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Mass mortalities due to disease outbreaks have recently affected major taxa in the oceans. For closely monitored groups like corals and marine mammals, reports of the frequency of epidemics and the number of new diseases have increased recently. A dramatic global increase in the severity of coral bleaching in 1997-98 is coincident with high El Niño(More)
Drivers of disease cycles are poorly understood in marine ecosystems in spite of increasing outbreaks. We monitored a newly emerged fungal epizootic (aspergillosis) affecting sea fan corals (Gorgonia ventalina L.) in the Florida Keys to evaluate causes of its rise and fall over 6 years. Since August 1997, aspergillosis has nearly eradicated large sea fans(More)
nfectious diseases have recently caused substantial community and ecosystem-wide impacts in marine communities. A long-spined sea urchin disease virtually eradicated urchins from the Caribbean and facilitated a coral to algal shift on many reefs (Hughes et al. 1994). Coral diseases , such as white band (Figure 1), white plague, white pox, and aspergillosis(More)
The goals of this study were to evaluate the contribution of sewage-derived N to reef flat communities in Guam and to assess the impact of N inputs on coral disease. We used stable isotope analysis of macroalgae and a soft coral, sampled bimonthly, as a proxy for N dynamics, and surveyed Porites spp., a dominant coral taxon on Guam's reefs, for white(More)
The surface mucopolysaccharide layer (SML) secreted by corals is a rich environment where bacteria live and proliferate, with population levels often being several orders of magnitude higher than in the surrounding waters (at least for culturable microbes). Some studies have suggested that these communities play an important role in energy and nutrient flux(More)
Aspergillosis (a fungal disease) is affecting sea fan corals Gorgonia spp. throughout the Caribbean. To measure the impact of this disease, we established longitudinal, or in other words individual-based, monitoring studies on 3 reefs in the Florida Keys, USA, to obtain estimates of incidence, rates of disease progress, recovery, and mortality. At Western(More)
Many cnidarians host endosymbiotic dinoflagellates from the genus Symbiodinium. It is generally assumed that the symbiosis is mutualistic, where the host benefits from symbiont photosynthesis while providing protection and photosynthetic substrates. Diverse assemblages of symbiotic gorgonian octocorals can be found in hard bottom communities throughout the(More)
Coral reefs are in decline worldwide. In the last several decades, bleaching and disease in a warming ocean have emerged as dominant drivers of ecological change on coral reefs. This special issue of DAO presents papers based on presentations from the 11th International Coral Reef Symposium (2008, Fort Lauderdale, Florida, USA). The articles herein document(More)