What saves corals from bleaching?

Terry Done T.Done at aims.gov.au
Mon May 6 06:43:42 EDT 2002

Message from: Terry Done, Jamie Oliver, Steve Coles, Rod Salm,  Gilly
Llewellyn, David Obura

Dear Coral-Listers;

We are writing to ask if you could find some time to complete a bleaching
questionnaire that is posted on the ReefBase web site.


You can answer it on-line, or if that is an expensive option for you, you
can quickly download an electronic copy of the form from the ReefBase site
(see bottom of 1st page of the questionnaire) or request either Terry Done
(tdone at aims.gov.au) or Jamie Oliver (j.oliver at cgiar.org) to email you a

The questionnaire is one approach to better understand the causes of the
patchiness in bleaching response and recovery.  We developed it with
colleagues at an international workshop in Hawaii May 2001 hosted by The
Nature Conservancy and the WWF (see proceedings at www.conserveonline.org).
It aims to establish the best predictors of resistance to coral bleaching
and mortality during bleaching, and of resilience or recovery on affected
reefs following bleaching events. Responses to the questionnaire will allow
the testing of a range of hypotheses that various environmental factors
actually confer bleaching resistance and promote recovery. The process is
intended to help define additional criteria that might be factored into the
design and selection of new coral reef MPAs.

We have tried to make the questions mostly qualitative or semiquantitative.
The strength of the exercise will be in getting lots of returns, not high
levels of accuracy in answers to individual questions. We will do
multivariate analyses of the returns that allow us to weight individual
factors and combinations of factors that best predict vulnerability or
resistance during bleaching years, and recoverability following bleaching.

We would be very grateful if you would try it for at least one site or two
contrasting sites (e.g. one that did and one that did not bleach in 1998 or
2002).  Let Terry know if you have any problems, and if it works OK, please
fill out as many as you are able to - one per site.

Many thanks,

Terry Done, Jamie Oliver, Steve Coles, Rod Salm,  Gilly Llewellyn, David

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