More Florida Keys Bleaching

Haskell, Ben bhaskell at
Thu Sep 3 12:24:55 EDT 1998

Below are my snorkeling observations on 8/25/98 of coral bleaching in the Western Sambo Ecological Reserve in the lower Florida Keys along an offshore to inshore transect. Not meant to be a comprehensive account of all corals.
Intensity of bleaching (whiteness): low, moderate, heavy, mortality
Cover of bleaching: X%

Offshore Buttress Zone:
Depth: 35' 
Temp: 26C (this seems low to me but that's what YSI meter read at 35', 30C at surface)
Overall bleaching: moderate, 60-80% bleaching cover
M. annularis: moderate to heavy, 50-80% cover
C. natans: moderate, 40-60% cover
Sid. sid: light
A. cervicornis: mod-heavy, 60-80%

Reef crest: 
Millepora: heavy, 100% cover
A. palmata: heavy, 80%

Back Reef:
A. palmata: heavy, some mortality with algal overgrowth, 90% cover

Offshore patch reef (behind back reef):
Temp: 31C
Depth: 20-30'
Sid. sid: heavy, 80-100% cover (note difference between here and offshore)
E. fastigiata: moderate

Mid Channel Patch Reef (in Hawk's Channel- our equivalent to a lagoon except deeper and chronically turbid- contains many luxuriant patch reefs with immense soft corals (2 m high)):
Depth: 10'
Temp: 31C
M. cavernosa: moderate, 60-80% cover
M. ann.: moderate, 60-80% cover

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