[Coral-List] Coral bleaching and mortality - turbid reefs

Raquel Peixoto raquelpeixoto at micro.ufrj.br
Fri Apr 3 23:26:33 UTC 2020

Hi everyone,

Not being alarmist, but realistic, unfortunately...

It was sad and shocking for us, who were used to seeing these reefs doing
well when facing previous thermal stress events, to report such bad news ;-(

*Heat Waves Are a Major Threat to Turbid Coral Reefs in Brazil*
Coral reefs in turbid areas have historically escaped thermal stress
events, with relatively low levels of background coral mortality (5–10%).
This has recently changed. Here we show that, in 2019, degree heating weeks
(DHW) of 19.65 coincided with catastrophic declines in coral cover,
especially in the major reef building hydrocoral *Millepora alcicornis*.
The decline was due to bleaching associated with exposure to high
temperature stress culminating in DHW values exceeding 15 for a period of
50 days. *The mass die-off in 2019 is unprecedented in the South Atlantic
reefs and coincides with increased heating events.*




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