Bleaching prevalence in Pocillopora spp. corals was quantified from photoquadrats (0.5 × 0.5 m) taken on the fore reef in March and May 2019 (Appendix S1: Figs. S1 and S2). At this time, the cover of Pocillopora spp. was low in the back reef (<2% on the north shore), in part because of the consequences of a bleaching event in 2016 (Donovan et al. 2020) that affected the back reef, but had minor effects on the fore reef (Edmunds 2017). As a result, there was little opportunity to compare back reef and fore reef habitats, which differ markedly in their temperature, light, and nutrient regimes. Photoquadrats to quantify bleaching were recorded at 10 m depth at two sites on the fore reef of the north shore of Moorea (Fig. 1; 38 from Site 1 and 40 from Site 2). Photoquadrats were recorded at locations that initially were randomly selected along a ~50‐m transect in 2005, but were resampled thereafter. The transect and photoquadrat placement was the same as that for the permanent sites used for annual sampling of the coral community by the MCR‐LTER program and were marked with rebar (Holbrook et al. 2018). A total of 1,043 Pocillopora spp. colonies in these quadrats in March, and 1,023 corals in May, were assigned to one of four bleaching severity categories (Appendix S1: Fig. S1): 0, no bleaching; 1, partial bleaching (many pale branch tips); 2, moderate bleaching (white branch tips, bleaching extends down the branch); 3, severe bleaching (whole colonies white). We also assigned corals as not bleached (category 0) vs. bleached (category 1–3 combined).

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