[Coral-List] Bleaching in Abrolhos Reefs, South Atlantic

Rodrigo Leão de Moura moura.uesc at gmail.com
Wed May 11 12:30:40 EDT 2016

Hello Coral List,

The Abrolhos Network (www.abrolhos.org) has just carried two surveys in the
Abrolhos reefs, Brazil, and we would like to share with the International
community that Brazil's main reef system is under extensive bleaching, with
some coral mortality already recorded (especially on Millepora spp. and
Mussismilia spp.)

In the scope of the Long Term Ecological Research Program (PELD-
http://cnpq.br/sitios-peld/), sponsored by Brazil's Ministry of Science and
Technology, we surveyed Abrolhos' coastal, offshore and mesophotic reefs,
and found widespread coral bleaching (most coral species affected) and
disease outbreaks (white plague-, purple- and black-spot like diseases
affecting corals, and aspergilosis affecting gorgonians). Mesophotic reefs
were not affected, and coastal reefs were the most hardly hit. Bleaching
and disease is affecting scleractinians, zoanthids, anemones and

Surveys were carried out before and during the temperature anomaly event,
with transects (Oliver et al. 2014 protocols) and fixed photoquadrads at
several sites, including inside and outside MPAs and covering the
cross-shelf gradient. We also gathered in situ temperature measures (1h
intervals) since December 2016, as well as PAM yields (before & after
thermal anomaly, healthy & bleached colonies) and estimates of Symbiodinium
densities and ids (ongoing work) from selected coral hosts.

If anyone is synthesising field data from across the globe we would be
happy to collaborate. Extensive photographic documentation was made with a
done and by world champion uw photographer Athila Bertoncini (

We are going back to the region in the next weeks (temperature already
dropped from ~29 to 26-7 C) to verify the aftermath.

Best Regards,

*Rodrigo Leão de Moura, Dr.*
Professor Adjunto, Instituto de Biologia
Pesquisador Associado ao SAGE/COPPE
Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro

http://www.abrolhos.org <http://www.mouralab.org/>

cel: + 55 (21) 99609-2724        skype: r.moura

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