Bleaching Already

Billy Causey Billy.Causey at
Fri May 21 09:31:08 EDT 1999

On Saturday, May 15th, I observed the Palythoa to be very bleached at Key
Largo Dry Rocks and Grecian Rocks in the Key Largo portion of the Florida Keys
National Marine Sanctuary.  This has consistently been an early warning sign
here in the Keys for bleaching of stony corals to follow.

Billy Causey

Danny Gleason wrote:

> 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
> **************************************

Billy D. Causey, Superintendent
Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary
PO Box 500368
Marathon, FL 33050
Phone (305) 743.2437, Fax (305) 743.2357

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