Coral Reefs

, 28:941 | Cite as

Long-term coral community records from Lugger Shoal on the terrigenous inner-shelf of the central Great Barrier Reef, Australia

  • C. T. Perry
  • S. G. Smithers
  • K. G. Johnson


Long-term (millennial timescale) records of coral community structure can be developed from the analysis of corals preserved in radiometrically dated reef cores. Here, we present such a record (based on six cores) from Lugger Shoal, a turbid zone, nearshore reef on the inner-shelf of the central Great Barrier Reef. Lugger Shoal initiated growth ~800 cal yBP. It is constructed of large in situ Porites bommies, between which a framework of coral rubble (dominated by Acropora pulchra, Montipora mollis, Galaxea fascicularis and Cyphastrea serailia) has accumulated. Reef accretion occurred under conditions of net long-term fine-grained, terrigenous sediment accumulation, and with a coral community dominated throughout by a consistent, but low diversity, suite of coral taxa. This dataset supports recent suggestions that nearshore coral communities that establish themselves under conditions that are already close to the thresholds for coral survival may be resilient to water quality deteriorations associated with human activities.


Great Barrier Reef Turbid-zone reefs Terrigenous sediments Coral assemblages Palaeoecology 



We thank Andy Berkeley and James Whinney for assistance with core recovery. Gene Shinn and an annonymous reviewer are thanked for their comments. This research was supported by a Leverhulme Trust Fellowship Award (RF/4/RFG/2007/0106) to CTP.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Tropical Coastal & Marine Research Group, Department of Environmental & Geographical SciencesManchester Metropolitan UniversityManchesterUK
  2. 2.School of Earth and Environmental SciencesJames Cook UniversityTownsvilleAustralia
  3. 3.Department of PalaeontologyNatural History MuseumLondonUK

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