[Coral-List] Re: Coral disease in Zanzibar

Scott Godwin sgodwin at nmsc.edu.au
Sat Aug 28 03:52:18 EDT 2004

Hello Listers,

I am a PhD student at the National Marine Science Centre in Coffs Harbour, 
Australia. My project is concerned with the pathology of coral diseases in 
subtropical waters of eastern Australia. Its always interesting to hear 
about other diseases occurring elsewhere.


Fascinating stuff. The pink spots you described sound very similar to the 
pink pigmented spots observed on Porites spp. corals on the Great Barrier 
Reef and in Hawaii. The spots are though to be produced in response to 
challanges such as parasitic trematodes or cyanobacterial infection (see 
Ravindran and Raghukumar, 2002, Coral Reefs 21:252). Bette Willis and her 
group have observed this condition on the GBR (Bette.Willis at jcu.edu.au).

The second condition sounds like a fungal infection, probably 'fungal 
syndrome' which has been found affecting corals of many genera along many 
parts of the East African coastline. Tim McClanahan is the man to ask 
(tmcclanahan at wcs.org). I think he has a paper in the pipeline on this 
syndrome. It causes bleaching of the coral, and results in the 
characteristic grey colour you described. If possible, it would be good to 
take a small sample of the diseased colonies and observe it under a 
microscope. The fungal filaments should be very obvious if they are present.



  Scott Godwin
Postgraduate Research Student
School of Biological, Biomedical and Molecular Sciences
University of New England
National Marine Science Centre
PO Box J321
Coffs Harbour, NSW, 2450, Australia

Phone: +61 2 66483912
Fax: +61 2 66516580

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