Localized bleaching and quick recovery in Hong Kong's coral communities

James Y. XIE, Yip Hung YEUNG, Chun Kit KWOK, Keith KEI, Put ANG, Leo Lai CHAN, Chi Chiu CHEANG, Wing-kuen CHOW, Jian-Wen QIU

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlespeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

During the summer of 2017 we visited 33 sites with substantial coral cover across Hong Kong waters. At six sites where coral bleaching was observed, video-transect surveys were conducted, which revealed 18.7% to 56.1% bleached colonies and 5.9% to 57.6% bleached coral covered area per site. Mainly affected were three plate-like and three massive coral species. Water quality parameters were analyzed, which indicated that hyposalinity might have triggered the bleaching event. Tagging and follow-up field observation revealed a pattern of recovery depending on coral growth form, with high recovery rates (>93%) at five sites dominated by massive and submassive corals, but moderate (70%) at a site dominated by plate-like corals. Our study shows that the corals of Hong Kong exhibit differential susceptibility to bleaching and ability to recover, therefore it is imperative to establish a long-term monitoring programme to detect the changes in community structure over time. Copyright © 2020 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Original languageEnglish
Article number110950
JournalMarine Pollution Bulletin
Volume153
Early online dateFeb 2020
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2020

Citation

Xie, J. Y., Yeung, Y. H., Kwok, C. K., Kei, K., Ang, P., Chan, L. L., . . . Qiu, J.-W. (2020). Localized bleaching and quick recovery in Hong Kong's coral communities. Marine Pollution Bulletin, 153. Retrieved from https://doi.org/10.1016/j.marpolbul.2020.110950

Keywords

  • Coral community
  • Coral health
  • Hyposalinity
  • Global warming
  • South China Sea

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