[Coral-List] Coral disease or bleaching??

DeeVon Quirolo dquirolo at gmail.com
Wed Feb 17 11:43:48 EST 2010

On Wed, Feb 17, 2010 at 11:23 AM, Craig Quirolo <cquirolo at gmail.com> wrote:
> Allan; I have seen the same thing in the Bahamas     copy link below to
> images.
   Craig Quirolo Reef Relief founder (retired)
> the images can be seen at reefreliefarchive.org;

On Tue, Feb 16, 2010 at 11:49 AM, Allan Bright <allanjbright at gmail.com>wrote:

> For those who are interested, I too have observed these ring shaped
> bleached spots on colonies of Acropora palmata in St. Thomas and St.
> John, USVI.  I conducted monthly surveys of A. palmata colonies at
> five sites around the two islands from September 2007 through July
> 2009.  During this survey period, I noticed this pattern of bleaching
> on 12% of my regularly monitored colonies (condition observed
> year-round).  On a few colonies the bleached spots were observed every
> month during the survey period (one colony of which contained a
> Microspathodon chrysurus territory).  The general characteristics of
> the pattern I observed are a ring/circle (~2cm diameter) of thin,
> bleached tissue with the corallites appearing worn down.  The bleach
> spots generally occurred in great numbers, sometimes leaving large
> areas of the colony bleached.  No tissue loss was observed as a result
> of this condition, with the exception of one colony where tissue loss
> occurred post-bleaching (after approximately 7 months of condition
> observed to be present).  From my observations, it appears as though
> damselfish are repetitively nipping at particular areas of the colony
> resulting in this bleaching pattern.  On two occasions I have
> witnessed the yellowtail damsel, Microspathodon chrysurus, nipping at
> these small bleach spots.
> Photo examples can be found at the following link (my apologies for
> the poor image quality):
> http://s848.photobucket.com/albums/ab47/allanjbright/?action=view&current=bleachspots.jpg
> Williams et al. (2006) also suggest damselfish as possible cause of
> bleached rings on colonies of A. palmata.
> Williams, D.E., M.W. Miller, and K.L. Kramer. 2006. Demographic
> monitoring protocols for threatened Caribbean Acropora spp. corals.
> NOAA Technical Memorandum NMFSSEFSC-543. 91 pp.
> regards,
> Allan Bright
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DeeVon Quirolo

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