[Coral-List] New Open Access Publication

Ronan Roche ronanroche at gmail.com
Wed Nov 8 07:38:13 EST 2017

Dear Colleagues,

I would like to draw your attention to a publication just out on the
long-term ecological trajectories of the reefs of the remote Chagos
Archipelago, British Indian Ocean Territory. I think the data and
discussions contained within may be of interest to many of you, and the
manuscript is open access and available for download at the Smithsonian
Institution Atoll Research Bulletin:


Coral Bleaching and Mortality in the Chagos Archipelago

The atolls and coral banks of the Chagos Archipelago (British Indian Ocean
Territory) in the central Indian Ocean were badly affected by the warm
water event that started in 2015 and lasted for nearly two years.  On these
reefs, coral mortality was very severe, reducing coral cover to <10% cover
and usually about 5%, almost eliminating soft corals and reducing the
3-Dimensional structure of the reefs.  Most atolls are not inhabited, so
any changes are driven by climate changes rather than by any direct, local
anthropogenic effect.  Coral cover has been measured for 20 years using the
same methods, while temperature loggers have recorded water temperature at
various depths for over 10 years.  Water temperatures have risen by one
third of a degree on ocean reefs and over one half of a degree in lagoons
over this period, causing the recent severe mortality.  Juvenile corals
have also been recorded at intervals during the last few years, and numbers
severely declined following the mortality of the adults.  Estimates of
calcification suggest a marked reduction, from a state of vigorous reef
growth that had not long recovered from the previous severe warming event
of 1998, to one of net erosion.  Predictions suggest that recurrences of
mass mortalities will take place too frequently for any significant
recovery of reef health in these atolls by the late 2020s.

Many thanks,

Ronan Roche

Centre for Applied Marine Sciences                Canolfan Gwyddorau Mor

Marine Centre Wales                                                Canolfan
Mor Cymru

Bangor University
Prifysgol Bangor


Isle of
Ynys Mon

         LL59 5AB

Email: r.roche at bangor.ac.uk

Twitter: @marineronan

Publications <http://scholar.google.co.uk/citations?user=yF_DWL0AAAAJ&hl=en>,
ResearchGate <https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Ronan_Roche>

Tel: 01248 383972

Office: 01248 383504

More information about the Coral-List mailing list