Complete dieback of Acropora prolifera (hybrid acroporoid coral) on Vauxhall Reef, Barbados in 2023 16Feb2024

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The photos at left illustrate two A colonies by a large Diploria clivosa on the Reef Flat at Vauxhall. In the top photo, taken on Mar. 30, 2023, both colonies are entirely healthy.

In the bottom photo, taken on Jan 15, 2024, the two colonies are apparently totally dead and have a layer of fine algae and silt on them, much like the adjacent old coral bedrock.

There were no signs of any living tissue

On Jan 15, 2024,  I viewed 15 individual colonies in the Reef Flat Zone, 4 in the Diploria-Palythoa zone, and the “mother Colony” in the Reef Crest zone. All had the same appearance.

Evidently, there was 100% mortality or close to 100% of A. prolifera at Vauxhall between these two dates. It was likely associated with one or more of the extreme warming events in 2023.

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