Coral disease - Mauritius

Alan E Strong Alan.E.Strong at
Fri Feb 23 13:04:21 EST 2001

Kamla et al.,

I have noticed from our satellite information that high SSTs appeared in
the vicinity of Mauritius early in February 2001:
or as an animation:

...however no HotSpots have yet been revealed.

We informed coral-list readers back in October 2000 (17th):

that our NOAA satellite SSTs had begun to provide "observations" that
went into our products/charts that are -0.5 to -1 deg C too LOW.  This
was due to an old satellite and some instrumentation difficulties.  Our
new satellite (NOAA-16) has just recently come on line and has been
approved for use with these products.  With these new, and corrected,
SSTs our charts should soon adapt to showing HotSpots, etc. correctly as

The bottom line here is that SSTs and Bleaching HotSpot Anomalies shown
have not always been capturing/highlighting completely regions of
believed coral reef bleaching over the past 6-7 months.  The fact that
this region in the Indian Ocean showed evidence of SSTs close [pink =
within 0.5 deg C] to what is beleived necessary for a potential
bleaching event in February means SSTs were probably, in fact, high
enough for inducing some bleaching.  Level for bleaching at Mauritius is
approximately 28C.

...does anyone have an observed SST for Mauritius in February?


Kamla Ruby wrote:

> Dear coral listersDuring routine surveys conducted in the lagoon on
> the eastern coast of Mauritius, Indian Ocean, this week i noticed that
> some  large colonies of Acropora cytherea have lost their tissues,
> some totally  and some partially There are others which have not been
> affected at all (reminds me of the 1998 coral bleaching episode).   I
> have not noticed any disease line of active tissue necrosis.This
> plague must have progressed very fast as last week i w as at the same
> site but the corals did not show any sign of infestation. Within a
> week, some of the colonies have died and they are covered with green
> filmentous algae though which one can still see the white coral
> skeleton.  Corals of other species, such as branching Acropora,
> Foliose montipora etc , although occurring side by side have not been
> affected at all. Iam not sure whether the corals have been affected by
> white band disease I or II, tissue bleaching, shut down reaction or
> plague.Is there anyway we can identify the disease from field
> observations? Also any reason why only colonies of A.cytherea are
> being affected?Thanks a lotCheersRuby Ruby Moothien PillayAlbion
> Fisheries Research CentreAlbion, Petite RiviereMauritiusPhone:
> +2304100     Fax: +2384131Email: Kamlaruby at

**** <>< ******* <>< ******* <>< ******* <>< *******
Alan E. Strong
Phys Scientist/Oceanographer
  NOAA Science Center -- RM 711W
  5200 Auth Road
  Camp Springs, MD 20746-4304
        Alan.E.Strong at
             301-763-8102 x170
      FAX: 301-763-8108

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