[Coral-List] Coral Bleaching Monitoring in Florida
brad_rosov at yahoo.com
Mon Sep 26 17:33:46 EDT 2005
In wake of the recent posts concerning coral bleaching observations, I want to take this opportunity to inform the list serve of a new bleaching rapid response effort coordinated by The Florida Reef Resilience Program (FRRP). One of the major goals of the Program is to identify factors that contribute to reef resilience. Due to the complexity of attempting to examine all possible factors that could influence coral reef states and rates of change, only one stress, mass coral bleaching, has been examined in detail for a response plan this summer. However, both the sampling design and response plan should be capable of measuring reef responses to other stresses (e.g. cold events, harmful algal blooms, hurricanes, etc.). To date, the FRRP has developed a sampling design based on an expert derived spatial framework of the region, organized and trained approximately 40 data collectors, and has collected data from scores of sites located from Martin County, FL in the north to Key West,
FL in the south. To date, we have completed nearly 80% of our initial goal. Two hurricanes have interrupted our fieldwork, but we are resuming work this week. The data collected from this work will hopefully provide a better understanding of the spatial and temporal differences in bleaching intensity, responses, and recoveries. As Georgina Bustamonte mentioned in an earlier post, identifying sites that do not bleach will provide important information. This information can shed light onto which factors (both extrinsic and intrinsic) may be at play in reef resilience. For any additional information on this effort or the FRRP in general, please contact Dr. Phillip Kramer at The Nature Conservancy (pkramer at tnc.org).
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