[Coral-List] Cyanobacteria outbreak

Billy Causey billy.causey at noaa.gov
Fri Nov 2 11:28:58 EDT 2012

Dear Alberto Acosta,
Thank you for posting these observations of Cyanobscteria on
Providencia Islands coral reefs.  For years we have discussed the
connectivity between the Seaflower Biosphere Reserve and the Gulf of
Mexico and the Florida Keys with our friends and colleagues in

Week before last, GP Schmahl ( Superintendent of the Flower Garden
Banks National Marine Sanctuary); Emma Hickerson (the FGBNMS Science
Coordinator) and I were diving the West and East Flower Garden Banks
on a Gov/Industry cruise.  We observed what appeared to be mats of
Cyanobacteria covering portions of the benthic substrate.

I will let GP and Emma chime in here, but what we observed reminded me
of a similar outbreak of what appeared to be the same Cyanobacteria
(that's not what we called it then.... we simply  called it a
blue-green algae outbreak)
that occurred in the Florida Keys in 1986. It was a thick may, of
purplish algae that grew over everything, even the bare sand bottom.

Again, thank you for sharing your observations.  I am going to be on
San Andreas week after next and will take a look on the reefs in that
area of the archipelago.

Best wishes!  Billy Causey

Billy D. Causey, Ph.D.
Southeast Regional Director
NOAA's Office of National Marine Sanctuaries

33 East Quay Road
Key West, Florida 33040

305 809 4670 office
305 395 0150 mobile
305 293 5011 fax

billy.causey at noaa.gov

On Nov 2, 2012, at 6:03 AM, Luis Alberto Acosta Moreno
<laacosta at javeriana.edu.co> wrote:

> Dear Listers
> Hello. In a recent expedition where we aimed to evaluate coral reef state at the Providencia island, Colombian Caribbean, we saw an unusual cyanobacteria outbreak.
> The cyanobacteria fully covered the reef bottom (up to 50 cm high) as well as the water column of some reef areas at the NW of the island (close to downtown). Different morphotypes also covered large areas of sand bottom and seagrass around the island.
> I have some videos that I can share if someone is interested to help us with this environmental problem.
> Best wishes,
> Alberto Acosta
> Professor
> Biology Department
> Pontificia Universidad Javeriana
> Colombia
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