The Status of Caribbean Coral Reefs after Bleaching and Hurricanes in 2005

 Status of Caribbean Coral Reefs Report

2005 was one of the two hottest years since records started in 1880, and was the most damaging for coral reefs in the Caribbean. Abnormally high sea surface temperatures resulted in coral bleaching and mortality throughout the region, and there was record hurricane activity, including some particularly damaging storms.

Produced by the Global Coral Reef Monitoring Network (GCRMN), this is a report from 70 coral reef scientists and managers documenting what happened to their coral reefs due to the warming and storms of 2005. This book documents the devastating effects on coral reefs of the Caribbean and Atlantic basins during the hottest year on record for the Northern Hemisphere.

At many locations, over 90% of the coral reefs died, and at many 20-50% of the corals died. The same year set records for hurricanes, which damaged reefs at many locations across the Caribbean. These reports also illustrate the value of early predictions of possible bleaching: products delivered in near-real-time by NOAA.

The Status of Caribbean Coral Reefs after Bleaching and Hurricanes in 2005, edited by Clive Wilkinson and David Souter:  (full report, pdf 4.1MB):

Executive Summary, by Clive Wilkinson and David Souter (pdf, 570KB)

1. Introduction (pdf, 101KB)

2. Coral Reefs and Climate Change: Susceptibility and Consequences, by Joan Kleypas and Ove Hoegh-Guldberg (pdf, 256KB)

  • Rising Sea Surface Temperatures
  • Increasing Concentrations of CO2 in Seawater
  • Sea Level Rise
  • Possible Shifts in Ocean Currents
  • Associated Changes in UV Radiation Intensity
  • Weather, Hurricanes and Storms
  • Synergies, Consequences and Opportunities for Management Intervention

3. Hurricanes and their Effects on Coral Reefs, by Scott Heron, Jessica Morgan, Mark Eakin and William Skirving (pdf, 250KB)

  • So Why was 2005 so Active?
  • The Good and the Evil of Hurricanes for Coral Reefs

4. The 2005 Bleaching Event: Coral-List Log, by Jessica Morgan, Scott Heron and Mark Eakin ( pdf, 202KB)

5. Status of the Mesoamerican Reef after the 2005 Coral Bleaching Event, by Melanie McField, Nadia Bood, Ana Fonseca, Alejandro Arrivillaga, Albert Franquesa Rinos and Rosa Maria Loreto Viruel ( pdf, 745KB)

  • Belize
  • Mexico
  • Guatemala
  • Honduras
  • Mesoamerican Reef Management and Conservation Efforts

6. Coral Reefs of the U.S. Caribbean ( pdf, 430KB)

  • The History of Massive Coral Bleaching and other Perturbations in the Florida Keys, by Billy Causey
  • Coral Bleaching in the U.S. Virgin Islands in 2005 and 2006, by Kimberly Woody, Andrea Atkinson, Randy Clark, Chris Jeffrey, Ian Lundgren, Jeff Miller, Mark Monaco, Erinn Muller, Matt Patterson, Caroline Rogers, Tyler Smith, Tony Spitzak, Rob Waara, Kevin Whelan, Brian Witcher and Alexandra Wright

7. The Effects of Coral Bleaching in the Northern Caribbean and Western Atlantic, by Loureene Jones, Pedro M Alcolado, Yuself Cala, Dorka Cobian, Vania Coelho, Aylem Hernandez, Ross Jones, Jennie Mallela and Carrie Manfrino ( pdf, 615KB)

  • Bahamas
  • Bermuda
  • Cayman Islands
  • Cuba
  • Dominican Republic
  • Jamaica
  • Turks and Caicos Islands

8. Status of Coral Reefs of the Lesser Antilles after the 2005 Coral Bleaching Event, by Claude Bouchon, Pedro Portillo, Yolande Bouchon-Navaro, Louis Max, Paul Hoetjes, Angelique Brathwaite, Ramon Roach, Hazel Oxenford, Shay O'Farrell and Owen Day ( pdf, 756KB)

  • The French West Indies
  • The Netherlands Antilles
  • Barbados
  • Trinidad and Tobago

9. The Effects of Coral Bleaching in Southern Tropical America : Brazil, Colombia, and Venezuela, by Alberto Rodriguez-Ramirez, Carolina Bastidas, Sebastian Rodriguez, Zelinda Leao, Ruy Kikuchi, Marília Oliveira, Diego Gil, Jaime Garzon-Ferreira, Maria Catalina Reyes-Nivia, Raul Navas-Camacho, Nadiezhda Santodomingo, Guillermo Diaz-Pulido, Dagoberto Venera-Ponton, Lenin Florez-Leiva, Alejandro Rangel-Campo, Carlos Orozco, Juan Carlos Marquez, Sven Zea, Mateo Lopez-Victoria, Juan Armando Sanchez and Maria Clara Hurtado ( pdf, 441KB)

  • Brazil
  • Colombia
  • Venezuela

10. Managing for Mass Coral Bleaching: Strategies for Supporting Socio-ecological Resilience, by Heidi Schuttenberg and Paul Marshall ( pdf, 330KB)

  • What Does it Mean to Manage for Socio-Ecological Resilience?
  • Opportunities to Support Socio-Ecological Resilience to Mass Bleaching
  • An Agenda for Action

11. Predictions for the Future of the Caribbean, by Simon Donner ( pdf, 231KB)

  • Challenges in Predicting the Future
  • Coral Bleaching in the Future
  • Implications for Coral Reef Health

Wilkinson, C., Souter, D. (2008). Status of Caribbean coral reefs after bleaching and hurricanes in 2005.  Global Coral Reef Monitoring Network, and Reef and Rainforest Research Centre, Townsville, 152 p. (ISSN 1447 6185)

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