[Coral-List] Coral bleaching in Santa Marta - Colombia

guillermo.diaz at unimagdalena.edu.co guillermo.diaz at unimagdalena.edu.co
Wed Nov 16 19:13:23 EST 2005

Dear colleagues,

We are passing on some observations from students and colleagues from
Santa Marta-Colombia regarding the recent coral bleaching event in the

As part of the ongoing massive bleaching event on the Caribbean, we would
like to report a coral bleaching event in the Tayrona Natural National
Park (TNNP; 11º20’N and 74º 08’W), off the city of Santa Marta, north of
Colombia. Pale colonies of Montastraea annularis were first observed in
shallow waters (<10m) at Bahía de Nenguange on the 21st of October. A week
later, most M. annularis colonies were bleached, showing the classic
bleaching pattern being more intense on top than on the sides, while
Colpophyllia natans colonies were pale. By the 11th of November the
bleaching event became more evident: nearly all colonies of M. annularis
and Porites porites were severely bleached, while most M. faveolata,
Diploria labyrinthiformis, Colpophyllia natans, Porites astreoides,
Siderastrea siderea, Millepora spp., and the zoanthid Palythoa
caribbaeorum were partially bleached. Similar observations were made in
coral reefs of Bahía de Taganga, adjacent to the TNNP, however, most P.
astreoides colonies were severely bleached in Taganga, in contrast to
Bahia de Neguange.

It is interesting to note that corals at the TNNP bleached quite late
compared to other reef corals throughout the Caribbean [e.g. reefs at
Islas del Rosario, only 200 k southwest from the TNNP, bleached 4 months
earlier in late June (report by Sven Zea posted in coral list)]. This
might have some relation to the bi-modal seasonal upwelling that occurs in
the area, with upwelling peaks taking place early in the year and by

Surface water temperature measurements taken in November 11 at noon: 29°C.

Teams from INVEMAR and the Universidad del Magdalena will follow on the
extent and magnitude of the event.


Dagoberto E. Venera-Pontón (theriididae at yahoo.com) Universidad del
Magdalena, Santa Marta, Colombia.

Guillermo Díaz-Pulido (guillermo.diaz at unimagdalena.edu.co). Universidad
del Magdalena, Santa Marta, Colombia.

Alberto Rodríguez-Ramirez, (betorod at invemar.org.co) INVEMAR, Santa Marta,

Guillermo Diaz-Pulido PhD

Programa de Biologia &
Instituto de Investigaciones Tropicales - INTROPIC
Universidad del Magdalena
Claustro San Juan Nepomuceno
Carrera 2 No. 16-44, Santa Marta
Colombia (South America)

Email: guillermo.diaz at unimagdalena.edu.co
       guillermodiaz at universia.net.co

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