[Coral-List] Bleaching at Glovers Reef, Belize.

eh218 E.Husain at exeter.ac.uk
Thu Sep 29 21:22:13 EDT 2005

Hi everyone,

Some degree of Bleaching is occurring here at Glovers Reef Atoll, Belize.  
This has not been quantified, but I thought I should outline what has been 
observed, for those that are interested.

Millepora & Porites porites upper surface bleaching has been ongoing for about 
two months.  Around the end of August – start of September deep water plating 
Agaricia species bleached bright white along the east wall of the atoll, 
although shaded colonies under overhangs, etc remain brown & not visibly 
affected.  At the same time occasional bleached plating Agaricia colonies were 
also visible on the fore-reef.  Also at the beginning of September, a few 
Montastraea annularis colonies showed signs of paling - this situation has 
worsened, and now more M. annularis colonies are showing signs of paling, at 
least at two locations on the Eastern side of the Atoll (Middle Caye and Long 
Caye). However, of these two areas Middle Caye is much more affected, with 
maybe as much as 80% (V. approximate guesstimate) of colonies showing visible 
paling, whereas at Long Caye this figure might be around 20 %.  However, at 
both sites no bright white M. annularis colonies have been seen.

Apart from the Agaricia, where a zone of bleached coral can be seen between 20 
– 40m depth, the rest of these observations are from the fore-reef, in depths 
of around 8 - 15 m, i.e. to the edge of the drop-off.

Unfortunately I do not have local water temperature information for the last 

Ellen Husain.

Ellen Husain
Marine Spatial Ecology Laboratory
Hatherly Laboratories
Prince of Wales Road
University of Exeter
Exeter EX4 4PS. UK.
Tel. 01392 263 784
web site: www.exeter.ac.uk/msel

March 28th to Dec 17th, 2005:
I will be abroad on fieldwork in Belize for most of 2005. Want to see where I am? Go to: http://wcsgloversreef.org/gloversbackground

Ellen Husain
Glovers Reef Marine Research Station
WCS Glovers Reef
P.O. Box 272
Dangriga, Belize
Phone +608-6181

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