[Coral-List] Have branching acroporids returned after 97-98' mass bleaching?

Bruce Carlson exallias at charter.net
Tue Aug 31 22:30:19 EDT 2010


I can't respond about coral recovery from 97-98, but I did record the  
mass bleaching event in Fiji in 2000 and set up permanent transects  
that I have been monitoring periodically over the past decade.  Reefs  
that were devastated by the bleaching event are still recovering, but  
at different rates.  As an example, one of four transects on the Beqa  
barrier reef went from having:

year 2000:  140 corals/30m belt transect (1m wide) and 76% cover (64%  
acroporid cover, 85 Acropora colonies)
year 2001:   too rough to sample
year 2003:     56 corals/30m and 9% cover (one Acropora colonie)
year 2004:     58 corals/30m and 1% cover (four Acropora colonies)
year 2008:  1001 corals/30m and 28% cover (7% Acropora, 552 Acropora  
year 2010:    849 corals/30m and 28% cover (7% Acropora, 548 Acropora  

But this is just one reef.  Each reef has had a different history so  
there is no one "road to recovery".  This reef took years before a  
significant recruitment of new corals, but it did finally happen after  
a long period of being a really ugly reef nearly devoid of corals.   
Today it is looking beautiful again although there are now many small  
colonies whereas in 2000 there were fewer colonies but they were very  
large and covered more area.

Bruce Carlson
Georgia Aquarium

> Message: 2
> Date: Mon, 30 Aug 2010 19:46:29 +0800
> From: "Keryea Soong" <keryea at mail.nsysu.edu.tw>
> Subject: [Coral-List] Have branching acroporids returned after 97'-98'
> 	mass	bleaching?
> To: "coral-list at coral.aoml.noaa.gov" <coral-list at coral.aoml.noaa.gov>
> Message-ID: <20100830113733.M72578 at mail.nsysu.edu.tw>
> Content-Type: text/plain;	charset=big5
> Dear coral listers:
> Could you tell me if branching acroporids in the reefs you visited  
> returned
> since the 97'-98' bleaching event.
> In Dongsha Atoll, or the atoll around Pratas Island (20 40' N, 116  
> 50' E) sw
> of Taiwan, the branching acropora has yet to return either in the  
> lagoon or
> the reef flats. They used to form beds covering km of reefs.
> I will compile a table and send to those who are interested.
> Sincerely
> Keryea Soong
> Institute of Marine Biology
> National Sun Yat-sen University
> Kaohsiung, Taiwan 804
> 886-7-5252000, x.5109 (office)
> 886-7-5255109 (office)
> 886-7-5255100 (fax)

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