Environmentally controlled succession in a late Pleistocene coral reef (Sinai, Egypt)

Journal article

Publication Details

Author(s): Mewis H, Kießling W
Journal: Coral Reefs
Publisher: Springer Verlag (Germany)
Publication year: 2013
Volume: 32
Pages range: 49-58
ISSN: 0722-4028


The concept of ecological succession has been frequently applied in the study of ancient reefs. Whereas Paleozoic and Mesozoic reefs are commonly thought to reveal an autogenic primary-climax zonation, patterns in Neogene and Quaternary reefs are much more diverse. Here, we describe a well-preserved late Pleistocene coral reef from Dahab on Sinai Peninsula (Egypt), which shows a distinct zonation that resembles an ecological succession. In contrast to classical examples of ecological successions, species composition, paleoenvironmental conditions, and coral biodiversity of the Dahab reef indicate an allogenic, sea-level controlled community change, from marginal marine to reef slope and back reef. A review of the literature confirms that autogenic, short-term successions are virtually absent in Quaternary reefs. We predict that long generation times of corals make it unlikely that classical autogenic successions develop in reefs at all, unless environmental conditions are unusually stable. © 2012 Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg.

FAU Authors / FAU Editors

Kießling, Wolfgang Prof. Dr.
Lehrstuhl für Paläoumwelt

External institutions
Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin

How to cite

Mewis, H., & Kießling, W. (2013). Environmentally controlled succession in a late Pleistocene coral reef (Sinai, Egypt). Coral Reefs, 32, 49-58. https://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00338-012-0968-y

Mewis, H., and Wolfgang Kießling. "Environmentally controlled succession in a late Pleistocene coral reef (Sinai, Egypt)." Coral Reefs 32 (2013): 49-58.


Last updated on 2018-11-08 at 00:46