Coral bleaching goes from bad to worse : Nature News
I recently updated my draft on Coral Bleaching. Fortunately last month there was some news updates with the latest papers on the issue. Melissa Gaskill from Nature News highlights the Mark Eakin and collaborators work on Caribbean bleaching. They recently performed a collaborative study monitoring reefs in the Caribbean during the 2005 bleaching event. They report that more than 80% of the corals surveyed were bleached and at many sites more than 40% died. You can find Eakin’s paper here.
Although the coral case is one of the hopeless regime shifts examples, there is still hope. Hoegh-Guldberg and colleges elaborated future scenarios for coral reefs taking into consideration they two main stressor drivers: temperature and ocean acidification. In their Science paper in 2007 they report that below the threshold of 480ppm of carbon dioxide and +2ºC, local management options are crucial to increase coral resilience:
“Local factors – i.e., those not directly related to global climate change, such as changes to water quality- affecting levels of sediment, nutrients, toxins, and pathogens, as well as fishing pressure, will be important determinants of reef state and should demand priority attention in reef-management programs.”
Interestingly, another recent paper by Houk and colleges confirm their claim by experimentally study the recovery process of coral patches in American Samoa. Here you can find Houk et al. paper.