[Coral-List] Cyanobacteria outbreak

Todd Barber reefball at reefball.com
Fri Nov 2 15:12:53 EDT 2012

PS Alberto Acosta sent me a link to his drop box photos of the
outbreak......this cyanobateria is more filamentous that what I typically
observe and that we use when quickly assessing water quality.

The more slimey, almost creating a coating like film over the reef, variety
is the rapidly colonizing type I described and usually cannot tolerate very
high current regimes.  I suspect this more filamentous version might be
even more likely to occupy space even higher up in the reef column or in
higher energy systems (because it can probably stick to coral branches
better).  Let's hope it we don't see it spreading widely!


Todd R Barber
Chairman, Reef Ball Foundation

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On Fri, Nov 2, 2012 at 11:28 AM, Billy Causey <billy.causey at noaa.gov> wrote:

> 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
> Phone:
> 305 809 4670 office
> 305 395 0150 mobile
> 305 293 5011 fax
> Email:
> 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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