“In 2004, visual estimates of mortality and algal overgrowth of Montipora capi¬tata and M. cf. turgescens at back reef sites at the three northern atolls conservatively exceeded 50%, with nearly complete mortality of surface-facing portions of colonies at numerous sites. The shallow crest of a large central patch reef system at Kure Atoll, previously referred to as “the coral gardens” due to its luxuriant growth of montiporids and pocilloporids, was heavily bleached in 2002. In 2004, only a few branches of Porites com¬pressa remained alive and the dead coral skeletons were thickly covered in turf and macroalgae.”
Friedlander, A., K. Keller, L. Wedding, A. Clarke, M. Monaco (eds.). 2009. A Marine Biogeographic Assessment of the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands. NOAA Technical Memorandum NOS NCCOS 84. Prepared by NCCOS’s Biogeography Branch in cooperation with the Office of National Marine Sanctuaries Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument. Silver Spring, MD. 363 pp.
Photos: J. Kenyon.