Skip to main content

Applied taphonomy of gorgonian and antipatharian corals in Atlantic Canada: experimental decay rates, field observations, and implications for assessing fisheries damage to deep-sea coral habitats

Buy Article:

$39.00 plus tax (Refund Policy)

Abstract:

Taphonomic degradation of cold-water gorgonian and antipatharian corals may affect the record of dead or broken corals remaining on the sea floor after damage by deep-sea fisheries. A taphonomic experiment on skeletal degradation of four species of gorgonians and one antipatharian was run in aquaria for 14 months. Paragorgia arborea skeletal fragments, composed of spongy proteins and calcite spicules, were completely degraded within 14 months. Protein-skeletons of Paramuricea and antipatharian fragments gained 10-20% wet weight through hydration of their proteinaceous skeletons. Calcitic gorgonian skeletons of Primnoa resedaeformis and Keratoisis grayi experienced no significant weight change during the experiment. Field observations of dead dislodged and dead skeletons corroborated experimental results. Dislodged and dying P. arborea skeletons were rigid in their live parts, but friable and fragile in their dead parts. Subfossil calcareous gorgonian skeletons up to 2000 years in age have been recovered from the sea floor by trawl bycatch or ROV. Documenting fisheries damage to gorgonian coral forests on the sea floor requires observation within a few months after the fisheries impacts.

Keywords: APPLIED TAPHONOMY; DEEP-SEA CORAL; FISHERIES IMPACTS; GORGONIAN; PROTEIN DECAY; SKELETAL LONGEVITY

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1127/0077-7749/2012/0255

Publication date: 2012-08-01

More about this publication?
  • Neues Jahrbuch für Geologie und Paläontologie continuously publishes current original contributions from all fields of geology, ever since its foundation in 1807. All published contributions are in the English language.
  • Editorial Board
  • Information for Authors
  • Subscribe to this Title
  • Ingenta Connect is not responsible for the content or availability of external websites
  • Access Key
  • Free content
  • Partial Free content
  • New content
  • Open access content
  • Partial Open access content
  • Subscribed content
  • Partial Subscribed content
  • Free trial content
Cookie Policy
X
Cookie Policy
Ingenta Connect website makes use of cookies so as to keep track of data that you have filled in. I am Happy with this Find out more