[Coral-List] Coral bleaching in Cambodia
Jan-Willem van Bochove
jvb at coralcay.org
Thu Jun 3 06:39:27 EDT 2010
Like many others diving in the Gulf of Thailand, we have been seeing
significant coral bleaching around the Cambodian islands of Koh Rong and Koh
Rong Samloem. The extent of this bleaching has been severe with many reef
sites showing bleaching levels of 90 to 100% across all coral species. These
sites were all shallow-water reefs no deeper than 12 meters.
The bleaching began in mid-April and reached its peak about 3-4 weeks ago
when the water temperatures increased by at least 2Â°C, bringing surface
water temperatures up to 34Â°C and over.
The start of the rainy season last week has brought cooler water
temperatures but has also resulted in heavy sedimentation levels, smothering
and killing off many of the bleached colonies. Acropora spp. and D.
Heliopora colonies have been hit particularly hard but there are some large
Porites colonies which seem to be coping with the unusual conditions.
With water temperatures dropping back to 31Â°C, we are hoping to see some
colour returning to Cambodiaâs reefs!
If you would like further information and images of the bleaching event,
feel free to get in touch with me directly or contact Vicki Bush, the
Project Scientist in Cambodia at cambodia at coralcay.org.
We will also be presenting our monitoring results at the 2^nd Asia-Pacific
Coral Reef Symposium in Phuket later this month.
Jan-Willem van Bochove MSc
Head of Marine Science
Coral Cay Conservation
Elizabeth House, 39 York Road, London, SE1 7NQ, United Kingdom
Tel: +44 (0)20 7620 1411
Fax: +44 (0)20 7921 0469
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