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Coral reefs, the most diverse of marine ecosystems, currently experience unprecedented levels of degradation. Diseases are now recognized as a major cause of mortality in reef-forming corals and are complicit in phase shifts of reef ecosystems to algal-dominated states worldwide. Even so, factors contributing to disease occurrence, spread, and impact remain(More)
The results of an investigation of a new coral disease affecting Indo-Pacific reefs are presented. Porites ulcerative white spot disease (PUWS) is characterized by discrete, bleached, round foci, 3 to 5 mm in diameter, that may either regress or progress to full tissue-thickness ulcerations that coalesce, occasionally resulting in colony mortality.(More)
BACKGROUND The coral holobiont includes the coral animal, algal symbionts, and associated microbial community. These microbes help maintain the holobiont homeostasis; thus, sustaining robust mutualistic microbial communities is a fundamental part of long-term coral reef survival. Coastal pollution is one major threat to reefs, and intensive fish farming is(More)
While it is generally assumed that Indo-Pacific reefs are not widely affected by diseases, limited data suggest a number of diseases and syndromes that appear to differ from those currently under study in the Caribbean. This report presents the results of a baseline survey of coral diseases in 2 regions in the Philippines: the Central Visayas and the(More)
Growth anomalies (GAs) are common, tumor-like diseases that can cause significant morbidity and decreased fecundity in the major Indo-Pacific reef-building coral genera, Acropora and Porites. GAs are unusually tractable for testing hypotheses about drivers of coral disease because of their pan-Pacific distributions, relatively high occurrence, and(More)
Coral diseases are taking an increasing toll on coral reef structure and biodiversity and are important indicators of declining health in the oceans. We implemented standardized coral disease surveys to pinpoint hotspots of coral disease, reveal vulnerable coral families and test hypotheses about climate drivers from 39 locations worldwide. We analyzed a 3(More)
Current information regarding the effects of coral diseases on Indo-Pacific reefs lags behind that of the Caribbean. Considering that these reefs are geographically widespread, speciose, often highly influenced by human coastal populations, and inadequately monitored, developing a baseline database is a primary management issue for local scientists. In a(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)
Predicted increases in disease with climate warming highlight the need for effective management strategies to mitigate disease effects in coral communities. We examined the role of marine protected areas (MPAs) in reducing disease in corals and the hypothesis that the composition of fish communities can influence coral health, by comparing disease(More)
To investigate facilitative and competitive effects of conspecific neighbors on coral growth, fragments of Porites attenuata were reciprocally transplanted between two reefs. Transplants were interspersed with dead coral fragments or live conspecifics and monitored for growth. Over 13 months, transplant performance differed between sites. Those from(More)