Coral bleaching and climate change

Ove Hoegh-Guldberg oveh at
Wed Mar 22 08:22:43 EST 2000

>Dear Coral-listers
>Bill Fitt and I are organizing a mini-symposium at the 9ICRS (Bali 23-27
>October) entitled "Global Climate Change and Coral Reefs, 2. Bleaching of
>Reef Corals and Other Symbioses.   This mini-symposium addresses a >series
of questions that lie at the heart of one of the most >actively researched
and debated areas of coral reef biology.

Three major >questions lie at the heart of this mini-symposium:

>(1) What do we know about the mechanisms underlying coral bleaching
>(physiology of bleaching)?

>(2) What are the long-term ramifications of a change in the frequency and
>intensity of coral bleaching events (ecological ramifications of

>(3) Is mass coral bleaching a sign of climate change (implications of
climate change for coral >reefs)?

There are also many other potent and interesting questions that are allied
to this theme and which we also hope to deal with during this

>Ideally, we hope to be able to make a few joint statements that may be of
>use in the wider arena of the climate change debate.
>This will be a natural follow-on from mini-symposium E1 (Langdon and
>Kleypas) whom we will >be closely working with.


>Please send an abstract to David Hopley (David.Hopley at and
>to either myself (oveh at or Bill (fitt at
>When contacting David Hopley, please indicate which mini-symposium (E2) you
>intend to present at. >Instructions for abstract submission can be found on
the conference home >page ( The deadline
for abstract >submission is 30 APRIL 2000.

Looking forward to a great symposium and Bali conference.>See you

>Best wishes,

>Ove and Bill
>Global Climate Change and Coral Reefs, 2. Bleaching of Reef Corals and
Other >Symbioses

Convenors: * Dr. William Fitt, Univ. of Georgia, USA. Dr. Ove
>Hoegh-Guldberg, Univ. of Queensland, Australia.
>Bleaching of reef corals (loss of algal symbionts or their symbiotic
>capacity) has been linked to global warming and the demise of corals and
>other symbiotic invertebrates on tropical reefs. Following the worst and
>most widespread bleaching in record history in 1998, many coral reefs
>the world's tropical oceans appear to be damaged to the point where
>may take 30-100 years. The symposium feature talks on a wide array of
>associated with bleaching phenomena. It will aim to coordinate and
>discussion across important areas range from the molecular (mechanisms and
>bleaching) to the ecological processes (e.g. organismal impacts and
>community change) involved in bleaching. This symposium will also invite
>discussion on the important question of whether bleaching is a sign of
>global climate change and hence seek the participation of coral reef
>biologists interested in longer term patterns and time frames. Particular
>emphasis will be placed on resolving the question of whether coral
>is a threat to reef systems worldwide and whether coral bleaching is set to
>increase in intensity and frequency in the next century.

Professor Ove Hoegh-Guldberg
Director, Centre for Marine Studies
University of Queensland
St Lucia, 4072, QLD

Ph:  07 3365 4333
Fax: 07 3365 4755
(replace 07 with 617 for international calls)
Email: oveh at

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