Bleaching and recovery of five eastern pacific corals in an El Niño-related temperature experiment

C. Hueerkamp, P. W. Glynn, L. D'Croz, J. L. Maté, S. B. Colley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

41 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Coral bleaching events have increased in frequency and severity, due mainly to elevated water temperature associated with El Niño-related warming and a general global warming trend. We experimentally tested the effects of El Niño-like sea temperature conditions on five reef-building corals in the Gulf of Panama. Branching species (Pocillopora damicornis and Pocillopora elegans) and massive species (Porites lobata, Pavona clavus and Pavona gigantea) were exposed to experimentally elevated seawater temperature, ∼1-2°C above ambient. Differences in zooxanthellate coral responses to bleaching and ability to recover were compared and quantified. All corals exposed to high temperature treatment exhibited significant declines in zooxanthellae densities and chlorophyll a concentrations. Pocilloporid species were the most sensitive, being the first to bleach, and suffered the highest mortality (50% after 50 d exposure). Massive coral species demonstrated varying tolerances, but were generally less affected. P. gigantea exhibited the greatest resistance to bleaching, with no lethal effects observed. Maximum experimental recovery was observed in P. lobata. No signs of recovery occurred in P. clavus, as zooxanthellae densities and chlorophyll a concentrations continued to decline under ambient (control) conditions. Experimental coral responses from populations in an upwelling environment are contrasted with field responses observed in a nonupwelling area during the 1997-98 El Niño-Southern Oscillation event.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)215-236
Number of pages22
JournalBulletin of Marine Science
Volume69
Issue number1
StatePublished - Nov 20 2001

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bleaching
corals
coral
temperature
experiment
chlorophyll a
chlorophyll
coral bleaching
Southern Oscillation
Panama
global warming
oscillation
branching
reefs
upwelling
water temperature
reef
seawater
warming
tolerance

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Aquatic Science
  • Oceanography

Cite this

Hueerkamp, C., Glynn, P. W., D'Croz, L., Maté, J. L., & Colley, S. B. (2001). Bleaching and recovery of five eastern pacific corals in an El Niño-related temperature experiment. Bulletin of Marine Science, 69(1), 215-236.

Bleaching and recovery of five eastern pacific corals in an El Niño-related temperature experiment. / Hueerkamp, C.; Glynn, P. W.; D'Croz, L.; Maté, J. L.; Colley, S. B.

In: Bulletin of Marine Science, Vol. 69, No. 1, 20.11.2001, p. 215-236.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Hueerkamp, C, Glynn, PW, D'Croz, L, Maté, JL & Colley, SB 2001, 'Bleaching and recovery of five eastern pacific corals in an El Niño-related temperature experiment', Bulletin of Marine Science, vol. 69, no. 1, pp. 215-236.
Hueerkamp C, Glynn PW, D'Croz L, Maté JL, Colley SB. Bleaching and recovery of five eastern pacific corals in an El Niño-related temperature experiment. Bulletin of Marine Science. 2001 Nov 20;69(1):215-236.
Hueerkamp, C. ; Glynn, P. W. ; D'Croz, L. ; Maté, J. L. ; Colley, S. B. / Bleaching and recovery of five eastern pacific corals in an El Niño-related temperature experiment. In: Bulletin of Marine Science. 2001 ; Vol. 69, No. 1. pp. 215-236.
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