[Coral-List] Late November Bleaching in La Parguera, Puerto Rico

Miguel Figuerola - NOAA Affiliate miguel.figuerola at noaa.gov
Tue Nov 28 16:43:23 EST 2017

FYI. Updates from Dr. Ernesto Weil from the University of Puerto Rico
Marine Lab Station in La Parguera.

"Dear Colleagues and friends,

Diving today I found a high percentage of all species of Orbicella and a
few Colpophyllia natans, C. amaranthus and Pseudodiploria strigosa as well
as Palythoa caribaeorum bleached off La Parguera. The curious thing besides
the late dates, is that only colonies below 10-12 meters in depth are
bleached. None of the shallow colonies had any bleaching signs. In one
locality, I roughly estimated that between 30-40% of the Orbicellas were
bleached (white) and/or pale (yellowish), which is pretty darn high.

SSTs. are normal for this time of the year (27.5-28 degrees celsius), and
was normal during the summer (29-31 degrees), however, I need to retrieve
my deepwater HOBOS (15-33m) to check how it was down there. There were no
signs of thermal anomalies this year.

What is different is the level and long lasting turbidity. It has been
murky and turbid since Maria went through and the rainy season and trade
winds kick off, which has dumped large amounts of water along the coast and
inland. Winds have been blowing constantly as usual for this time of the
year. I suspect therefore, that instead of temp.-induced- this might be a
response to low quality and quantity of light over an extended period of
time (75 days since Maria).


-E. Weil

*Miguel G. Figuerola-Hernández*
2017 Sea Grant Knauss Fellow - Coral Program Fellow
*Coral Reef Conservation Program (CRCP)*
*Cubicle 10335*
*Phone #: (240) 533-0770*

*Extension: 45-30770*
*Cell: (787) 377-0080*

*Office for Coastal Management (OCM)*
*National Ocean Service (NOS)*
*National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)*

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