Coral bleaching in Belize

Melanie McField Earth.Works at
Tue Sep 26 21:43:00 EDT 1995

Report on Coral Bleaching: Belize Barrier Reef 

On 9/23/95 coral bleaching was observed in shallow (0.5 - 1.5 meter) back 
reef areas off Sergent's Caye, Central Belize Barrier Reef. In this area, 
Millepora complanata was the most frequently observed coral bleached, 
partial bleaching was prevalent in Montastrea annularis. The following 
species were observed bleaching. 
Millepora complanata ( ~30% of live coral bleached ) 
Millepora alcicornis 
Agaricia agricia, f. tenuifolia 
Porites porites, f. divaricata 
Montastraea annularis (partial bleaching - creamy yellow) 
Acropora palmatta ( probably white line disease) 
Palythoa caribaeorum ?? 

This was observed in approximately 20 mins. Of swimming. 

Further reports have been recieved from dive guides and marine park 
personell along back reefs off northern Ambergris Caye ( as far north as 
Xcalac, Mexico) and in central Ambergris Caye, near San Pedro in back 
reefs, channels and fore reef( 50 - 70 feet) . 

Water temperatures have reportedly been elevated for some time (with temps 
of 32 - 34 C in shallow back reef areas)- 

Sapodilla Cayes, Southern Barrier Reef:   bleaching of 
Montastraea, Diploria, Acropora, Millepora, Agaricia, 
        also noted at  Roatan, Honduras, (esp. Montastraea annularis) on 9/25 

Field trips are now being organized. Details to follow. 

Earth.Works at 

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