A Reef Manager's Guide to Coral Bleaching by Paul Marshall, Heidi Schuttenberg

By Paul Marshall, Heidi Schuttenberg

This advisor is a made of the collaboration of over fifty specialists in coral reef managemant. It presents a transparent and obtainable synthesis of present wisdom on coral bleachng. It offers science-based counsel on activities reef managers can take up respomse to a mass bleaching occasion, and how you can help the facility of reefs to outlive and get over such occasions.

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2 Sea temperatures Once atmospheric conditions suggest the development of unusually warm conditions, measurements of sea temperatures provide a more direct indication of the potential for mass coral bleaching. Temperature stress can be monitored using satellite imagery and in-water instruments. Unusually high seawater temperatures are the most direct indicator of bleaching risk and can be monitored using 'HotSpot' images produced from satellite data by NOAA or by local, inwater temperature loggers Satellite imagery.

2, the risk and severity of mass bleaching is directly related to both the intensity and duration of exposure to unusually warm sea temperatures. 4 illustrates the concept of bleaching thresholds based on temperature and exposure time. This section describes three approaches that can be taken to identify mass bleaching triggers: average high temperatures, past bleaching events and experimental observations. Since the composition of coral communities change, colonies acclimatise and species adapt in response to repeated thermal stress events, triggers can drift over time for particular species or regions; thus, bleaching thresholds should be reviewed regularly and revised as necessary.

From Berkelmans (2002)52. 6). Reef users, other stakeholders, the media, and senior government officials will want to know: 'How bad is it? 4) consequences of mass bleaching events for coral reefs and for the stakeholders who value the ecosystem services those coral reefs provide. Coral reef monitoring protocols have been developed for a wide range of skill levels, ranging from Reef Check for volunteers to the comprehensive Survey Manual for Tropical Marine Resources developed by the Australian Institute of Marine Science (AIMS) and the Global Coral Reef Monitoring Network54 for reef scientists and managers.

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