[Coral-List] Preparing for Bleaching in the Caribbean

Judith Lang jlang at riposi.net
Tue Sep 21 07:37:45 EDT 2010

Fellow Coral Reef Enthusiasts,

We certainly hope not, but should current predictions for parts of the  
Caribbean come to pass, the vital signs of affected corals should be  
followed like those of heart attack victims because the long-term  
impacts of having been severely bleached can be of greater  
significance than the initial trauma.

We invite regional divers to join us in monitoring simple, ecosystem- 
level pigmentation changes in live corals and any associated changes  
in live coral cover using the newly updated BLAGGRA Line Transects  
protocol (www.agrra.org/BLAGRRA). Sites can be very quickly and  
repeatedly surveyed by small teams of 1-2 experienced divers. A  
representative assessment can be made of reefs in the area affected by  
bleaching, and/or sampling can be focused on special-interest sites  
(such as within and outside of MPAs).

Try to start the surveys before bleaching begins (if possible).  
Resurvey whenever bleaching occurs, and at intervals during any  
subsequent period of delayed mortality or recovery until conditions  
return to “normal.”

To assess coral conditions at the population level, with species- and  
size- specific, information, see the companion BLAGGRA Belt Transects  
protocol (www.agrra.org/BLAGRRA).

  Data submitted to the AGRRA project will be processed, summarized,  
and speedily posted online at the AGRRA website.

  Please help us create a regionally consistent and comparable  
database for everyone to use.

Judy Lang
For the AGRRA Organizing Committee

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