Hot off the press! Brazilian mushrooms and bryozoans %$#?!….not all reefs are built by corals and coralline algae.

Please join me in congratulating of GRG collaborator Associate Professor Alex Bastos on the publication of his new in the journal Scientific Reports

Bastos, A. C., Moura, R. L., Moraes, F. C., Vieira, L. S., Braga, J. C., Ramalho, L. V., Amado-Filho, G. M., Magdalena, U. R., and Webster, J. M., 2018, Bryozoans are Major Modern Builders of South Atlantic Oddly Shaped Reefs: Scientific Reports, v. 8, no. 1.

Bastos et al. 2018 – Scientific Reports

In this study we used underwater cores to investigate Late Holocene reef growth and characterise the main framework builders in the Abrolhos Shelf (Brazil), the largest and richest modern tropical reef complex in the South Western Atlantic. Here the reefs form an unusual mushroom-shaped morphology, locally called “chapeirões”.

Rather than a typical coralgal reef, our results show a complex framework building system dominated by bryozoans. Bryozoans were major components in all cores and age intervals (2,000 yrs BP), accounting for up to 44% of the reef framework, while crustose coralline algae and coral accounted for less than 28 and 23%, respectively.

Bastos et al. 2018 – Scientific Reports

While the prevalent mesotrophic conditions may have driven suspension-feeders’ dominance over photoautotrophs and mixotrophs, we propose that a combination of historical factors with the low storm-disturbance regime of the tropical South Atlantic also contributed to the region’s low diversity, and underlies the unique mushroom shape of the Abrolhos pinnacles

Bravo Alex and the team! This fruitful collaboration started a couple years ago when I was fortunate enough to visit Brazil several times as an International Visiting Researcher supported by the Science Without Borders Program.




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