[Coral-List] Coral bleaching in American Samoa

Alan Strong Alan.E.Strong at noaa.gov
Mon Dec 7 18:34:51 EST 2009

Thanks for your observations Kelley,


Note above our (CRW) virtual station SST time series for Tutuila (off 
Fagatele Bay) over the past decade...this year's SSTs are the line in 
solid black.  Although many of the values over this decade have indeed 
been running over the climatological mean SSTs (derived from 1985-1993) 
they are not yet even close to what we (Coral Reef Watch) would even 
warrant issuing a bleaching "watch" or "warning."  What it is likely 
that you are seeing are the coral polyps' response to the sun's 
increasing energy as it gets progressively higher in the sky each day -- 
what you are likely seeing is referred to as "paling" and a more normal 
response of corals at this time of the year as the SSTs and isolation 
ramps upward.


Kelley Anderson wrote:
> Hi all,
> I was out in the shallows (less than .5m depth at low tide) just east of the
> Pago Pago airport off of Nuuli and saw some bleaching on the dorsal portions
> of the horizontal branches of *Acropora nobilis*.  This appears to be the
> first signs of bleaching seen this season.  With our regular coral bleaching
> surveys on hiatus while our coral ecologist is off island, I will post
> another update if more bleaching is seen.
> Cheers,
> Kelley Anderson

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Alan E. Strong, Ph.D.  
NOAA Coral Reef Watch, Consultant  
Strong Research, Inc. & AJH Environmental Services  
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration  
NOAA Coral Reef Watch Program  
 e-mail: Alan.E.Strong at noaa.gov  
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