Detecting and Monitoring Coral Bleaching Events

  • N. E. CantinEmail author
  • M. Spalding
Part of the Ecological Studies book series (ECOLSTUD, volume 233)


Widespread coral bleaching events are becoming more frequent and have occurred across all coral reef ecosystems throughout the tropical oceans. As the oceans continue to warm in the next few decades, the severity and frequency of coral bleaching is likely to continue to increase. Monitoring approaches to document the impacts of coral bleaching range from satellites to detect sea surface temperature anomalies and remote sensing imagery, aerial observations across wide spatial scales, to in-water detailed surveys of the coral reef community response. In this chapter, we outline the current approaches that have been employed by coral reef researchers to highlight the importance of consistent, comparable observations in order to synthesise the global impacts of coral bleaching for coral reef communities.



We would like to thank the editors Janice Lough and Madeleine van Oppen for the invitation to contribute this book chapter and for comments on earlier drafts. Sincere thanks to John Hedley and Bernardo Vargas-Angel for valuable comments and review of this chapter. Experiences gained as a member of the Australian National Bleaching Taskforce and with the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority during the 2016–2017 bleaching events were instrumental in developing some of the insights in this chapter.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Australian Institute of Marine ScienceTownsville MCAustralia
  2. 2.Global Conservation Approach Team, The Nature ConservancyNewmarketUK

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