Julian Sprung's (and others') emails

Clare Bradshaw cbrads at liverpool.ac.uk
Sat Sep 16 09:56:47 EDT 2000

Dear coral-list,
Just for the record :
We visited some of the oceanic islands of the southern Seychelles in 1998 and 1999 and saw a variety
of responses to the 1997-98 warming event.  Generally speaking, there was widespread bleaching and
resulting coral mortality (with thick macroalgal overgrowth - ie. not much chance of 'rebirth').
However, there were small signs of life in places:
- on the outer slopes at Alphonse and St Pierre in 1999 there were occasional live Pocillopora
colonies >30cm in diameter (too big to have grown in a year, presumably)
- in the same areas were similar sized Pocillopora colonies that were half live and half dead -
maybe an example of regrowth?

There are a few other observations that relate to earlier comments in this discussion:

1. The channel into Alphonse atoll (where there is fast water flow) was relatively unscathed by the
previous year's bleaching event - lots of healthy massive, branching and fire coral.
2. Areas at Alphonse and St Pierre where we noticed cooler water currents seemed to be less badly
3. Corals in Alphonse lagoon (warm, more turbid waters) were less severely and less extensively
bleached in 1998
4. Generally speaking, branching corals, Millepora and Heliopora seemed to have been worst affected
(though all coral types were pretty badly affected).
5. In the northern granitic islands, where water clarity is much lower and there are more sources of
pollution etc, the corals were even more badly affected by the bleaching than on the oceanic reefs.

We'll be giving a paper on this small-scale variation at Bali too!

Clare Bradshaw

Dr Clare Bradshaw
Port Erin Marine Laboratory
University of Liverpool
Isle of Man
British Isles

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