View site #952 > ScoreCard for survey #1 > Issue
Introduction | Identification | Impacts | Causes | Actions | More Info
|The Reef Check Survey documents the presence of coral disease(s) and the percentage of corals that have visible signs of disease.|
The following are some of the identified diseases and disease-like syndromes that afflict corals. These conditions should not be confused with coral tissue damaged or removed by physical trauma, normal variations in color, predation (by snails, fish, starfish etc), and the presence of organisms (sponges, worms, mollusks and algae) that live by boring into coral skeletons beneath the coral tissue.
Black Band Disease
Caused by a group of microbial organisms that is toxic to coral tissues. It is characterized by dead coral skeleton separated from the living tissue by a black line of infection that dissolves the tissue as it advances over the coral. It has been seen in all reef regions.
White Band Disease
Characterized by a distinct line or gradual transition where tissue peels-off of the skeleton. Afflicts Elkhorn and Staghorn coral (Acropora species) throughout the Caribbean, progressing from lower areas of the branches. The cause has not been conclusively determined.
Similar to White Band Disease in that it is a distinct line of bacterial infection that advances over the coralís surface. Often found afflicting massive colonies in the Caribbean, it can spread rapidly over and between corals.
Caused by a fungus that creates lesions on Caribbean gorgonians (sea-fans and sea-whips). The agent is found in soils and may be brought to reef areas by the erosion of land areas by water and wind.
Other Caribbean coral syndromes or diseases
'White pox' (white circular lesions on branching corals), 'dark spot' (on massive corals), 'red band' and 'yellow blotch' have been identified and are named for their characteristic appearance. Their origins are not fully understood.
Tumors and abnormal skeletal growth
Large protuberant or unusual patterns of growth on what are otherwise normal coral surfaces are a result of cancer-like syndromes. These afflictions are caused by abnormal growth of cells that produce the coralís skeleton.
Diseases of coralline algae
An orange slimy bacterium or narrow white band that spreads across the algal surface, and like coral diseases, leaves behind the bare white skeleton of the algae.
|Porites sp. with white spot (disease)
Location: Kyunn Thone Lon, Mergui Archipelago, Myanmar
Photo by: Georg Heiss
(from ReefBase: http://www.reefbase.org)|