Identification and prevalence of coral diseases on three Western Indian Ocean coral reefs

Abstract : ABSTRACT: Coral diseases have caused a substantial decline in the biodiversity and abundance of reef-building corals. To date, more than 30 distinct diseases of scleractinian corals have been reported, which cause progressive tissue loss and/or affect coral growth, reproductive capacity, recruitment, species diversity and the abundance of reef-associated organisms. While coral disease research has increased over the last 4 decades, very little is known about coral diseases in the Western Indian Ocean. Surveys conducted at multiple sites in Reunion, South Africa and Mayotte between August 2010 and June 2012 revealed the presence of 6 main coral diseases: black band disease (BBD), white syndrome (WS), pink line syndrome (PLS), growth anomalies (GA), skeleton eroding band (SEB) and Porites white patch syndrome (PWPS). Overall, disease prevalence was higher in Reunion (7.5 ± 2.2%; mean ± SE) compared to South Africa (3.9 ± 0.8%) and Mayotte (2.7 ± 0.3%). Across locations, Acropora and Porites were the genera most susceptible to disease. Spatial variability was detected in both Reunion and South Africa, with BBD and WS more prevalent on shallow than deep reefs. There was also evidence of seasonality in 2 diseases: the prevalence of BBD and WS was higher in summer than winter. This was the first study to investigate the ecology of coral diseases, providing both qualitative and quantitative data, on Western Indian Ocean reefs, and surveys should be expanded to confirm these patterns.
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Submitted on : Tuesday, October 30, 2018 - 6:56:29 AM
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Mathieu Séré, Pascale Chabanet, Jean Turquet, Jean‐pascal Quod, Michael H. Schleyer. Identification and prevalence of coral diseases on three Western Indian Ocean coral reefs. Diseases of Aquatic Organisms, Inter Research, 2015, 114 (3), pp.249 - 261. ⟨10.3354/dao02865⟩. ⟨hal-01908219⟩

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