Coral Bleaching - Saudi Arabia/Gulf
yfadlal at dpc.kfupm.edu.sa
Wed Nov 27 03:56:12 EST 1996
Extensive geographic and multi-species coral bleaching was
observed in the summer and early fall of 1996 in nearshore
coral communities along the Saudi Gulf coast. Less extensive
bleaching was also observed in the offshore island of Jana,
and some offshore coral communities north of Bahrain.
Seawater temperatures exceeded 37 degrees C in nearshore habitats,
and reached 35 C or higher at offshore locations. A report by Roger
Uwate (23 Sep 1996; Coral bleaching in Bahrain, Arabian Gulf)
describes similar phenomena.
Extreme temperature excursions are normal for summer months
in the Gulf (Coles, 1988 Proc. 6th ICRS 3:211-216; Coles and
Fadlallah, 1991 Coral Reefs, 9:231-237), but corals appear to
succumb when the temperature extremes hold for long periods.
In the summer of 1996, nearshore (central coast) seawater
temperature held between 33.5 - 37 C for no less than 90 days.
I'd like to make contact with Roger Uwate (if he reads this), and
anyone in the Gulf who might have documented similar events. I have
a second hand anecdotal report of bleaching from the United Arab
Emirates, and would like to corroborate that. Any inforamation
from Kuwait and Qatar is welcome.
Please post only appropriate responses to the list. Otherwise contact
me directly. I would be happy to provide additional information on
bleaching and mortality rates for various species.
Yusef Fadlallah Voice: 966-3-860-3237
Research Institute - KFUPM Fax: 966-3-860-3220
Dhahran 31261, Saudi Arabia Internet: yfadlal at dpc.kfupm.edu.sa
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