Is 1998 Elnino is the only culprit of mass mortality?

sarang kulkarni coral110 at
Tue Jan 18 13:35:05 EST 2000

Dear Coral lister,

First of all wish you happy new year!

Do you think that only 1998 Elino phenomena is only responsible for coral mass
mortality or the degradation is natural process as part of ecosystem dynamics
in that period. In Andaman Islands, during 1998 Elnino event, it is reported
that the mass mortality was 60-90%. Since I am working in this islands from
past two year especially in M. G. Marine National Park and even I was present
in the field during elnino event reported.
I haven't noticed any mass mortality in same period. My LIT data and previous
studies (Daorairaj et al 1997, Arthuer 1996) shows that, since 1990 live coral
is decreasing gradually at the rate of 3-5 % per year. And I don't see at
present rise in surface temperature as culprit of coral mortality in Andaman
islands. I beleive that cumulitive effect of sedimentation, storms, decrease
in salinity in monsoon and may be rise in sea surface temperature can be the
reason of coral mortality in these islands. 
However by making public statement it can divert attention from real cause of
coral reef degradation and it also affect the other researchers who are
working on long term project on coral reef assessment and trying to find out
what is the extent of various causes on reef. 

Lets have discussion on the pinpointing the cause of coral mortality.

I will be very happy if I get feed back on above topic.



Sarang Kulkarni
Coral Reef Researcher
Wildlife Institute of India
P.B. #18 Dehradun - 248 001
Phone:  91-135-640112
Fax: 91-135-640117
Email: coral110 at
       coral110 at

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