A new record for a massive Porites colony at Ta’u Island, American Samoa
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A new record for a massive Porites colony at Ta’u Island, American Samoa
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  • Source:
    Scientific Reports, 10(1)
Filetype[PDF-1.18 MB]

  • Description:
    An exceptionally large, hermatypic colony of Porites sp. has been identified and measured at Ta’u, American Samoa. This coral was measured in November 2019 as part of an effort to catalogue all large (≥ 2 m diameter) Porites colonies around Ta’u. Colonies exceeding 10 m in diameter were recorded on three different sides of the island with seasonally different wave exposures. The largest colony measured 8 m tall, 69 m in circumference and had a diameter of 22.4 m. To date, this is the biggest colony recorded in American Samoa, and one of the largest documented worldwide. It is currently unknown why such large corals exist around this particular island. Possible explanations include mild wave or atmospheric climates and minimal anthropogenic impacts. Physiologically, these colonies may be resistant and/or resilient to disturbances. Large, intact corals can help build past (century-scale) climatic profiles, and better understand coral persistence, particularly as coral communities worldwide are declining at rapid rates.
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