Caribbean corals in crisis: Record thermal stress, bleaching, and mortality in 2005

Eakin, C. Mark, Morgan, Jessica A., Heron, Scott F., Smith, Tyler B., Liu, Gang, Alvarez-Filip, Lorenzo, Baca, Bart, Bartels, Erich, Bastidas, Carolina, Bouchon, Claude, Brandt, Marilyn, Bruckner, Andrew W., Bunkley-Williams, Lucy, Cameron, Andrew, Causey, Billy D., Chiappone, Mark, Christensen, Tyler R. L., Crabbe, M. James C., Day, Owen, de la Guardia, Elena, Diaz-Pulido, Guillermo, DiResta, Daniel, Gil-Agudelo, Diego L., Gilliam, David S., Ginsburg, Robert N., Gore, Shannon, Guzman, Hector M., Hendee, James C., Hernandez-Delgado, Edwin A., Husain, Ellen, Jeffrey, Christopher F. G., Jones, Ross J., Jordan-Dahlgren, Eric, Kaufman, Les S., Kline, David I., Kramer, Philip A., Lang, Judith C., Lirman, Diego, Mallela, Jennie, Manfrino, Carrie, Marechal, Jean-Philippe, Marks, Ken, Mihaly, Jennifer, Miller, W. Jeff, Mueller, Erich M., Muller, Erinn M., Toro, Carlos A. Orozco, Oxenford, Hazel A., Ponce-Taylor, Daniel, Quinn, Norman, Ritchie, Kim B., Rodriguez, Sebastian, Ramirez, Alberto R., Romano, Sandra, Samhouri, Jameal F., Sanchez, Juan A., Schmahl, George P., Shank, Burton V., Skirving, William J., Steiner, Sascha C. C., Villamizar, Estrella, Walsh, Sheila M., Walter, Cory, Weil, Ernesto, Williams, Ernest H., Roberson, Kimberly W. and Yusuf, Yusri (2010) Caribbean corals in crisis: Record thermal stress, bleaching, and mortality in 2005. PLoS One, 5 11: e13969-1-e13969-9. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0013969


Author Eakin, C. Mark
Morgan, Jessica A.
Heron, Scott F.
Smith, Tyler B.
Liu, Gang
Alvarez-Filip, Lorenzo
Baca, Bart
Bartels, Erich
Bastidas, Carolina
Bouchon, Claude
Brandt, Marilyn
Bruckner, Andrew W.
Bunkley-Williams, Lucy
Cameron, Andrew
Causey, Billy D.
Chiappone, Mark
Christensen, Tyler R. L.
Crabbe, M. James C.
Day, Owen
de la Guardia, Elena
Diaz-Pulido, Guillermo
DiResta, Daniel
Gil-Agudelo, Diego L.
Gilliam, David S.
Ginsburg, Robert N.
Gore, Shannon
Guzman, Hector M.
Hendee, James C.
Hernandez-Delgado, Edwin A.
Husain, Ellen
Jeffrey, Christopher F. G.
Jones, Ross J.
Jordan-Dahlgren, Eric
Kaufman, Les S.
Kline, David I.
Kramer, Philip A.
Lang, Judith C.
Lirman, Diego
Mallela, Jennie
Manfrino, Carrie
Marechal, Jean-Philippe
Marks, Ken
Mihaly, Jennifer
Miller, W. Jeff
Mueller, Erich M.
Muller, Erinn M.
Toro, Carlos A. Orozco
Oxenford, Hazel A.
Ponce-Taylor, Daniel
Quinn, Norman
Ritchie, Kim B.
Rodriguez, Sebastian
Ramirez, Alberto R.
Romano, Sandra
Samhouri, Jameal F.
Sanchez, Juan A.
Schmahl, George P.
Shank, Burton V.
Skirving, William J.
Steiner, Sascha C. C.
Villamizar, Estrella
Walsh, Sheila M.
Walter, Cory
Weil, Ernesto
Williams, Ernest H.
Roberson, Kimberly W.
Yusuf, Yusri
Title Caribbean corals in crisis: Record thermal stress, bleaching, and mortality in 2005
Journal name PLoS One   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1932-6203
Publication date 2010-11-01
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1371/journal.pone.0013969
Open Access Status DOI
Volume 5
Issue 11
Start page e13969-1
End page e13969-9
Total pages 9
Place of publication San Francisco, CA, U.S.A.
Publisher Public Library of Science
Language eng
Subject 1300 Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology
1100 Agricultural and Biological Sciences
Abstract Background: The rising temperature of the world's oceans has become a major threat to coral reefs globally as the severity and frequency of mass coral bleaching and mortality events increase. In 2005, high ocean temperatures in the tropical Atlantic and Caribbean resulted in the most severe bleaching event ever recorded in the basin. Methodology/Principal Findings: Satellite-based tools provided warnings for coral reef managers and scientists, guiding both the iming and location of researchers' field observations as anomalously warm conditions developed and spread across the greater Caribbean region from June to October 2005. Field surveys of bleaching and mortality exceeded prior efforts in detail and extent, and provided a new standard for documenting the effects of bleaching and for testing nowcast and forecast products. Collaborators from 22 countries undertook the most comprehensive documentation of basin-scale bleaching to date and found that over 80% of corals bleached and over 40% died at many sites. The most severe bleaching coincided with waters nearest a western Atlantic warm pool that was centered off the northern end of the Lesser Antilles. Conclusions/Significance: Thermal stress during the 2005 event exceeded any observed from the Caribbean in the prior 20 years, and regionally-averaged temperatures were the warmest in over 150 years. Comparison of satellite data against field surveys demonstrated a significant predictive relationship between accumulated heat stress (measured using NOAA Coral Reef Watch's Degree Heating Weeks) and bleaching intensity. This severe, widespread bleaching and mortality will undoubtedly have long-term consequences for reef ecosystems and suggests a troubled future for tropical marine ecosystems under a warming climate.
Formatted abstract
Background: The rising temperature of the world's oceans has become a major threat to coral reefs globally as the severity and frequency of mass coral bleaching and mortality events increase. In 2005, high ocean temperatures in the tropical Atlantic and Caribbean resulted in the most severe bleaching event ever recorded in the basin.
Methodology/Principal Findings: Satellite-based tools provided warnings for coral reef managers and scientists, guiding both the iming and location of researchers' field observations as anomalously warm conditions developed and spread across the greater Caribbean region from June to October 2005. Field surveys of bleaching and mortality exceeded prior efforts in detail and extent, and provided a new standard for documenting the effects of bleaching and for testing nowcast and forecast products. Collaborators from 22 countries undertook the most comprehensive documentation of basin-scale bleaching to date and found that over 80% of corals bleached and over 40% died at many sites. The most severe bleaching coincided with waters nearest a western Atlantic warm pool that was centered off the northern end of the Lesser Antilles.
Conclusions/Significance: Thermal stress during the 2005 event exceeded any observed from the Caribbean in the prior 20 years, and regionally-averaged temperatures were the warmest in over 150 years. Comparison of satellite data against field surveys demonstrated a significant predictive relationship between accumulated heat stress (measured using NOAA Coral Reef Watch's Degree Heating Weeks) and bleaching intensity. This severe, widespread bleaching and mortality will undoubtedly have long-term consequences for reef ecosystems and suggests a troubled future for tropical marine ecosystems under a warming climate.
Keyword US Virgin Islands
Climate change
Ocean acidification
Reef
Event
Temperature
Hurricanes
Severity
Diseases
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ
Additional Notes Article # e13969

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Global Change Institute Publications
Official 2011 Collection
 
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Created: Sun, 05 Dec 2010, 10:02:40 EST