[Coral-List] Re: Coral Bleaching Trend: North and South Coast Jamaica

Ivana Kenny ibmkenny at yahoo.com
Wed Sep 28 00:18:45 EDT 2005

Montego Bay, Doctor’s Cave beach and westward. (north coast)

Sept 23, 2005

Andrew Ross, UWI MPhil candidate.


Sampled by snorkeling observation was the area of Dr’s Cave Beach westward to the spur and groove formations and drop to 10M depth, an area of approximately 200m (west) x50m (north) including shallow lagoon/patch reef, reef crest and spur and groove reef. The area has been sampled using REEFCHECK to contain between 16% and 21% live coral.


Bleaching observed within shallow lagoon areas (<3M depth) behind reef and areas likely influenced by warm lagoon waters.

This bleaching event is not as yet particularly intensive. It will be observed for change in the coming weeks.

Water temperature was measured by ‘Citizen’ wrist-mounted digital thermometer to be 31 degrees Celsius.



Level and prominence of bleaching observed as follows:


Millepora spp. (mainly complanata): Bleaching occurring in less then 50% of colonies. Bleaching intensity strong in less then 25% of cases.


Montastrea annularis: Bleaching occurring in less then 20% of colonies. No colonies larger then 30cm diameter affected. Bleaching rarely (<10 of cases) more intense then simple fading of colour from uppermost area.


Acropora cervicornis: Bleaching occurring on 70% of colonies observed; patchy, and mainly on upper surfaces of branch. Larger colonies (30CM diameter) more likely to be affected then small colonies and single branches. Bleaching accompanied by white band disease in four colonies. (A. cervicornis is relatively rare. <20 colonies observed total)


Agaricia agaricites: Bleaching observed on colony ridges, patchy. Less then 20 individuals observed displaying notable bleaching in this locally common species.  


Porites porites: Bleaching observed as fading of colour on upper faces of branches and growth tips in four colonies, all of the brown morph. This species and morph is common.


Palythoa caribaeorum: one colony observed to be partially bleached, colours faded on its upper surface. This species is uncommon in this area. (< 10 colonies observed) 



 Further areas of the Montego Bay area are to be observed in the coming days.




Kingston, Lime Cay (The South Coast)

Sept. 21-24, 2005

Ivana Kenny, UWI Mphil Candidate.


The current bleaching trend noted on Caribbean reefs, was also observed in Jamaica. Sampled by scuba diving; bleaching, ranging from partial to full and patchy to total, was observed between 10 – 30 ft depth, along the fore reef of Lime Cay, in the following species:            


                           Acropora cervicornis (~40% patchy)

                          Colpophyllia natans

                          Diplora labrynthiformis

                          Diplora strigosa

                          Meandrina meandricites

                          Millepora alcicornis and M. complanata (~80% bleached, >20% full)

                          Montastrea annularis( ~20% mainly partial)

 Porites astreoides

                         Siderastrea radians                        

                         Siderastrea siderea (~30% greatest diversity of intensity)

                        Agaricia agaricites


In addition to this, diseases also appeared to be more popular. 

Interesting to note, spawning of M. annularis, including bleached colonies, was observed on Saturday the 24 at about 9:50pm; however, no A. cervicornis spawning was observed at the sites sampled neither on Friday nor Saturday. 

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