Note

Coral Reefs

, Volume 26, Issue 3, pp 689-693

First online:

Open Access This content is freely available online to anyone, anywhere at any time.

Impact of the 2005 coral bleaching event on Porites porites and Colpophyllia natans at Tektite Reef, US Virgin Islands

  • K. R. T. WhelanAffiliated withNational Park Service, South Florida/Caribbean Inventory and Monitoring Network Email author 
  • , J. MillerAffiliated withNational Park Service, Inventory and Monitoring, South Florida/Caribbean Network, Virgin Islands National Park
  • , O. SanchezAffiliated withDepartment of Environmental Studies, Florida International University
  • , M. PattersonAffiliated withNational Park Service, South Florida/Caribbean Inventory and Monitoring Network

Abstract

A thermal stress anomaly in 2005 caused mass coral bleaching at a number of north-east Caribbean reefs. The impact of the thermal stress event and subsequent White-plague disease type II on Porites porites and Colpophyllia natans was monitored using a time series of photographs from Tektite Reef, Virgin Islands National Park, St. John. Over 92% of the P. porites and 96% of the C. natans experienced extensive bleaching (>30% of colony bleached). During the study, 56% of P. porites and 42% of C. natans experienced whole-colony mortality within the sample plots. While all whole-colony mortality of P. porites was directly attributed to coral bleaching, the majority (82%) of the C. natans colonies that experienced total mortality initially showed signs of recovery from bleaching, before subsequently dying from White-plague disease type II.

Keywords

Porites porites Colpophyllia natans Coral bleaching Disease Mortality