The 2014 summer coral bleaching event in subtropical Hong Kong

James Y. Xie, Dickey C. C. Lau, Keith Kei, Vriko P. F. Yu, Wing-Kuen Chow*, Jian-Wen Qiu*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

24 Citations (Scopus)
75 Downloads (Pure)


We reported a coral bleaching event that occurred in August–September 2014 in Hong Kong waters based on video transect surveys conducted at eight sites. The bleaching affected eight species of corals with different growth forms. Bleaching at seven of the eight study sites was minor, affecting only 0.4–5.2% colonies and 0.8–10.0% coral-covered area. Sharp Island East, however, suffered from a moderate level of bleaching, with 13.1% colonies and 30.1% coral-covered area affected. Examination of the government's environmental monitoring data indicated abnormal water quality conditions preceding and during the bleaching event. Follow-up field surveys of tagged colonies showed that 76% of them had fully recovered, 12% partially recovered, and 12% suffered from mortality. These results indicate that the subtropical corals of Hong Kong are not immune to bleaching, and there is a need to study their responses under climate change scenarios.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)653-659
Number of pages7
JournalMarine Pollution Bulletin
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 30 Nov 2017

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Oceanography
  • Aquatic Science
  • Pollution

User-Defined Keywords

  • Coral bleaching
  • Global climate change
  • High temperature
  • Hypoxia
  • Platygyra
  • Porites


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