Marine & Environmental Sciences Faculty Articles

Title

Local bleaching thresholds established by remote sensing techniques vary among reefs with deviating bleaching patterns during the 2012 event in the Arabian/Persian Gulf

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

4-30-2016

Publication Title

Marine Pollution Bulletin

Keywords

Coral bleaching, Coral reefs, Extreme environment, Global change, Symbiodinium, Threshold temperature, Zooxanthellae

ISSN

0025326X

Volume

105

Issue/No.

2

First Page

654

Last Page

659

Abstract

A severe bleaching event affected coral communities off the coast of Abu Dhabi, UAE in August/September, 2012. In Saadiyat and Ras Ghanada reefs ~. 40% of the corals showed signs of bleaching. In contrast, only 15% of the corals were affected on Delma reef. Bleaching threshold temperatures for these sites were established using remotely sensed sea surface temperature (SST) data recorded by MODIS-Aqua. The calculated threshold temperatures varied between locations (34.48 °C, 34.55 °C, 35.05 °C), resulting in site-specific deviations in the numbers of days during which these thresholds were exceeded. Hence, the less severe bleaching of Delma reef might be explained by the lower relative heat stress experienced by this coral community. However, the dominance of Porites spp. that is associated with the long-term exposure of Delma reef to elevated temperatures, as well as the more pristine setting may have additionally contributed to the higher coral bleaching threshold for this site.

ORCID ID

0000-0002-6003-9324

ResearcherID

F-8807-2011

DOI

10.1016/j.marpolbul.2016.03.001

Peer Reviewed

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