmentation in the reef building coral Acropora millepora. In corals incubated with colchicine, an increase in caspase 3-like activity and DNA fragmentation was associated with a relative down-regulation of Bcl-2, suggesting that the initiation of apoptosis may be mediated by the suppression of an anti-apoptotic mechanism. In contrast, in the early steps of heat stress, the induction of caspase-dependent apoptosis was related to a relative up-regulation of Bcl-2 consecutively followed by a delayed decrease in apoptosis activity. In the light of these results, we propose a model of heat stress in coral hosts whereby increasing temperatures engage activation of caspase 3-dependent apoptosis in cells designated for termination, but also the onset of a delayed protective response involving overexpression of Bcl-2 in surviving cells. This mitigating response to thermal stress could conceivably be an important regulatory mechanism for cell survival in corals exposed to sudden environmental changes.

  20. A community change in the algal endosymbionts of a scleractinian coral following a natural bleaching event: field evidence of acclimatization.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jones, A M; Berkelmans, R; van Oppen, M J H; Mieog, J C; Sinclair, W

    2008-06-22

    The symbiosis between reef-building corals and their algal endosymbionts (zooxanthellae of the genus Symbiodinium) is highly sensitive to temperature stress, which makes coral reefs vulnerable to climate change. Thermal tolerance in corals is known to be substantially linked to the type of zooxanthellae they harbour and, when multiple types are present, the relative abundance of types can be experimentally manipulated to increase the thermal limits of individual corals. Although the potential exists for this to translate into substantial thermal acclimatization of coral communities, to date there is no evidence to show that this takes place under natural conditions. In this study, we show field evidence of a dramatic change in the symbiont community of Acropora millepora, a common and widespread Indo-Pacific hard coral species, after a natural bleaching event in early 2006 in the Keppel Islands (Great Barrier Reef). Before bleaching, 93.5% (n=460) of the randomly sampled and tagged colonies predominantly harboured the thermally sensitive Symbiodinium type C2, while the remainder harboured a tolerant Symbiodinium type belonging to clade D or mixtures of C2 and D. After bleaching, 71% of the surviving tagged colonies that were initially C2 predominant changed to D or C1 predominance. Colonies that were originally C2 predominant suffered high mortality (37%) compared with D-predominant colonies (8%). We estimate that just over 18% of the original A. millepora population survived unchanged leaving 29% of the population C2 and 71% D or C1 predominant six months after the bleaching event. This change in the symbiont community structure, while it persists, is likely to have substantially increased the thermal tolerance of this coral population. Understanding the processes that underpin the temporal changes in symbiont communities is key to assessing the acclimatization potential of reef corals.

  1. Regulation of apoptotic mediators reveals dynamic responses to thermal stress in the reef building coral Acropora millepora.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mathieu Pernice

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available Mass coral bleaching is increasing in scale and frequency across the world's coral reefs and is being driven primarily by increased levels of thermal stress arising from global warming. In order to understand the impacts of projected climate change upon corals reefs, it is important to elucidate the underlying cellular mechanisms that operate during coral bleaching and subsequent mortality. In this respect, increased apoptotic cell death activity is an important cellular process that is associated with the breakdown of the mutualistic symbiosis between the cnidarian host and their dinoflagellate symbionts.The PRESENT study reports the impacts of different stressors (colchicine and heat stress on three phases of apoptosis: (i the potential initiation by differential expression of Bcl-2 members, (ii the execution of apoptotic events by activation of caspase 3-like proteases and (iii and finally, the cell disposal indicated by DNA fragmentation in the reef building coral Acropora millepora. In corals incubated with colchicine, an increase in caspase 3-like activity and DNA fragmentation was associated with a relative down-regulation of Bcl-2, suggesting that the initiation of apoptosis may be mediated by the suppression of an anti-apoptotic mechanism. In contrast, in the early steps of heat stress, the induction of caspase-dependent apoptosis was related to a relative up-regulation of Bcl-2 consecutively followed by a delayed decrease in apoptosis activity.In the light of these results, we propose a model of heat stress in coral hosts whereby increasing temperatures engage activation of caspase 3-dependent apoptosis in cells designated for termination, but also the onset of a delayed protective response involving overexpression of Bcl-2 in surviving cells. This mitigating response to thermal stress could conceivably be an important regulatory mechanism for cell survival in corals exposed to sudden environmental changes.

  2. Marked annual coral bleaching resilience of an inshore patch reef in the Florida Keys: A nugget of hope, aberrance, or last man standing?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gintert, Brooke E.; Manzello, Derek P.; Enochs, Ian C.; Kolodziej, Graham; Carlton, Renée; Gleason, Arthur C. R.; Gracias, Nuno

    2018-06-01

    Annual coral bleaching events, which are predicted to occur as early as the next decade in the Florida Keys, are expected to cause catastrophic coral mortality. Despite this, there is little field data on how Caribbean coral communities respond to annual thermal stress events. At Cheeca Rocks, an inshore patch reef near Islamorada, FL, the condition of 4234 coral colonies was followed over 2 yr of subsequent bleaching in 2014 and 2015, the two hottest summers on record for the Florida Keys. In 2014, this site experienced 7.7 degree heating weeks (DHW) and as a result 38.0% of corals bleached and an additional 36.6% were pale or partially bleached. In situ temperatures in summer of 2015 were even warmer, with the site experiencing 9.5 DHW. Despite the increased thermal stress in 2015, only 12.1% of corals were bleached in 2015, which was 3.1 times less than 2014. Partial mortality dropped from 17.6% of surveyed corals to 4.3% between 2014 and 2015, and total colony mortality declined from 3.4 to 1.9% between years. Total colony mortality was low over both years of coral bleaching with 94.7% of colonies surviving from 2014 to 2016. The reduction in bleaching severity and coral mortality associated with a second stronger thermal anomaly provides evidence that the response of Caribbean coral communities to annual bleaching is not strictly temperature dose dependent and that acclimatization responses may be possible even with short recovery periods. Whether the results from Cheeca Rocks represent an aberration or a true resilience potential is the subject of ongoing research.

  3. Cretaceous and Paleogene Fagaceae from North America and Greenland: evidence for a Late Cretaceous split between Fagus and the remaining Fagaceae

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Grímsson Friðgeir

    2016-12-01

    Full Text Available Modern lineages of the beech family, Fagaceae, one of the most important north-temperate families of woody flowering plants, have been traced back to the early Eocene. In contrast, molecular differentiation patterns indicate that the Fagus lineage, Fagoideae, with a single modern genus, evolved much earlier than the remaining lineages within Fagaceae (Trigonobalanoideae, Castaneoideae, Quercoideae. The minimum age for this primary split in the Fagaceae has been estimated as 80 ± 20 Ma (i.e. Late Cretaceous in recently published, time-calibrated phylogenetic trees including all Fagales. Here, we report fagaceous fossils from the Campanian of Wyoming (82-81 Ma; Eagle Formation [Fm], the Danian of western Greenland (64-62 Ma; Agatdal Fm, and the middle Eocene of British Columbia (ca 48 Ma; Princeton Chert, and compare them to the Fagaceae diversity of the recently studied middle Eocene Hareøen Fm of western Greenland (42-40 Ma. The studied assemblages confirm that the Fagus lineage (= Fagoideae and the remainder of modern Fagaceae were diverged by the middle Late Cretaceous, together with the extinct Fagaceae lineage(s of Eotrigonobalanus and the newly recognised genus Paraquercus, a unique pollen morph with similarities to both Eotrigonobalanus and Quercus. The new records push back the origin of (modern Fagus by 10 Ma and that of the earliest Fagoideae by 30 Ma. The earliest Fagoideae pollen from the Campanian of North America differs from its single modern genus Fagus by its markedly thicker pollen wall, a feature also seen in fossil and extant Castaneoideae. This suggests that a thick type 1 foot layer is also the plesiomorphic feature in Fagoideae although not seen in any of its living representatives. The Danian Fagus pollen of Greenland differs in size from those of modern species but is highly similar to that of the western North American early Eocene F. langevinii, the oldest known beech so far. Together with the Quercus pollen record

  4. Facilitation in Caribbean coral reefs: high densities of staghorn coral foster greater coral condition and reef fish composition.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huntington, Brittany E; Miller, Margaret W; Pausch, Rachel; Richter, Lee

    2017-05-01

    Recovery of the threatened staghorn coral (Acropora cervicornis) is posited to play a key role in Caribbean reef resilience. At four Caribbean locations (including one restored and three extant populations), we quantified characteristics of contemporary staghorn coral across increasing conspecific densities, and investigated a hypothesis of facilitation between staghorn coral and reef fishes. High staghorn densities in the Dry Tortugas exhibited significantly less partial mortality, higher branch growth, and supported greater fish abundances compared to lower densities within the same population. In contrast, partial mortality, branch growth, and fish community composition did not vary with staghorn density at the three other study locations where staghorn densities were lower overall. This suggests that density-dependent effects between the coral and fish community may only manifest at high staghorn densities. We then evaluated one facilitative mechanism for such density-dependence, whereby abundant fishes sheltering in dense staghorn aggregations deliver nutrients back to the coral, fueling faster coral growth, thereby creating more fish habitat. Indeed, dense staghorn aggregations within the Dry Tortugas exhibited significantly higher growth rates, tissue nitrogen, and zooxanthellae densities than sparse aggregations. Similarly, higher tissue nitrogen was induced in a macroalgae bioassay outplanted into the same dense and sparse aggregations, confirming greater bioavailability of nutrients at high staghorn densities. Our findings inform staghorn restoration efforts, suggesting that the most effective targets may be higher coral densities than previously thought. These coral-dense aggregations may reap the benefits of positive facilitation between the staghorn and fish community, favoring the growth and survivorship of this threatened species.

  5. Late Cretaceous and Cenozoic exhumation history of the Malay Peninsula

    Science.gov (United States)

    François, Thomas; Daanen, Twan; Matenco, Liviu; Willingshofer, Ernst; van der Wal, Jorien

    2015-04-01

    The evolution of Peninsular Malaysia up to the collisional period in the Triassic is well described but the evolution since the collision between Indochina and the Sukhothai Arc in Triassic times is less well described in the literature. The processes affecting Peninsular Malaysia during the Jurassic up to current day times have to explain the emplacement multiple intrusions (the Stong Complex, and the Kemahang granite), the Jurassic/Cretaceous onland basins, the Cenozoic offshore basins, and the asymmetric extension, which caused the exhumation of Taku Schists dome. The orogenic period in Permo-Triassic times, which also formed the Bentong-Raub suture zone, resulted in thickening of the continental crust of current day Peninsular Malaysia due to the collision of the Indochina continental block and the Sukhothai Arc, and is related to the subduction of oceanic crust once present between these continental blocks. The Jurassic/Cretaceous is a period of extension, resulting in the onland Jurassic/Cretaceous basins, synchronous melting of the crust, resulting in the emplacement Stong Complex and the Kemahang granite and thinning of the continental crust on the scale of the Peninsular, followed by uplift of the Peninsular. Different models can explain these observations: continental root removal, oceanic slab detachment, or slab delamination. These models all describe the melting of the lower crust due to asthenospheric upwelling, resulting in uplift and subsequent extension either due to mantle convective movements or gravitational instabilities related to uplift. The Cenozoic period is dominated by extension and rapid exhumation in the area as documented by low temperature thermocrological ages The extension in this period is most likely related to the subduction, which resumed at 45 Ma, of the Australian plate beneath the Eurasian plate after it terminated in Cretaceous times due to the collision of an Australian microcontinental fragment with the Sunda margin in the