Coral bleaching

michel pichon pichon at
Thu Mar 28 03:42:51 EST 1996


The onset of a coral bleaching episode has been observed at Moorea 

(Society Islands, French Polynesia) at the beginning of February 1996, 

by the permanent staff of the "Centre de Recherches Insulaires et 

Observatoire de l'Environnement/Ecole Pratique des Hautes Etudes". 

(C.R.I.O.B.E./E.P.H.E.). The intensity of the phenomenon is moderate, 

and it has not been reported from other French Polynesian islands, 

where a network of observers is monitoring the situation. Some 

unconfirmed reports, however, suggest that very localized coral 

bleaching took place on Tahiti, Bora Bora and Rangiroa, in the 

lagoons as well as on the outer reef slopes.  The bleaching does not 

appear to have gained in intensity since it was first noticed early in 

February. At the beginning of March, at a depth of 9m, on the outer 

reef slope on the north coast of Moorea, 27% of all coral colonies 
affected by  the phenomenon, with 17% partly bleached and 10%  
wholly or partly fluorescent. The genera most bleached were 

Montipora, Acropora and Pocillopora. 

 B. Salvat 
 Y Chancerelle 

email  :  pol at 

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