[Coral-List] Bleaching in PR (update #3)

Hernandez Edwin coral_giac at yahoo.com
Wed Sep 21 18:29:33 EDT 2005

Dear Listers:

Hola! This short notice is to provide an additional
summary of bleaching progress in PR. Now, we have
collected additional information from collaborators
from northeastern Puerto Rico, Culebra and Vieques
Island that have documented bleaching impacting corals
all over down to shelf edge depths to about 30 m.

Also, we visited El Ron reef off Cabo Rojo (sowthwest
PR) and bleaching was not even half intense as it is
in eastern PR. Observations from other collaborators
that have dived Cayo Enrique, Laurel and other reefs
off La Parguera (southwest PR) also suggest that
bleaching has been less intense than in eastern PR
(e.g., lower % impacted colonies, lower diversity of
impacted taxa). These observations are in agreement
with the suggestion of Al Strong that eastern PR is
being under severe impact in comparison to western PR.

Temperatures even at 25 m have been documented to
range from 30.5 to 31.8C. In the shallows (<5 m)
temperatures have ranged from 31.7 to 33.1C.

In summary:

1. There is a clear bathimetric gradient: severe
bleaching in the shallows (<10 m); moderate bleaching
at mid-depths (10-20 m); moderate to lower bleaching
in deeper areas (>20 m).

2. There is a clear geographic gradient of more
intense bleaching on eastern PR reefs than those in
the SW coast.

3. A higher diversity of corals has been impacted in
eastern PR than in SW PR.



pd. I've been asked by several persons the coordinates
of bleached sites. I'll provide in the near future a
list of geographic coordinates in a following email.

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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