[Coral-List] Present Bleaching Event - PR & USVI etc.

Gary K. Ostrander gko at hawaii.edu
Fri Sep 23 16:18:25 EDT 2005


The following paper may be of some interest at the "physical disturbance" 
was a hurricane.  We did not see anything around the bleaching event we 
reported to suggest any indicators.  The bleaching event and hurricane were 
two years apart.  Significantly, this was the first major bleaching event in 
the area and the first major hurricane in many years. Thus, there did not 
appear to be a causal relationship.

Ostrander, G.K., Armstrong, K.M., Knobbe, E.T., Gerace, D., Scully, E.P. 
2000.  Rapid transition in the structure of a coral reef community: the 
effects of coral bleaching and physical disturbance.  Proceedings of the 
National Academy of Sciences, USA.  97:5297-5302.


Gary K. Ostrander  Ph.D.
Vice Chancellor for Research
     and Graduate Education
2500 Campus Road  Hawaii Hall 211
University of Hawaii
Honolulu, HI  96822
808/956-7837 office
808/956-2751 fax
----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Kristen Hoss" <kristenhoss at yahoo.com>
To: "scott.stripling" <scott.stripling at noaa.gov>; "Alan E Strong" 
<Alan.E.Strong at noaa.gov>
Cc: "Roger B Griffis" <Roger.B.Griffis at noaa.gov>; 
<coral-list at coral.aoml.noaa.gov>; <Lisamarie.Carrubba at noaa.gov>
Sent: Friday, September 23, 2005 5:28 AM
Subject: Re: [Coral-List] Present Bleaching Event - PR & USVI etc.

> Hello,
> I was wondering if anyone has ever studied the correlation of coral 
> bleaching episodes as possible indicators of what hurricane activity may 
> be like during the year?  I was wondering if there was a connection that 
> could be used as a prediction tool, or if the correlation would just be 
> related to the already known water temperatures and weather patterns, 
> etc....
> -Kristen Hoss
> Marine Researcher
> and Wildlife Biologist-USDA/APHIS/WS
> "scott.stripling" <scott.stripling at noaa.gov> wrote:
> With the NE Caribbean currently located underneath an elongated area of
> low pressure,
> light and variable winds will continue to dominate the region for the
> next 1 to 2 weeks.
> Computer models are forecasting only brief (6-12 hour periods) of anything
> approaching normal trade wind flow during this time. Thus the stagnant
> mixing conditions will
> persist regionally through the first week of October, at the least.
> Scott Stripling
> NOAA/NWS San Juan
> Alan E Strong wrote:
>> *NOTICE - Bleaching continues to evolve throughout Eastern Caribbean*
>> Beginning in the central Keys during August (Sombrero Key especially)
>> the warm water episode and accompanying bleaching for this year is
>> progressing south and eastward through Cuba, Puerto Rico and the
>> Virgin Islands. This can visually be seen in our recent 12-week
>> composite of HotSpot accumulations - Degree Heating Weeks (DHWs):
>> http://www.osdpd.noaa.gov/PSB/EPS/SST/data2/dhwa.9.19.2005.gif
>> and HotSpots:
>> http://www.osdpd.noaa.gov/PSB/EPS/SST/data/hotspotwnc.gif
>> Extremely high DHWs above "8" in much of the Virgin Islands are quite
>> worrisome as these levels in past bleaching events typically bring
>> some mortality to corals. This evolving episode continues to be at
>> near unprecedented levels of thermal stress for this region since our
>> satellite records began in the mid-80s. From the chart one can observe
>> that eastern Puerto Rico is under higher levels of thermal stress at
>> present than western PR....hence the recent reports of considerable
>> bleaching. Until some reduced solar radiation and/or wind & mixing
>> comes to the "rescue" we worry about prospects along much of the
>> Windward Islands toward South America over the next month or so.
>> Sorry our repot couldn't be more positive.
>> Regards,
>> Al Strong
>> NOAA's Coral Reef Watch
>> http://coralreefwatch.noaa.gov/satellite/index.html
>>Coral-List mailing list
>>Coral-List at coral.aoml.noaa.gov
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