[Coral-List] Coral Bleaching, USVI

dbryan at nova.edu dbryan at nova.edu
Thu Oct 20 14:37:04 EDT 2005

Our lab just returned from a research trip to St. Croix, USVI (Oct. 7th- 17th). 
The reefs surrounding Buck Island were experiencing a dramatic bleaching event. 
Although we were primarily doing fish surveys I would estimate that 70% of the 
hard corals were either partially or fully bleached. Almost all of the 
Montastraea colonies were completely bleached except for M. cavernosa, in which 
we only noticed some partial bleaching. A majority of the Acropora palmata 
colonies were either bleached or partially bleached.  Species from the genera  
Diploria, Porites, Siderastrea, and Millepora were also affected. We also 
noticed several bleached mats of Palythoa spp.. Most of the corals still 
appeared to be alive but there were a couple with signs of new algae growth.  

The hard corals on the reefs off Cane Bay were also experiencing significant 
bleaching. Past 10m, at least 75% of the corals were bleached. This also 
included the deeper plated Agaricia colonies. In depths less than 10m roughly 
50% of the hard corals were bleached. 

We also came across several soft corals that appeared to be bleached. I have 
not seen this before and was wondering if it was common. (I have some photos)

If anyone is interested in more information or pictures please feel free to 
contact me. 


David R. Bryan
Graduate Research Assistant
Ichthyology Lab
Nova Southeastern University Oceanographic Center
8000 North Ocean Dr.
Dania Beach, FL. 33004
dbryan at nova.edu
(954) 262-3619

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