[Coral-List] Major bleaching event off eastern Puerto Rico

Hernandez Edwin coral_giac at yahoo.com
Fri Sep 9 21:30:24 EDT 2005


This short notice is to provide a brief report of a
major bleaching event actually occurring off the
eastern coast of Puerto Rico. Part of our diving team
at the UPR-Coral Reef Research Group was out in the
field today and found that minor bleaching we
documented about two weeks ago or so has become more

According to Prof. Carlos Toledo, from our diving
team, between 50 and 75% of the corals at Cayo Largo
(off Fajardo) and Isla Piñero (off Ceiba) are heavily
bleached. Most Montastraea spp., Diploria spp.,
Siderastrea siderea, Porites spp., Agaricia spp.,
Millepora spp., and other species were documented with
total or nearly total bleaching.

In addition, many plexaurid octocoral colonies,
encrusting gorgonians (Erythropodium caribbaeorum) and
zoanthids (Palythoa caribbaeorum) were also
significantly bleached.

There is no quantitative data at this stage, but
divers will be returning to these sites tomorrow and
next week to collect quantitative data.

A summary report will be submitted sometime within the
next few days.

SST is around 29.5 to 30.0C. Doldrum-like conditions
have been nearly prevalent in the area during the last
few weeks preceeding bleaching.



Edwin A. Hernández-Delgado, Ph.D.
Affiliate Researcher

University of Puerto Rico
Department of Biology
Coral Reef Research Group
P.O. Box 23360
San Juan, Puerto Rico 00931-3360
Tel (787) 764-0000, x-4855
Fax (787) 764-2610
e-mail: coral_giac at yahoo.com

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