[Coral-List] Bleaching and White Plague-II

EWeil eweil at caribe.net
Mon Sep 12 09:51:57 EDT 2005

We are observing ans monitoring similar bleaching conditions in the shallow reef areas (above 12 m) off La Parguera, southwest coast of PR to what E. Hernandez reported for the eatern PR. Most large colonies of Montastraea faveolata,  M. annularis, Colpophyllia natans, Diploria strigosa and D. labyrinthyformis, Dendrogyra cylindrus, Undaria agaricites, Leptoseris cucullata, Agaricia lamarcki, Porites porites, P. furcata, P. divaricata, SIderastrea siderea are the most affected within the hard corals. Millepora spp. Erythropodium caribbaeorum, Palythoa caribbaeorum, and many plexaurid octocorals, are also  bleached. Deep reefs at the shelf edge and deep areas of coastal reefs are not showing bleaching signd yet. However, at the shelf edge (20 m) we have started to see a significant number of colonies (M. faveolata, D. labyrinthiformis, D. strigosa, and C. natans) with signs of white plague type II.




Dr. Ernesto Weil
Department of Marine Sciences
University of Puerto Rico
PO BOX 3208
Lajas PR 00667
Pho: (787) 899-2048 x. 241
Fax: (787) 899-5500 - 2630
----- Original Message -----
From: Hernandez Edwin
Sent: 9/9/2005 9:30:24 PM
To: coral-list at coral.aoml.noaa.gov
Subject: [Coral-List] Major bleaching event off eastern Puerto Rico

> Hola!
> 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
> intense.
> 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.
> Saludos!
> Edwin
> 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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