Bleaching event

Jaime Garzon Ferreira jgarzon at
Tue Oct 19 15:01:56 EDT 1999

Dear Colleagues:
A minor bleaching event is occurring now at Chengue Bay (11o20'N and 74o08'W) and nearby sites of the Tayrona Natural Park in the north coast of Colombia (Southern Caribbean  Sea). The first evidence of this event was observed on September 22 when some large Colpophyllia natans were seen partially bleached. About 6% of 440 colonies of hard corals examined at one site (15-18 m depth) on October 15 had symptoms of bleaching. At the same site and date, between 9-18 m depth, we visually estimated that less than 5% of the living coral tissue was affected; Meandrina meandrites and Porites astreoides seemed to be the most affected. Other bleached species: Millepora alcicornis, Siderastrea siderea, Montastraea faveolata, M. cavernosa, C. natans, Diploria strigosa, Stephanocoenia intersepta and Dichocoenia stokeksi. No associated mortality of coral tissue has been observed. Warm and very turbid waters (due to continental runoff: strong rainy season this year) have remained in the area for several weeks. High temperatures (30oC) have been recorded  on several occasions at surface waters since the end of August.

We were also working on the coral reefs of San Andrés island (12o32'N and 81o43'W: Southwestern Caribbean) in September this year, but did not observe any bleaching event in the area.


Jaime Garzón-Ferreira and Alberto Rodríguez
Jaime Garzón-Ferreira
Instituto de Investigaciones Marinas y Costeras (INVEMAR)
A.A. 1016, Santa Marta, COLOMBIA
Tel. (575)4214774 or 4211380 - Fax (575) 4211377
E-mail: jgarzon at
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