Coral bleaching and macroalgae infiltration

Coral decline“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.”

 

Reference:

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.

About The Author

Scott serves as Director of Development & Communications for Audubon Canyon Ranch (focusing on preservation, education and conservation science) and has almost fifteen years of experience spanning for-profit and nonprofit sectors in biotech, wildlife conservation and management, communications, and philanthropy. In addition to a strong track record in organizational growth and leadership, he is the founder of Urban Bird Foundation and Burrowing Owl Conservation Network, and presided over ECHO Fund, a coastal protection and restoration organization, as President for four years. Scott holds an M.A. in Environmental Studies with a concentration in Sustainable Development and Policy, degrees in Micro & Molecular Biology and Environmental Sciences, and has complemented his studies with a Master's certificate in Environmental Resource Management.

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