[Coral-List] Needed: Description of White Plagues One

CORALations coralations at yahoo.com
Wed Jul 5 15:13:33 EDT 2006

    Saludos Melissa, et al:
  I wrote Melissa and indicated that we are seeing the same diseased (?) states in the corals as she photographed around her island on the nearby island of Culebra, Puerto Rico.  Multiple coral species possibly infected and dying at a rapid rate.   We were taught to refer to rapid onset white disease that involved tissue loss as plagues.  At this stage, and as she subsequently wrote, the nomenclature seems irrelevant now, at least in our region..
  Maybe you see something to help deflect such collapse elsewhere...I hope anyway this is a good use of time.  
   Almost ten years ago, The National Academy Press produced a publication predicting that rising sea surface temperatures as a result of global warming would proliferate organisms pathogenic to humans and other marine life as well as result in stress that increases susceptibility of these organisms to disease.  There may not be time in our region to link the histology to bacterial id (or various combinations of bacteria.)  
  Can scientists agree today that last year's thermal stress could (consistent with the prediction/extrapolation posed by national academy in previous publication(s) be recognized as a factor associated with bleaching related morts and also the proliferation of infection seen today impacting many different coral species?  In some cases, bacterial investigations have revealed the same bacteria on healthy as well as diseased organisms..implicating stress as necessary co-factor in manifestation of the symptoms of certain disease. Threatened reef turtles succumbing to diseases associated with mounting environmental stress as well. 
  In light of what I would characterize as the complete collapse of coral reefs in our region of the Caribbean, I am hoping the coral scientists can shed some light on the possibilities of restoring the many coral species being lost in our region today without first rapidly addressing the mounting thermal stress to this ecosystem that according to the best scientific information today is a result of global warming.  This is an area that has now lost entire species.  

Mary Ann Lucking 

P.O. Box 750 
Culebra, PR 00775 
1-877-77CORAL / 1-877-77(2-6725) 
(o) 787-556-6234  (f) 1-530-618-4605
e-mail: maryann at coralations.org

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