[Coral-List] San Salvador, Bahamas - Coral bleaching, mortality, and odd weather

Rollino, John John.Rollino at aecom.com
Tue Dec 7 08:46:32 EST 2010

Hello all,

Last week, an Earthwatch Institute research-team conducted seasonal
monitoring on shallow-water patch reefs on San Salvador Island, Bahamas.
Results of the monitoring determined the majority Agaricia agaricites
colonies were showing signs of bleaching - with many colonies exhibiting
bleaching of greater than 75 percent. Also, as part of a reef
restoration experiment, many Acropora palmata transplants suffered
mortality since the project's last monitoring effort in July.  Prior to
July, most of the transplants had survived over one year and had
exhibited new tissue growth. Review of temperature logger data showed
water temperatures >30C  in August. Finally, and somewhat curiously,
much less algae was observed on the reefs than in previous monitoring
efforts and large corals (e.g., Diploria sp., Montastrea sp., etc.)
exhibited little, if any, ill effects.

Anecdotal reports from residents on the island indicated that air
temperatures in August were the hottest that anyone could remember.
Also, for the last two months there have been excessive winds with the
elevations of both high and low tides being far greater (and sustained)
than anyone could ever remember. 

If anyone studying patch reefs of other ecosystems in the Bahamian
archipelago has observed similar findings over the past few months, I
would be interested in hearing from you.


John Rollino  (Principal Investigator, Bahamian Reef Survey, Earthwatch

Senior Ecologist 


AECOM Environment

One World Financial Center, 25th Floor

200 Liberty Street

New York, NY 10281



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