17 SEPTEMBER. PANAMA: CORAL

Gulf of Chiriqui, Panama, 7o49'N, 81o46"W. Significant coral bleaching was observed on 17 September 1997 at Uva Island in the Gulf of Chiriqui, Pacific Panama. All zooxanthellate scleractinian coral species were affected, at all depths (no corals present >20 m). The most severely bleached (completely white) colonies still had extended polyps and no signs of algal overgrowth, suggesting the event occurred relatively recently. Most colonies of the hydrocoral Millepora intricata (the only common species of the genus remaining after the 1982-83 ENSO) were already dead and covered with a thin algal film, suggesting they may have bleached earlier than the scleractinians.--Andrew Baker <abaker@rsmas.miami.edu>, Juan MatE, Peter Glynn

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