NOAA reports discovery of table coral, Acropora cytherea, off O'ahu

Aug 08, 2013

NOAA scientists report the discovery of the first known colony of table coral off of the south shore of O'ahu in Hawai'i. A report on the discovery was published last month in the Bulletin of Marine Science.

Given its common name due to its flat-topped, table-like shape, table coral (Acropora cytherea) is one of the primary reef-building corals throughout most of the tropical Pacific, but it has never been observed in waters off O'ahu - until now, researchers said. The coral, estimated to be 14 years old, was found at a depth of 60 feet during a training dive.

"This discovery represents a significant contribution to the diversity of O'ahu reefs," said Daniel Wagner, Ph.D., NOAA research specialist with Papah?naumoku?kea Marine National Monument. "Hawai'i may be in the process of being colonized by table coral from Johnston Atoll or other neighboring tropical archipelagos."

Table coral is abundant at Johnston Atoll, 800 miles southeast of Honolulu. However, it is rare in Hawai'i, where its distribution is limited to French Frigate Shoals and neighboring atolls in the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands.

The coral colony was discovered by scientists last November during survey dives using closed-circuit rebreathers off the south shore of O'ahu. Rebreathers recycle the gases that divers breathe, removing carbon dioxide and actively managing , thereby allowing for extended dive times and more efficient decompression at depths not accessible using conventional SCUBA.

Explore further: The underestimated risk of ethanol fireplaces

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Recommended for you

The underestimated risk of ethanol fireplaces

4 hours ago

Ethanol fireplaces are becoming more and more popular. However, they are not only highly combustible – in the past, severe accents have occurred repeatedly with decorative fireplaces. The devices also pollute ...

New research shows temperatures vary block by block

4 hours ago

This summer has seen the temperature rise above the severe heat mark of 90 degrees just five times, with the latest happening Wednesday afternoon. That's far fewer times than in an average New York summer.

Could Iceland volcano disrupt air travel?

7 hours ago

Following further reports of seismic activity around volcanoes in Iceland, scientists from the University's Department of Meteorology provide comment on the likelihood of an eruption - and how any ash plume ...

Thailand totters towards waste crisis

9 hours ago

A blaze at a vast rubbish dump home to six million tonnes of putrefying trash and toxic effluent has kindled fears that poor planning and lax law enforcement are tipping Thailand towards a waste crisis.

User comments : 0