A bleaching transect was conducted on Chesterfield Reef in Papua New Guinea on March 29, 2006 to study coral bleaching on this particular reef. During our stay on this reef, we observed very little current. The water temperature on the reef during this time period was 30°C. The bleaching transect was laid at a depth of twelve meters and covered an area of eight square meters..
We examined the corals from three different families; Poritidae, Acroporidae, and Pocilloporidae. Corals in all three families experienced bleaching at this time. Among these three families, corals in the Pocilloporidae family tended to be least resistant to bleaching (72.59% had at least some bleaching), whereas the corals in the Acroporidae family seemed to be most resistant to bleaching (39.15% had at least some bleaching).
On the genus level, Seriatopora spp. (in the Pocilloporidae family) seemed to be the least resistant to bleaching. On the transect 65.87% of the Seriatopora spp. colonies were totally bleached, and 07.19% of the colonies had some bleached areas. Seriatopora spp. also had the highest numerical abundance in the transect area (167 colonies). Pocillopora spp. also experienced a high percentage of bleaching. 23.83% of Pocillopora spp. were completely bleached, and 43.9% were partially bleached.
Overall, 513 coral colonies in five different genera (Porites, Montipora, Acropora, Pocillopora, and Seriatopora) were observed and included in the study. Twenty-four point three seven percent of the coral colonies were healthy, while 54% were either partially or fully bleached. Bleaching was also observed on corals of the Fungiidae family, Pachyseris spp., Galaxea spp., Goniastrea spp., Leptoria spp., Platygyra spp., Psammacora spp., Favites spp., Pavona spp., Lobophylia spp., Merulina spp., Cyphastrea spp., Astreopora spp., Echinopora spp., Leptastrea spp., Hydnophora spp., Oxypora spp. and Mycedium spp. However, due to time restraints, we were unable to count these colonies in the transect.