Coral disease

Les lesk at
Fri Feb 23 12:06:22 EST 2001

Please take note of Kamla's message.  Something similar is occurring at
Johnston Atoll, though it proceeds much more slowly.  I am confident
that what I've seen at Johnston is not Acanthaster damage (this is
evident enough on the fore-reef; the morbidity syndrome is observed in
the A. cytherea zone within the lagoon).  While what Kamla has observed
could be bleaching, what do we know collectively about morbidity
syndromes and disease in A. cytherea or its near relatives?

> Kamla Ruby wrote:
> Dear coral listers
> During routine surveys conducted in the lagoon on the eastern coast of
> Mauritius, Indian Ocean, this week i noticed that some  large colonies
> of Acropora cytherea have lost their tissues, some totally  and some
> partially There are others which have not been affected at all
> (reminds me of the 1998 coral bleaching episode).   I have not noticed
> any disease line of active tissue necrosis.This plague must have
> progressed very fast as last week i w as at the same site but the
> corals did not show any sign of infestation. Within a week, some of
> the colonies have died and they are covered with green filmentous
> algae though which one can still see the white coral skeleton.  Corals
> of other species, such as branching Acropora, Foliose montipora etc ,
> although occurring side by side have not been affected at all.
>  Iam not sure whether the corals have been affected by white band
> disease I or II, tissue bleaching, shut down reaction or plague.Is
> there anyway we can identify the disease from field observations? Also
> any reason why only colonies of A.cytherea are being affected?
> Thanks a lot
> Cheers
> Ruby
> Ruby Moothien Pillay
> Albion Fisheries Research Centre
> Albion, Petite Riviere
> Mauritius
> Phone: +2304100     Fax: +2384131
> Email: Kamlaruby at

Les Kaufman
Associate Professor of Biology
Boston University Marine Program
Center for Ecology and Conservation Biology
617-353-5560 phone
617-353-6340 fax
lesk at
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