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Keywords:

  • climate recorders;
  • ecology, maërl;
  • paleoenvironments;
  • rhodolites;
  • rhodoliths

Rhodoliths (maërl) are widely distributed in the worlds' oceans and have an excellent fossil record. Individuals are slow growing, may be long lived (>100 years), and are resilient to a variety of environmental disturbances. Their external morphology and internal growth bands are potential archives of environmental variation at scales of within years to tens of years. At high densities, these free-living non-geniculate coralline algae form rhodolith beds, communities of high diversity that can be severely impacted by resource extraction.