Coral Reefs

, Volume 32, Issue 2, pp 441–454 | Cite as

The effects of sea surface temperature anomalies on oceanic coral reef systems in the southwestern tropical Atlantic

  • B. P. Ferreira
  • M. B. S. F. Costa
  • M. S. Coxey
  • A. L. B. Gaspar
  • D. Veleda
  • M. Araujo
Report

Abstract

In 2010, high sea surface temperatures that were recorded in several parts of the world and caused coral bleaching and coral mortality were also recorded in the southwest Atlantic Ocean, between latitudes 0°S and 8°S. This paper reports on coral bleaching and diseases in Rocas Atoll and Fernando de Noronha archipelago and examines their relationship with sea surface temperature (SST) anomalies recorded by PIRATA buoys located at 8°S30°W, 0°S35°W, and 0°S23°W. Adjusted satellite data were used to derive SST climatological means at buoy sites and to derive anomalies at reef sites. The whole region was affected by the elevated temperature anomaly that persisted through 2010, reaching 1.67 °C above average at reef sites and 1.83 °C above average at buoys sites. A significant positive relationship was found between the percentage of coral bleaching that was observed on reef formations and the corresponding HotSpot SST anomaly recorded by both satellite and buoys. These results indicate that the warming observed in the ocean waters was followed by a warming at the reefs. The percentage of bleached corals persisting after the subsidence of the thermal stress, and disease prevalence increased through 2010, after two periods of thermal stress. The in situ temperature anomaly observed during the 2009–2010 El Niño event was equivalent to the anomaly observed during the 1997–1998 El Niño event, explaining similar bleaching intensity. Continued monitoring efforts are necessary to further assess the relationship between bleaching severity and PIRATA SST anomalies and improve the use of this new dataset in future regional bleaching predictions.

Keywords

Coral bleaching Coral disease Satellite remote sensing PIRATA Project 

References

  1. Amaral FD, Hudson MM, Steiner AQ (2006) Note on the widespread bleaching observed at the Manuel Luiz Marine State Park, Maranhão, Brazil. Labomar 39:138–141Google Scholar
  2. Bourlès B, Lumpkin R, McPhaden MJ, Hernandez F, Nobre P, Campos E, Yu L, Planton S, Busalacchi A, Moura AD, Servain J, Trotte J (2008) The Pirata program: History, accomplishments, and future directions. Bull Am Meteorol Soc 89:1111–1125CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Boylan P, Kleypas J (2008) New insights into the exposure and sensitivity of coral reefs to ocean warming. Proc 11th Int Coral Reef Symp 1:849–843Google Scholar
  4. Bruno JF, Selig ER, Casey KS, Page CA, Willis BL, Harvell CD, Sweatman H, Melendy AM (2007) Thermal stress and coral cover as drivers of coral disease outbreaks. PLoS Biol 5(6):e124. doi:10.1371/journal.pbio.0050124 PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Casey KS, Brandon TB, Cornillon P, Evans R (2010) The past, present and future of the AVHRR Pathfinder SST Program. In: Barale V, Gower JFR, Alberotanza L (eds) Oceanography from space: revisited. Springer. doi:10.1007/978-90-481-8681-5_16
  6. Castro CB, Pires DO (1999) A bleaching event on a Brazilian coral reef. Rev Bras Oceanogr 47:87–90CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Eakin CM, Morgan JA, Heron SF, Smith TB, Liu G, Alvarez-Filip L, Baca B, Bartels E, Bastidas C, Bouchon C, Brandt M, Bruckner AW, Bunkley-Williams L, Cameron A, Causey BD, Chiappone M, Christensen TRL, Crabbe MJC, Day O, de la Guardia E, Díaz-Pulido G, DiResta D, Gil-Agudelo DL, Gilliam DS, Ginsburg RN, Gore S, Guzmán HM, Hendee JC, Hernández-Delgado EA, Husain E, Jeffrey CFG, Jones RJ, Jordán-Dahlgren E, Kaufman LS, Kline DI, Kramer PA, Lang JC, Lirman D, Mallela J, Manfrino C, Maréchal JP, Marks K, Mihaly J, Miller WJ, Mueller EM, Muller EM, Toro CAO, Oxenford HA, Ponce-Taylor D, Quinn N, Ritchie KB, Rodríguez S, Ramírez AR, Romano S, Samhouri JF, Sánchez JA, Schmahl GP, Shank BV, Skirving WJ, Steiner SCC, Villamizar E, Walsh SM, Walter C, Weil E, Williams EH, Roberson KW, Yusuf Y (2010) Caribbean corals in crisis: record thermal stress, bleaching, and mortality in 2005. PLoS ONE 5(11):e13969. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0013969 PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Echeverría CA, Pires DO, Medeiros MS, Castro CB (1997) Cnidarians of the Atol das Rocas, Brazil. Proc 8th Int Coral Reef Symp 1:443–446Google Scholar
  9. Emery WJ, Thomson RE (2001) Data analysis methods in physical oceanography. Elsevier Science, Amsterdam, p 638Google Scholar
  10. Ferreira BP, Maida M, Castro CB, Pires DO, Tâmara M, Prates APL, Marx D (2006) The status of coral reefs in Brazil. Proc 10th Int Coral Reef Symp 1:1011–1015Google Scholar
  11. Francini-Filho RB, Moura RL, Thompson FL, Reis RM, Kaufman L, Kikuchi RKP, Leão ZMAN (2008) Diseases leading to accelerated decline of reef corals in the largest South Atlantic reef complex (Abrolhos Bank, eastern Brazil). Mar Pollut Bull 56:1008–1014PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Gardner TA, Côté IM, Gill JA, Grant A, Watkinson AR (2003) Long-term region-wide declines in Caribbean corals. Science 301:958–960PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Heron SF, Willis BL, Skirving WJ, Eakin CM, Page CA, Miller IR (2010) Summer hot snaps and winter conditions: modeling white syndrome outbreaks on Great Barrier Reef Corals. PLoS ONE 5(8):e12210:1–11Google Scholar
  14. Hoegh-Guldberg O (1999) Climate change, coral bleaching and the future of the world’s coral reefs. Mar Freshw Res 50:839–866CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Hormann V, Brandt P (2007) Atlantic Equatorial Undercurrent and associated cold tongue variability. J Geophys Res C 112:1–18CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Huang B, Carton JA, Shukla J (1995) A numerical simulation of the variability in the Tropical Atlantic Ocean, 1980–88. J Phys Oceanogr 25:835–854CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Kelmo F, Attrill MJ, Jones MB (2003) Effects of the 1997–1998 El Niño on the cnidarian community of a high turbidity coral reef system (northern Bahia, Brazil). Coral Reefs 22:541–550CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Kikuchi RKP, Leão ZMAN (1997) Rocas (Southwestern Equatorial Atlantic, Brazil): An atoll built primarily by coralline algae. Proc 8th Int Coral Reef Symp 1:731–736Google Scholar
  19. Kleypas JA, Danabasoglu G, Lough JM (2008) Potential role of the ocean thermostat in determining regional differences in coral reef bleaching events. Geophys Res Lett 35:L03613. doi:10.1029/2007GL032257 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Krishnan P, Roy SD, George G, Srivastava RC, Anand A, Murugesan S, Kaliyamoorthy M, Vikas N, Soundararajan R (2011) Elevated sea surface temperature during May 2010 induces mass bleaching of corals in the Andaman. Curr Sci 100:111–117Google Scholar
  21. Laborel J (1969) Les peuplements de madréporaires des côtes tropicales du Brésil. Annales de l’Université d’Abidjan E2(3):260Google Scholar
  22. Lang JC, Marks KW, Kramer PA, Kramer PR, Ginsburg, RN (2010) AGRRA Protocols. Version 5.4, p 31Google Scholar
  23. Leão ZMAN, Kikuchi RKP, Testa V (2003) Corals and coral reefs of Brazil. In: Cortés J (ed) Latin American reefs. Elsevier Science BV Amsterdam, pp 9–52Google Scholar
  24. Leão ZMAN, Kikuchi RKP, Oliveira MDM, Vasconcellos V (2010) Status of Eastern Brazilian coral reefs in time of climate changes. Pan-American J Aquat Sci 5:224–235Google Scholar
  25. Lesser MP, Bythell JC, Gates RD, Johnstone RW, Hoegh-Guldberg O (2007) Are infectious diseases really killing corals? Alternative interpretations of the experimental and ecological data. J Exp Mar Biol Ecol 346:36–44CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Liu G, Strong AE, Skirving W, Arzayus LF (2006) Overview of NOAA coral reef watch program’s near-real time satellite global coral bleaching monitoring activities. Proc 10th Int Coral Reef Symp 1:1783–1793Google Scholar
  27. Maida M, Ferreira BP (1997) Coral reefs of Brazil, an overview. Proc 8th Int Coral Reef Symp 1:263–274Google Scholar
  28. Marshall PA, Schuttenberg H (2006) A reef manager’s guide to coral bleaching. Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority, Townsville, p 163Google Scholar
  29. McClanahan TR, Ateweberhan M, Muhando CA, Maina J, Mohammed MS (2007) Effects of climate and seawater temperature variation on coral bleaching and mortality. Ecol Monogr 77:503–525CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. McPhaden MJ, Ando K, Bourlès B, Freitag HP, Lumpkin R, Masumoto Y, Murty VSN, Nobre P, Ravichandran M, Vialard J, Vousden D, Yu W (2010) The global tropical moored buoy array. In: Hall J, Harrison DE, Stammer D (eds) Proceedings of OceanObs’09: Sustained Ocean Observations and Information for Society. Venice, ItalyGoogle Scholar
  31. Miloslavich P, Klein E, Díaz JM, Hernández CE, Bigatti G, Campos L, Artigas F, Catillo J, Penchaszadeh PE, Neil PE, Carranza A, Retana MV, Astarloa JMD, Lewis M, Yorio P, Piriz ML, Rodríguez D, Yoneshigue-Valentin Y, Gamboa L, Martín A (2011) Marine biodiversity in the Atlantic and Pacific coasts of South America: knowledge and gaps. PloS ONE 6(1):e14631. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0014631
  32. Miranda RJ, Cruz ICS, Leão ZMAN (in press) Coral bleaching in the Caramuanas reef (Todos os Santos Bay, Brazil) during the 2010 El Niño event. Latin American J Aquat ResGoogle Scholar
  33. NOAA Coral Reef Watch (2000) NOAA Coral Reef Watch Operational 50-km satellite coral bleaching degree heating weeks product Jan. 1, 2001–Dec. 31, 2011. Silver Spring, MD. http://coralreefwatch.noaa.gov/satellite/hdf/index.html
  34. Oliveira MDM, Kikuchi RKP, Leão ZMAN, Dutra LXC (2004) Coral bleaching in Brazil, Western South Atlantic. Abstract 10th Int Coral Reef Symp:406Google Scholar
  35. Raymundo L, Couch C, Harvell CD (eds) (2008) Coral disease handbook: guidelines for assessment, monitoring and management. GEF-CRTR-Currie Comm, MelbourneGoogle Scholar
  36. Reaser JK, Pomerance R, Thomas PO (2000) Coral bleaching and global climate change: Scientific findings and policy recommendations. Conserv Biol 14:1500–1511CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Rodríguez-Ramírez A, Bastidas C, Cortés J, Guzmán H, Leão Z, Garzón-Ferreira J, Kikuchi R, Ferreira BP, Alvarado JJ, Jiménez C, Fonseca AC, Salas E, Nivia J, Fernández C, Rodríguez S, Debrot D, Cróquer A, Gil D, Gómez DI, Navas-Camacho R, Reyes-Nivia MC, Acosta A, Alva-rado E, Pizarro V, Sanjuan A, Herrón P, Zapata FA, Zea S, LopezVictoria M, Sanchez JA (2008) Status of coral reefs and associated ecosystems in Southern Tropical America: Brazil, Colombia, Costa Rica, Panama and Venezuela. In: Wilkinson C (ed) Status of coral reefs of the world: 2008. Global Coral Reefs Monitoring Network (GCRMN), Townsville, pp 281–294Google Scholar
  38. Schott FA, Dengler M, Brandt P, Affler K, Fischer J, Bourles B, Gouriou Y, Molinari RL, Rhein M (2003) The zonal currents and transports at 35°W in the tropical Atlantic. Geophys Res Lett 30:1349. doi:10.1029/2002GL016849 Google Scholar
  39. Servain J, Busalacchi AJ, Mcphaden MJ, Moura AD, Reverdin G, Vianna M, Zebiak SE (1998) A Pilot Research Moored Array in the Tropical Atlantic (PIRATA). Bull Am Meteorol Soc 79:2019–2031CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Silva M, Araujo M, Servain J, Penven P (2009a) Circulation and heat budget in a regional climatological simulation of the Southwestern tropical Atlantic. Tropical Ocean 37:1–28Google Scholar
  41. Silva M, Araujo M, Servain J, Penven P, Lentini CAD (2009b) High-resolution regional ocean dynamics simulation in the Southwestern Tropical Atlantic. Ocean Model 30:256–269CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Soutelino RG, da Silveira ICA, Gangopadhyay A, Miranda JA (2011) Is the Brazil Current eddy-dominated to the north of 20°S? Geophys Res Lett 38:L03607. doi:10.1029/2010GL046276 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Stramma L, Schott F (1999) The mean flow field of the tropical Atlantic Ocean. Deep Sea Res 46:279–303CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Stramma L, Rhein M, Brandt P, Dengler M, Böning C, Walter M (2005) Upper ocean circulation in the western tropical Atlantic in boreal fall 2000. Deep-Sea Res 52:221–240CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Sutherland KP, Porter JW, Torres C (2004) Disease and immunity in Caribbean and Indo-Pacific zooxanthellate corals. Mar Ecol Prog Ser 266:273–302CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Weil E, Hooten AJ (2008) Underwater cards for assessing coral health on Caribbean coral reefs. GEF-CRTR-Currie Comm, AustraliaGoogle Scholar
  47. Weil E, Rogers C (2011) Coral reef diseases in the Atlantic-Caribbean. In: Dubinsky Z, Stambler N (eds) Coral reefs: An ecosystem in transition. Springer, Dordrecht, pp 465–491CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Zar JH (1999) Biostatistical analysis, 4th edn. New Jersey, Prentice-HallGoogle Scholar
  49. Zepp RG (2003) UV exposure of coral assemblages in the Florida Keys. Report No. EPA/600/R-03/095, US Environmental Protection Agency, Athens, p 40Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • B. P. Ferreira
    • 1
  • M. B. S. F. Costa
    • 1
    • 3
  • M. S. Coxey
    • 2
  • A. L. B. Gaspar
    • 4
  • D. Veleda
    • 1
    • 3
  • M. Araujo
    • 1
    • 3
  1. 1.Departamento de OceanografiaUniversidade Federal de PernambucoRecifeBrazil
  2. 2.Instituto Recifes CosteirosTamandaréBrazil
  3. 3.Center for Risk Analysis and Environmental ModelingUniversidade Federal de PernambucoRecifeBrazil
  4. 4.Departamento de GeoquímicaUniversidade Federal FluminenseNiteróiBrazil

Personalised recommendations