Bonaire Bleaching (fwd)
Coral Health and Monitoring Program
coral at coral.AOML.ERL.GOV
Tue Nov 14 14:30:06 EST 1995
Forwarded message from Al Strong:
---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Wed, 22 Nov 1995 09:03:31 -0500 (EST)
From: John Ware <jware1 at explorer.csc.com>
To: strong at nadn.navy.mil
Subject: Bonaire Bleaching
Dear Al, You may add Bonaire to your list of Caribbean sites which are
currently undergoing extensive coral bleaching. My observations took
place during my vacation from 24 to 31 October. Local divers stated that
the bleaching began approximately 3 weeks earlier and water temperatures
were reported to be approximately 91 oF (33 oC). During the period I was
there temperatures were 84 1/2 to 85 1/2 oF (about 29 oC) with a 80 oF
(about 27 oC) thermocline at 125 feet (38 m). Unfortunately, I was not
equipped to take quantitative data, the following is from my notes and
photographic records. In the depth range 40 ft to 10 ft Montastrea
annularis (all forms) were bleached extensively, virtually every colony
was completely bleached. Some Porites porites were also bleached.
Agarcia sp (lamarcki?) were bleached to at least 130 feet. Siderastrea
sidera were bleached from 20 ft to at least 100 ft. Large colonies of
Madracis mirabilis were unbleached and looked like islands of color in a
sea of white. I saw no Acropora sp bleached nor were any Milleporids
bleached. There was occasional, perhaps 25%, bleaching of Diploria sp.
and Colpophyllia natans. Some soft corals also appeared to be bleached.
Some of the corals appeared to be recovering color but others were
beginning to be overgrown by algae. In addition, a small fraction,
perhaps 1 - 2 percent, of M.annularis had developed black band disease as
did a few colonies of C.natans. I will return to Bonaire in January and
should be able to compare wide angle photos before and after.
Computer Sciences Corp.
1301 Piccard Dr.
Rockville, MD USA
jware1 at csc.com
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