Coral mortality

K. Soong keryea at
Wed Jan 14 20:25:33 EST 1998

Dear Hector,  Alina and Coral listers:
I observed, in Panama, that bleached Porites have thinner tissues than
unbleached Porites, after decalcification of skeleton.  Whether this will
result in weaker defence of corals against algae is beyond me.
In Taiwan, bleaching event occurred REGULARLY near the outlet of a power
plant in summer.  So, bleaching does not kill the corals.  But if bleaching
extended for several months, then a lot of corals die.  It seems to me that
the duration of bleaching is critical in causing coral mortality.

Keryea Soong

 >>Date: Wed, 14 Jan 1998 14:37:14
>>To: Hector Reyes Bonilla <hreyes at>
>>From: Alina Szmant <aszmant at>
>>Subject: Re: Coral mortality
>>Dear Hector:
>>The problem with that hypothesis is that it won't explain coral mortality
>in the middles of colonies as opposed to edges.  In mid-colonies, tissues
>start to thin because of decreased food supply etc., and then the
>semi-exposed skeletons become colonized by algae etc.  Given the simple
>tissue structure of corals, there may be some "live tissue" still left on
>the skeleton at the time the colonization begins, but not enough to really
>constitute a defense of the skeleton.  Not sure if you see my point, but
>something to think about.
>>Alina Szmant
>>At 10:56 AM 1/14/98 -0600, you wrote:
>>>	Dear coraleros:
>>>	I have been looking for data on why corals die after they were
>>>bleached. In the beginning, I thought that it was a physiological problem
>>>or so, but after following bleached corals in the Gulf of California for
>>>several months, I observed that most of them die because of overgrowing
>>>of other species (mostly algae), and not by "natural causes". Do you know
>>>of any paper doing explicit reference of this? Thanks.
>>>	Hector Reyes
>>>	UABCS, Depto. Biologia Marina
>>>	La Paz, BCS, MEXICO
>Dr. Alina M. Szmant
>Coral Reef Research Group
>University of Miami
>4600 Rickenbacker Cswy.
>Miami FL 33149
>TEL: (305)361-4609
>FAX: (305)361-4600 or 361-4005

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