[Coral-List] Seeking Data and Collaborators for Study on 2010 Caribbean Bleaching

Dr. C. Mark Eakin Mark.Eakin at noaa.gov
Fri May 13 14:41:10 EDT 2011

Good Afternoon, 
NOAA Coral Reef Watch (CRW) is currently requesting data from the 2010 Caribbean coral bleaching event.  This is similar to CRW’s data collection efforts following the region’s 2005 bleaching.
As you know, elevated ocean temperatures in 2010 resulted in a major coral bleaching event in the Caribbean and throughout other parts of the world.  Thermal stress reached Degree Heating Week (DHW) values of more than 16 at some locations, including in the southern Caribbean, where little bleaching had been seen in the past. 
NOAA CRW is undertaking an effort to determine the severity and distribution of bleaching and mortality, and compare it to measurements of satellite thermal stress, recorded across the Caribbean basin in 2010, as a follow-on to our published assessment (Eakin et al. 2010) of the record breaking 2005 mass bleaching event (http://www.plosone.org/article/info:doi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pone.0013969).. 
Building from the 2005 assessment, we are requesting data to determine the extent and severity of bleaching and mortality in 2010, much like the data we presented for 2005.  Additionally, we are requesting coral community composition data to test whether coral reefs impacted by bleaching in 2005 adapted/acclimated and were less susceptible to the 2010 thermal stress.  These data will be used to establish a baseline to measure impacts of coral bleaching, mortality, and potential changes in community composition before, between, and since the 2005 and 2010 bleaching events.  This adaptation/acclimation analysis also means that we need to know where bleaching did NOT occur in 2010.  Reports of no bleaching and no community composition change are very important!
As with our collaborative work on the 2005 assessment, at least one member of every group that provides data will be invited as an author on the resulting paper(s).  Additionally, all of the data you provide to CRW will be submitted to ReefBase (http://www.reefbase.org/main.aspx), unless you indicate otherwise.  If you would like a copy of the general outline of the proposed 2010 Caribbean bleaching event paper, please contact us at coralreefwatch at noaa.gov.  This publication will only include summaries of the information you provide.  We hope that each of our collaborators will publish more detailed national or local analyses to further document the event.
We are looking to collate bleaching data from the 2010 Caribbean bleaching event prior to the start of the 2011 field season.  Therefore, if you are interested in collaborating with NOAA CRW and providing us with your 2010 Caribbean coral bleaching and mortality data, please email us at coralreefwatch at noaa.gov, and we will forward you bleaching report forms on which you can enter your observations.  We will then follow-up after the 2011 field season to finalize data on coral mortality. 
Feel free to forward this announcement to colleagues, who you feel could contribute to this effort.  We look forward to collaborating with you in assessing this widespread event.  Please contact us with any follow-up questions.
C. Mark Eakin, Ph.D.
Coordinator, NOAA Coral Reef Watch
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
Center for Satellite Applications and Research
Satellite Oceanography & Climate Division
e-mail: mark.eakin at noaa.gov
url: coralreefwatch.noaa.gov

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