Improved predictions of coral bleaching using seasonal baselines and higher spatial resolution

Weeks, S.J., Anthony, K.R.N., Bakun, A., Feldman, G.C. and Hoegh-Guldberg, O. (2008) Improved predictions of coral bleaching using seasonal baselines and higher spatial resolution. Limnology and Oceanography, 53 4: 1369-1375. doi:10.4319/lo.2008.53.4.1369

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Author Weeks, S.J.
Anthony, K.R.N.
Bakun, A.
Feldman, G.C.
Hoegh-Guldberg, O.
Title Improved predictions of coral bleaching using seasonal baselines and higher spatial resolution
Journal name Limnology and Oceanography   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0024-3590
Publication date 2008-07-01
Year available 2008
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.4319/lo.2008.53.4.1369
Open Access Status File (Publisher version)
Volume 53
Issue 4
Start page 1369
End page 1375
Total pages 7
Place of publication Waco, TX, United States
Publisher American Society of Limnology and Oceanography
Language eng
Subject C1
961104 Physical and Chemical Conditions of Water in Marine Environments
040503 Physical Oceanography
050206 Environmental Monitoring
Abstract Coral bleaching spread across the southern Great Barrier Reef in January 2006, after sea temperatures reached climatological summer maxima 2 months before normal. Current satellite-derived warning systems were unable to detect severe bleaching conditions in the region because of their use of a constant thermal threshold (summer maximum monthly mean) and low spatial resolution (50 km). Here it is shown that such problems can be ameliorated if the thermal threshold is adjusted for seasonal variation and a 4-km spatial resolution is used. We develop a seasonally and spatially improved thermal threshold for coral bleaching on the basis of a weekly climatology of sea surface temperatures extending from austral spring to late summer, and apply the method to two case-study sites. At both sites, and in particular at the nearshore site that was undetected by the 50-km satellite product, the seasonally adjusted thermal threshold produced a greatly improved consistency between accumulated heating and bleaching severity. The application of thermal stress algorithms that reflect the long-term mean pattern in seasonal variation allows coral bleaching to be forecast with higher precision.
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: 2009 Higher Education Research Data Collection
Centre for Marine Studies Publications
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Created: Fri, 17 Apr 2009, 00:44:29 EST by Peter Fogarty on behalf of Centre for Marine Studies