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1 March 2011 Assessment of Mortality, Bleaching, and Disease among Stony Corals and Fire Corals of Dominican Reefs: Post-2005 Caribbean Bleaching Event
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Abstract

This 2006 study looked into the health of reef communities on the western and northern coasts of Dominica (Lesser Antilles) to observe the recovery and current condition of stony corals and Millepora spp. Using the AGRRA v. 4.0 protocol and utilizing comparisons with a 2005 AGRRA implementation, old mortality decreased 21.0 m2 in surface area (p=0.12); while recent mortality increased in surface area to 14.40 m2 (p=0.01). Bleaching symptoms decreased by 68% (p<0.001) and disease prevalence increased from 8 to 41 colonies (p<0.05) for the diseases of highest occurrence between both study years. The 2006 patterns of increased recent mortality and numerically higher disease infected colonies suggest that the 2005 bleaching caused the weakening of corals, increased susceptibility to disease, and partial and/or complete mortality in 2006. The effect of elevated sea surface temperatures of the 2005 Caribbean bleaching event is likely a big contributor to the degraded health of the 2006 coral communities.

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Jared D. Weems "Assessment of Mortality, Bleaching, and Disease among Stony Corals and Fire Corals of Dominican Reefs: Post-2005 Caribbean Bleaching Event," BIOS 82(1), (1 March 2011). https://doi.org/10.1893/011.082.0101
Received: 19 July 2007; Accepted: 1 January 2010; Published: 1 March 2011
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