The ecology of 'Acroporid white syndrome', a coral disease from the southern Great Barrier Reef

PloS One
George RoffOve Hoegh-Guldberg

Abstract

Outbreaks of coral disease have increased worldwide over the last few decades. Despite this, remarkably little is known about the ecology of disease in the Indo-Pacific Region. Here we report the spatiotemporal dynamics of a coral disease termed 'Acroporid white syndrome' observed to affect tabular corals of the genus Acropora on the southern Great Barrier Reef. The syndrome is characterised by rapid tissue loss initiating in the basal margins of colonies, and manifests as a distinct lesion boundary between apparently healthy tissue and exposed white skeleton. Surveys of eight sites around Heron Reef in 2004 revealed a mean prevalence of 8.1±0.9%, affecting the three common species (Acropora cytherea, A. hyacinthus, A. clathrata) and nine other tabular Acropora spp. While all sizes of colonies were affected, white syndrome disproportionately affected larger colonies of tabular Acroporids (>80 cm). The prevalence of white syndrome was strongly related to the abundance of tabular Acroporids within transects, yet the incidence of the syndrome appears unaffected by proximity to other colonies, suggesting that while white syndrome is density dependant, it does not exhibit a strongly aggregated spatial pattern consistent with previou...Continue Reading

References

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Citations

Dec 9, 2015·Scientific Reports·Karen D WeynbergMadeleine J H VAN Oppen
May 10, 2017·Global Change Biology·Kate OsborneHugh Sweatman
Nov 7, 2016·Applied and Environmental Microbiology·F Joseph PollockDavid G Bourne
Oct 14, 2017·Environmental Microbiology·Hanaka Mera, David G Bourne

Methods Mentioned

BETA
thermal stress
light microscopy
biopsy

Related Concepts

Bionomics
Environmental Monitoring
Human Geography
Seasonal Variation
Coral
Mucous Body Substance
Site
Coral
Menticirrhus americanus
Research Study

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