[Coral-List] Severe bleaching in St. John, Virgin Islands

Caroline S Rogers caroline_rogers at usgs.gov
Fri Sep 30 16:09:40 EDT 2005

Consistent with Al Strong's predictions, there is now severe bleaching of
most of the coral species on the reefs of St. John, US Virgin Islands.
Bleaching was first noted on Millepora, Agaricia, and the zoanthid Palythoa
beginning in August.  In the last 2 weeks, the bleaching has become more
extensive. The major reef building or common coral species affected

Montastraea annularis, M.faveolata, M. franksi, Porites astreoides, Porites
porites, Diploria labyrinthiformis, Colpophyllia natans, and D. strigosa.
Acropora palmata, Acropora cervicornis, Dendrogyra cylindrus and M.
cavernosa are exhibiting less bleaching.

Mean water temperatures (at depth) for August and September are the highest
recorded in 15 years of temperature monitoring.  Water temperatures from a
site at 16 m have been over 30 C since September 5th, reaching a maximum on
of 30.8 on September 26.

Jeff Miller
Fisheries Biologist
South Florida/Caribbean Network

Mailing Address:
Virgin Islands National Park
1300 Cruz Bay Creek
St. John, VI  00830

PH: 340-693-8950, ext: 227
Fax: 340-693-9131

William_J_Miller at nps.gov

Caroline Rogers
USGS Caribbean Field Station
St. John, VI

caroline_rogers at usgs.gov

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