A mild bleaching event was observed among Pocillopora spp. in the southern Gulf of California in the spring of 2006. Uniform bleaching occurred in numerous colonies on the upper portions of their branches. Most (∼90%) colonies that exhibited bleaching contained a species of endosymbiotic dinoflagellate, Symbiodinium C1b-c, which differed from the Symbiodinium D1 found inhabiting most unbleached colonies. Analysis of chlorophyll fluorescence, indicated a decline in photosystem II photochemical activity, especially among colonies populated with C1b-c. By early August, most affected colonies had recovered their normal pigmentation and fluorescence values were once again high for all colonies. No mortality was observed among tagged bleached colonies nor did symbiont species composition change during recovery. This unusual episode of bleaching did not appear to be a response to thermal stress, but may have been triggered by high levels of solar radiation during a period of unseasonally high water clarity in the early spring.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Aquatic Science