[Coral-List] Western Pacific Bleaching

Hajime Kayanne kayanne at eps.s.u-tokyo.ac.jp
Thu Aug 9 07:58:49 EDT 2007

Mark and list,

As was quickly reported from Sato-san on 6 August at this ML,
Ishigaki Is reef, the most flourished reef in Japan, is now heavily bleached.

Shiraho reef known by its large distribution of Heliopora coerulea, 
is 60-70% bleached and some of the corals were already dead.
Sea water temperature at Shirao reef increased over 33 degree 
centigrade during daytime, and never decreased below 30 degree 
centigrade even during nighttime since 21 July (measured by Tokyo 
Institute of Technology),
and the bleaching started since 23 July.

On 2 to 4 August, we conducted a survey along our 3.2 km long 
permanent transect, along which we recorded coral community change 
since before the 1998 bleaching and published:
Kayanne, Harii, Ide and Akimoto (2002) Recovery of coral populations 
after the 1998 bleaching on Shiraho Reef, in the southern Ryukyus, NW 
Pacific. Marine Ecology Progress Series, 239, 93-103.

50 to 90 % colonies of Porites lutea, Pavona frondifera, various 
species of Acropora, Pocillopora and Montipora aequituberculata were 
bleached and some of them were already dead.
70 % of Montipora digitata was bleached.
Heliopora coerulea, on the other hand, was rarely bleached.
Porites cylindrica was also bleached, but in an area near Heliopora 
distribution was not bleached.

The species difference was almost the same as that at 1998 bleaching event,
except that Porites lutea, which was bleached but recovered its 
symbiotic algae after one month bleaching was already dead for the 
colonies along the shoreside.

The situation seems to be more severe than that in 1998.
Since 5 August, two typhoons passed near Ryukyu Islands, and I hope 
they reduced seawater temperature to stop the bleaching.

Best wishes,
Hajime Kayanne

At 4:57 PM -0400 07.8.8, Mark Eakin wrote:
>Warming has been seen in the region from the northern Philippines to
>southern Japan and Korea.  NOAA Coral Reef Watch data reveal sea
>surface temperatures of 30-32 degrees and Coral Bleaching HotSpots
>reveal water temperatures of up to 2.9 degrees above the maximum
>monthly mean.  The warmest thermal stress accumulation is currently
>found in the region south of Taipei and northwest of Luzon.   Our
>Degree Heating Week product reveals that the waters off the Luzon
>coast now exceed 10 degree weeks of thermal stress.  Reports,
>including two on the Coral List, indicate that bleaching is already
>underway at Kenting National Park, Taiwan, Ishigaki Island, Japan,
>and the Philippines.
>Another large region of heat stress can be seen in the region east of
>the Mariana Islands and northwest of Wake Island.  The SST anomalies
>and HotSpots are not as high in this region and are currently of less
>threat to coral reef systems.
>Our 24 index sites around the globe can be found at:
>Current HotSpot and Degree Heating Week charts, HDF data, and
>GoogleEarth products can be found at:
>Please report any bleaching observations from this region to the
>Coral List and to ReefBase at http://www.reefbase.org/contribute/
>C. Mark Eakin, Ph.D.
>Coordinator, NOAA Coral Reef Watch
>National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
>Center for Satellite Applications and Research
>Satellite Oceanography & Climate Division
>e-mail: mark.eakin at noaa.gov
>url: coralreefwatch.noaa.gov
>E/RA31, SSMC1, Room 5308
>1335 East West Highway
>Silver Spring, MD 20910-3226
>301-713-2857 x109                   Fax: 301-713-3136
>Coral-List mailing list
>Coral-List at coral.aoml.noaa.gov

Hajime Kayanne
Dept Earth & Planetary Science, Univ Tokyo

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