Bleaching Already

Danny Gleason dgleason at
Thu May 20 17:55:39 EDT 1999

Just returned from Lee Stocking Island, Bahamas.  Although water
temperatures did not appear to be at coral stress levels, we observed
substantial bleaching in both fore and back reef areas from depths <1 m to
18 m.  We made no excursions below 18 m so cannot confirm whether or not
bleaching was occurring below this depth.  Species affected include
Montastrea franksi, M. faveolata, M. annularis, Diploria labyrinthformis,
Colpophyllia natans, Agaricia tenuifolia, and a few Porites astreoides,
Millepora complanata, and Favia fragum.  There may be others, but these
species were most noticable.  Most large colonies are bleached on their
upper surfaces.  

The way the corals appear this early in the summer suggest that it could be
another rough year.  Interestingly, we were in Key Largo, Florida just
prior to the Lee Stocking trip and did not notice any bleaching.  

Any hypotheses about what might be going on?  Don't think this is related
to "Hot Spots!"

Best wishes,
"Heck, we're invertebrates, my boy!  As a whole, we're
the movers and shakers on this planet!  Spineless 
superheroes, that's what we are!"
Father Worm to his son in "There's a Hair in My Dirt - 
A Worm Story" by Gary Larson
Daniel Gleason
Department of Biology
Georgia Southern University
P.O. Box 8042
Statesboro, GA  30460-8042

Phone: 912-681-5957
FAX: 912-681-0845
E-mail: dgleason at

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