Konrad A. Hughen

Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, FMH, Massachusetts, United States

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Publications (148)656.96 Total impact

  • Geophysical Research Letters 05/2015; DOI:10.1002/2015GL064431 · 4.46 Impact Factor
  • T M Work, G S Aeby, K A Hughen
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    ABSTRACT: The authors documented gross and microscopic morphology of lesions in corals on 7 islands spanning western, southern, and eastern Micronesia, sampling 76 colonies comprising 30 species of corals among 18 genera, with Acropora, Porites, and Montipora dominating. Tissue loss comprised the majority of gross lesions sampled (41%), followed by discoloration (30%) and growth anomaly (29%). Of 31 cases of tissue loss, most lesions were subacute (48%), followed by acute and chronic (26% each). Of 23 samples with discoloration, most were dark discoloration (40%), with bleaching and other discoloration each constituting 30%. Of 22 growth anomalies, umbonate growth anomalies composed half, with exophytic, nodular, and rugose growth anomalies composing the remainder. On histopathology, for 9 cases of dark discoloration, fungal infections predominated (77%); for 7 bleached corals, depletion of zooxanthellae from the gastrodermis made up a majority of microscopic diagnoses (57%); and for growth anomalies other than umbonate, hyperplasia of the basal body wall was the most common microscopic finding (63%). For the remainder of the gross lesions, no single microscopic finding constituted >50% of the total. Host response varied with the agent present on histology. Fragmentation of tissues was most often associated with algae (60%), whereas necrosis dominated (53%) for fungi. Two newly documented potentially symbiotic tissue-associated metazoans were seen in Porites and Montipora. Findings of multiple potential etiologies for a given gross lesion highlight the importance of incorporating histopathology in coral disease surveys. This study also expands the range of corals infected with cell-associated microbial aggregates. © The Author(s) 2015.
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    ABSTRACT: During the African Humid Period about 14,800 to 5,500 years ago, changes in incoming solar radiation during Northern Hemisphere summers led to the large-scale expansion and subsequent collapse of the African monsoon. Hydrologic reconstructions from arid North Africa show an abrupt onset and termination of the African Humid Period. These abrupt transitions have been invoked in arguments that the African monsoon responds rapidly to gradual forcing as a result of nonlinear land surface feedbacks. Here we present a reconstruction of precipitation in humid tropical West Africa for the past 20,000 years using the hydrogen isotope composition of leaf waxes preserved in sediments from Lake Bosumtwi, Ghana. We show that over much of tropical and subtropical Africa the monsoon responded synchronously and predictably to glacial reorganizations of overturning circulation in the Atlantic Ocean, but the response to the relatively weaker radiative forcing during the African Humid Period was more spatially and temporally complex. A synthesis of hydrologic reconstructions from across Africa shows that the termination of the African Humid Period was locally abrupt, but occurred progressively later at lower latitudes. We propose that this time-transgressive termination of the African Humid Period reflects declining rainfall intensity induced directly by decreasing summer insolation as well as the gradual southward migration of the tropical rainbelt that occurred during this interval.
    Nature Geoscience 01/2015; 8(2). DOI:10.1038/NGEO2329 · 11.67 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: A record of the hydrogen isotopic composition of terrestrial leaf waxes ( ) in sediment cores from Lake Titicaca provides new insight into the precipitation history of the Central Andes and controls of South American Summer Monsoon (SASM) variability since the last glacial period. Comparison of the record with a 19-kyr record from the nearby Illimani ice core supports the interpretation that precipitation is the primary control on with a lesser but significant role for local evapotranspiration and other secondary influences on . The Titicaca record confirms overall wetter conditions in the Central Andes during the last glacial period relative to a drier Holocene. During the last deglaciation, abrupt shifts correspond to millennial-scale events observed in the high-latitude North Atlantic, with dry conditions corresponding to the Bølling-Allerød and early Holocene periods and wetter conditions during late glacial and Younger Dryas intervals. We observe a trend of increasing monsoonal precipitation from the early to the late Holocene, consistent with summer insolation forcing of the SASM, but similar hydrologic variability on precessional timescales is not apparent during the last glacial period. Overall, this study demonstrates the relative importance of high-latitude versus tropical forcing as a dominant control on glacial SASM precipitation variability.
    Earth and Planetary Science Letters 12/2014; 408. DOI:10.1016/j.epsl.2014.10.024 · 4.72 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Global climate change and anthropogenic activities are threatening the future survival of coral reef ecosystems. The ability of reef-building zooxanthellate coral to survive these stressors may be determined through fundamental differences within their symbiotic dinoflagellates (Symbiodinium sp.). We define the in vitro apoptotic response of 2 evolutionarily distant Symbiodinium sp., subtypes B2 and C1, to determine the synergistic effects of disease and temperature on cell viability using flow cytometry. The putative yellow band disease (YBD) consortium of Vibrio spp. bacteria and temperature (33°C) had a positive synergistic effect on C1 apoptosis, while B2 displayed increased apoptosis to elevated temperature (29 and 33°C), the Vibrio consortium, and a lone virulent strain of V. alginolyticus, but no synergistic effects. Additionally, heat shock protein 60 expression revealed differential cell-mediated temperature sensitivity between subtypes via western blotting. This result marks the first evidence of Symbiodinium sp. apoptotic variations to YBD pathogens and emphasizes the potential impact of synergistic stress on globally distributed coral−Symbiodinium symbioses.
    Diseases of Aquatic Organisms 12/2014; 112:149-159. DOI:10.3354/dao02802 · 1.59 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The climate of Chilean Patagonia is strongly influenced by the southern westerlies, which control the amount and latitudinal distribution of precipitation in the southern Andes. In austral summer, the Southern Westerly Wind Belt (SWWB) is restricted to the high latitudes. It expands northward in winter, which results in a strong precipitation seasonality between ∼35 and 45°S. Here, we present a new precipitation seasonality proxy record from Quitralco fjord (46°S), where relatively small latitudinal shifts of the SWWB result in large changes in precipitation seasonality. Our 1400 yr record is based on sedimentological and geochemical data obtained on a sediment core collected in front of a small river that drains the Patagonian Andes, which makes this site particularly sensitive to changes in river discharge. Our results indicate Fe/Al and Ti/Al values that are low between 600 and 1200 CE, increasing at 1200-1500 CE, and high between 1500 and 1950 CE. Increasing Fe/Al and Ti/Al values reflect a decrease in mean sediment grain-size from 30 to 20 μm, which is interpreted as a decrease in seasonal floods resulting from an equatorward shift of the SWWB. Our results suggest that, compared to present-day conditions, the SWWB was located in a more poleward position before 1200 CE. It gradually shifted towards the equator in 1200-1500 CE, where it remained in a sustained position until 1950 CE. This pattern is consistent with most precipitation records from central and southern Chile. The comparison of our record with published regional sea surface temperature (SST) reconstructions for the late Holocene shows that equatorward shifts of the SWWB are systematically coeval with decreasing SSTs and vice versa, which resembles fluctuations over glacial-interglacial timescales. We argue that the synchronicity between SST and SWWB changes during the last 1400 years represents the response of the SWWB to temperature changes in the Southern Hemisphere.
    Quaternary Science Reviews 12/2014; 105:195-208. DOI:10.1016/j.quascirev.2014.09.021 · 4.57 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: As sea surface temperatures rise and the global human population increases, large-scale field observations of marine organism health and water quality are increasingly necessary. We investigated the health of corals from the family Fungiidae using visual observations in relation to water quality and microbial biogeochemistry parameters along 1300 km of the Red Sea coast of Saudi Arabia. At large scales, incidence of lesions caused by unidentified etiology showed consistent signs, increasing significantly from the northern to southern coast and positively correlated to annual mean seawater temperatures. Lesion abundance also increased to a maximum of 96% near the populous city of Jeddah. The presence of lesioned corals in the region surrounding Jeddah was strongly correlated with elevated concentrations of ammonium and changes in microbial communities that are linked to decreased water quality. This study suggests that both high seawater temperatures and nutrient pollution may play an indirect role in the formation of lesions on corals.
    Marine Environmental Research 07/2014; DOI:10.1016/j.marenvres.2014.04.002 · 2.33 Impact Factor
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    Greta S Aeby, Thierry M Work, Konrad A Hughen
    Bulletin of Marine Science -Miami- 07/2014; 90(3). DOI:10.5343/bms.2014.1018 · 1.33 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Paired strontium-to-calcium (Sr/Ca) and δ18O measurements for two Porites lutea corals recovered from Hon Tre Island, Vietnam, are strongly correlated to sea surface temperature (SST) and precipitation at monthly to interannual time-scales. Least squares linear regression of monthly Sr/Ca to SST shows a strong, significant correlation (r2 = 0.77, p < .0001), with root mean square residuals of 0.9 °C. 3-year averaged (binned) Sr/Ca for wet (Sep–Nov) and dry (Jan–Mar) seasons separately captures SST variability at interannual time scales (Sr/Ca RMSR = 0.42 °C and 0.70 °C for wet and dry seasons, respectively). Coral δ18O correlates weakly to SST at seasonal and interannual time scales for wet and dry seasons, with significant anomalies (δ18O RMSR = 2.4 °C and 1.65 °C, respectively). Correcting the SST influence on coral δ18O using paired Sr/Ca values provides estimates of δ18O of seawater (δ18Osw). 3-year averaged δ18Osw during the wet season shows a significant correlation to local precipitation (r2 = 0.54, p = 0.01). These results show that coral Sr/Ca in this location accurately reflects SST at a number of timescales, and that seawater δ18O composition in the wet season is controlled by local precipitation, largely unmodified by ocean circulation during the winter monsoon. This study highlights the sensitivity and utility of coral geochemistry in this region for reliably reconstructing SST and monsoonal precipitation.
    Palaeogeography Palaeoclimatology Palaeoecology 06/2014; 410:233-243. DOI:10.1016/j.palaeo.2014.05.047 · 2.75 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Lipid content and fatty acid profiles of corals and their dinoflagellate endosymbionts are known to vary in response to high-temperature stress. To better understand the heat-stress response in these symbionts, we investigated cultures of Symbiodinium goreauii type C1 and Symbiodinium sp. clade subtype D1 grown under a range of temperatures and durations. The predominant lipids produced by Symbiodinium are palmitic (C16) and stearic (C18) saturated fatty acids and their unsaturated analogs, the polyunsaturated fatty acid docosahexaenoic acid (C22:6, n-3; DHA), and a variety of sterols. Prolonged exposure to high temperature causes the relative amount of unsaturated acids within the C18 fatty acids in Symbiodinium tissue to decrease. Thermal stress also causes a decrease in abundance of fatty acids relative to sterols, as well as the more specific ratio of DHA to an algal 4-methyl sterol. These shifts in fatty acid unsaturation and fatty acid-to-sterol ratios are common to both types C1 and D1, but the apparent thermal threshold of lipid changes is lower for type C1. This work indicates that ratios among free fatty acids and sterols in Symbiodinium can be used as sensitive indicators of thermal stress. If the Symbiodinium lipid stress response is unchanged in hospite, the algal heat-stress biomarkers we have identified could be measured to detect thermal stress within the coral holobiont. These results provide new insights into the potential role of lipids in the overall Symbiodinium thermal stress response.
    Coral Reefs 12/2013; 32(4). DOI:10.1007/s00338-013-1076-3 · 3.62 Impact Factor
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    Timothy J Heaton, Konrad A Hughen, Edouard Bard
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    ABSTRACT: We consider a general methodology for the transferral of chronologies from a master reference record contain-ing direct dating information to an undated record of interest that does not. Transferral is achieved through the identification, by an expert, of a series of tie-points within both records that are believed to correspond to approximately contemporaneous events. Through tying of the 2 records together at these points, the reference chronology is elastically deformed onto the undated record. The method consists of 3 steps: creation of an age-depth model for the reference record using its direct dating information; selection of the tie-points and translation of their age estimates from the reference to the undated record; and finally, creation of an age-depth model for the undated record using these uncertain tie-point age estimates. Our method takes full account of the uncertainties involved in all stages of the process to create a final chronology within the undated record that allows joint age estimates to be found together with their credible intervals. To achieve computational practicality, we employ a Gaussian process to create our age-depth models. Calculations can then be performed exactly without resort to extremely slow Monte Carlo methods involving multiple independent model fits that would be required by other age-depth models.
    Radiocarbon 11/2013; 55(4):1975-1997. · 1.04 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Understanding the causes and potential ecological and environmental impacts of recent and future temperature changes in the Arctic requires a better understanding of long term climate variability. Amongst the most promising new geochemical tools for sedimentary paleotemperature reconstructions are those based on the glycerol diakyl glycerol tetraethers (GDGTs). Although a number of studies have recently developed empirical calibrations for the temperature sensitivity of isoprenoid GDGTs (i.e., the TEX86 index) and the branched GDGTs (i.e., the MBT/CBT index) in mid and low latitude lakes, there is very little data from lakes in the Arctic. Here, we examine the temperature and environmental controls on GDGT abundances in a transect of small lakes (n = 59) distributed across Baffin Island in the eastern Canadian Arctic. Isoprenoid and branched GDGTs are ubiquitous in these lakes. The temperature control on the isoprenoid GDGT distributions is weak, although there is a significant relationship between the branched GDGT distributions and warm season temperature. Furthermore, published relationships developed between branched GDGTs and mean annual air temperatures in tropical lakes yield reconstructed temperatures from Arctic lakes that are consistent with Arctic summer air temperature. This suggests that empirical calibrations from branched GDGTs in lakes reflect the seasonality of branched GDGT production. For example, at low latitudes there is little seasonality in temperature, and branched GDGT production records air temperatures throughout the year. In the Arctic however, branched GDGTs are likely produced in summer, when the temperatures are warmest, sunlight hours are greatest and ice cover is diminished. Due to the extreme seasonality and short window of Arctic productivity, the use of branched GDGTs for summer paleotemperature reconstructions likely remains robust back through time. However, interpretations of paleotemperatures from branched GDGTs in temperate lakes may require careful consideration about potential changes in the seasonal timing of branched GDGT production.
    Organic Geochemistry 11/2013; 64:119–128. DOI:10.1016/j.orggeochem.2013.09.010 · 2.83 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: High-quality data from appropriate archives are needed for the continuing improvement of radiocarbon cali- bration curves. We discuss here the basic assumptions behind 14C dating that necessitate calibration and the relative strengths and weaknesses of archives from which calibration data are obtained. We also highlight the procedures, problems, and uncertainties involved in determining atmospheric and surface ocean 14C/12C in these archives, including a discussion of the various methods used to derive an independent absolute timescale and uncertainty. The types of data required for the current IntCal database and calibration curve model are tabulated with examples.
    Radiocarbon 11/2013; 55(4):1923-1945. · 1.04 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Geological records of past sea ice, such as those contained in Arctic marine sediments, offer an opportunity to strengthen our understanding of long-term sea ice variability, provided unambiguous paleo-sea ice proxies can be developed. One such recently proposed proxy is IP25, a highly branched isoprenoid alkene biosynthesized exclusively by sea-ice dwelling diatoms (Haslea spp.), which is well preserved in marine sediments and could be used to reconstruct past changes in spring sea-ice extent. However, little is known about regional-scale controls on IP25 production in sea ice, limiting its wider applicability as a paleo-sea-ice proxy. To address this issue we examined the distributions of IP25 and the marine productivity biomarkers dinosterol and brassicasterol in a suite of surface sediment samples distributed across the Arctic. We find a statistically significant, logarithmic relationship between IP25 and spring sea ice cover in sediment samples from arctic and subarctic sites in the Pacific (n = 96, R2 = 0.67, P < 0.0001) and the Atlantic n = 25, R2 = 0.50, P < 0.0001), though the absolute concentrations of IP25 are generally higher in the Atlantic (1.6-166.4 μg/g OC) than in the Pacific (0-38.5 μg/g OC) for equivalent sea-ice cover, and there are regional and basin-specific differences in the slope of the IP25 - sea ice relationship. Using the PDIP25 index, which also includes a biomarker for marine productivity (e.g., dinosterol) the relationship with sea ice cover is improved in all of the study areas (R2 = 0.86 and R2 = 0.75 for Atlantic and Pacific, respectively) and most basin specific differences in the proxy-sea ice relationships are significantly reduced. However, there remain differences in the absolute magnitudes of the PDIP25 index for equivalent amounts of sea ice cover between the Atlantic and the Pacific, and with previously published data from Fram Strait. Nevertheless, this work demonstrates that the PDIP25 index can provide a valuable tool for sea ice reconstructions at local and regional scales.
    Quaternary Science Reviews 11/2013; DOI:10.1016/j.quascirev.2012.10.006 · 4.57 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The hydrogen isotope composition of plant waxes preserved in lacustrine sediments is a potentially valuable tool for reconstructing paleoenvironmental changes in the Arctic. However, in contrast to the mid- and low-latitudes, significantly less effort has been directed towards understanding the factors controlling D/H fractionation in high latitude plant waxes and the impact of these processes on the interpretation of sedimentary leaf wax δD records. To better understand these processes, we examined the D/H ratios of long chain fatty acids in lake surface sediments spanning a temperature and precipitation gradient on Baffin Island in the eastern Canadian Arctic. D/H ratios of plant waxes increase with increasing temperature and aridity, with values ranging from -240‰ to -160‰ over the study area. Apparent fractionation factors between n-alkanoic acids in Arctic lake sediments and precipitation(ɛFA-ppt) are less negative than those of mid-latitude lakes and modern plants by 25‰ to 65‰, consistent with n-alkane data from modern Arctic plants (Yang et al., 2011). Furthermore, ɛFA-ppt values from Arctic lakes become systematically more positive with increasing evaporation, in contrast to mid-latitude sites, which show little to no change in fractionation with aridity. These data are consistent with enhanced water loss and isotope fractionation at higher latitude in the Arctic summer, when continuous sunlight supports increased daily photosynthesis. The dominant control on δDFA variations on Baffin Island is temperature. However, changing ɛFA-ppt result in steeper δDFA-temperature relationships than observed for modern precipitation. The application of this δDFA-based paleotemperature calibration to existing δDFA records from Baffin Island produces much more realistic changes in late Holocene temperature and highlights the importance of these effects in influencing the interpretation of Arctic δDFA records. A better understanding of the controls on hydrogen isotope fractionation in high latitude leaf waxes will be essential to the proper interpretation of isotope records from sedimentary plant waxes in the Arctic.
    Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta 10/2013; 119:286 - 301. DOI:10.1016/j.gca.2013.05.032 · 4.25 Impact Factor

Publication Stats

8k Citations
656.96 Total Impact Points


  • 2000–2015
    • Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution
      • Department of Marine Chemistry and Geochemistry
      FMH, Massachusetts, United States
    • University of Colorado at Boulder
      • Department of Geological Sciences
      Boulder, Colorado, United States
  • 2008
    • University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign
      Urbana, Illinois, United States
  • 2003
    • Hohenheim University
      • Institute of Botany
      Stuttgart, Baden-Württemberg, Germany
  • 2001
    • Universität Bern
      • Physikalisches Institut
      Bern, BE, Switzerland
  • 1998–2001
    • Harvard University
      • Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences
      Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States
  • 1996
    • University of Miami
      كورال غيبلز، فلوريدا, Florida, United States