[Coral-List] cold water bleaching

Bernardo Vargas Angel Bernardo.VargasAngel at noaa.gov
Thu May 15 20:54:37 EDT 2008

Aloha coral-listers:
Cold-water bleaching is not common, but has been previously reported in 
the literature. Back in Feb 1989 I observed this kind of phenomenon off 
the Pacific coast of Colombia, when temperatures dipped to 16°C during 
unusually strong upwelling off the Gulf of Panama. Corals, took about 1 
week days to recover full pigmentation. No widespread mortality was 
observed associated to the bleaching.
Bernardo Vargas-Angel

Zoe Richards wrote:
> Hi Alan and coral-listers, 
> I find the concept of cold-water bleaching very interesting.
> I observed what appeared to be cold-water bleaching at Orpheus Island on the Great Barrier Reef in August (Winter) of 2005.  Preceding this observation was two weeks of very strong SE trade winds that brought cold southerly waters far north along the East Australian coastline - these conditions also caused a large amount of coastal erosion along the northern beaches of Townsville.   I observed bleaching in three bays (little Pioneer, Pioneer and Cattle) and it appeared only shallow water (<5m) Acropora species (e.g. A. millepora) were affected. When I returned 2 months later there were no apparent signs of the bleaching event - so it was my impression at the time that the corals recovered.
> Hope this adds to the global picture of cold-water bleaching events and inspires people to incorporate cold-water bleaching in future bleaching experiments.
> Cheers Zoe Richards
> James Cook University
> zoe.richards at jcu.edu.au
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Bernardo Vargas Angel Ph.D
Coral Disease Specialist
Joint Institute for Marine and Atmospheric Research
Coral Reef Ecosystem Division
NOAA Fisheries, Pacific Islands Fisheries Science Center
1125B Ala Moana Boulevard
Honolulu, HI 96814
Phone: 808-983-3723
Fax: 808-983-3730
Bernardo.VargasAngel at noaa.gov

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