Widespread bleaching in the One Tree Island lagoon (Southern Great Barrier Reef) during record-breaking temperatures in 2020
KAUST DepartmentRed Sea Research Centre, King Abdullah University of Science and Technology, Thuwal 23955-6900, Saudi Arabia.
Biological and Environmental Sciences and Engineering (BESE) Division
Red Sea Research Center (RSRC)
Marine Science Program
Embargo End Date2022-08-21
Permanent link to this recordhttp://hdl.handle.net/10754/670705
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AbstractThe global marine environment has been impacted significantly by climate change. Ocean temperatures are rising, and the frequency, duration and intensity of marine heatwaves are increasing, particularly affecting coral reefs. Coral bleaching events are becoming more common, with less recovery time between events. Anomalous temperatures at the start of 2020 caused widespread bleaching across the Great Barrier Reef (GBR), extending to southern, previously less affected reefs such as One Tree Island. Here, nine video transects were conducted at One Tree Island, in the Capricorn Bunker Group, and analysed for community composition and diversity, and the extent of bleaching across taxa. Average live hard coral cover across the area was 11.62%, and almost half of this was identified as severely bleached. This bleaching event is concerning as it occurred in an area previously considered a potential refuge for corals and associated fauna from the risks of climate warming. Due to the global impacts of COVID-19 during 2020, this report provides one of potentially few monitoring efforts of coral bleaching.
CitationNolan, M. K. B., Schmidt-Roach, S., Davis, A. R., Aranda, M., & Howells, E. J. (2021). Widespread bleaching in the One Tree Island lagoon (Southern Great Barrier Reef) during record-breaking temperatures in 2020. Environmental Monitoring and Assessment, 193(9). doi:10.1007/s10661-021-09330-5
SponsorsFunding was provided by a Hermon Slade Foundation grant (#HSF 18-7) awarded to E. J. Howells and KAUST baseline funding awarded to M. Aranda.
PublisherSpringer Science and Business Media LLC