[Coral-List] PHOTOS of Coralline Algae Lethal Disease AKA Coralline White Band Syndrome
Jada-Simone S. White
jswhite at zoology.ufl.edu
Mon Dec 10 10:28:07 EST 2007
I posted some photos of Coralline White Band Syndrome taken in 2006 and
2007 from recruitment tiles outplanted in the northern lagoons of
Moorea, French Polynesia:
We plan to follow up in March 2008 by following the fate / growth of
afflicted and healthy CCA (likely focusing on /Porolithon onkodes/ and
/Titanoderma prototypum/). Any and all questions / suggestions are
welcome. Please note that the link to my email on the website is lacking
an @ (due to technical constraints) and will need to be manually entered.
Dept. of Zoology
University of Florida
Where can we see a photo of this disease?
On Thu Nov 1 11:08 , "Julian Sprung" sent:
Just a short observation.
I saw and photographed this happening in an aquarium. It formed the
odd-looking "crop circle" pattern too! This appeared suddenly and
was gone within a couple of weeks. The coralline algae resumed
normal growth afterwards.
From: coral-list-bounces at coral.aoml.noaa.gov on behalf of Thomas
Sent: Wed 10/31/2007 5:16 PM
To: Aldo Croquer; Coral-list at coral.aoml.noaa.gov
Cc: Mark Littler; littlerd at gmail.com
Subject: [Coral-List] Coralline Algae Lethal Disease AKA Goreau's
DiseaseAKA Algae White Disease
Dear Aldo and Coral List readers,
This slow spreading disease of encrusting red calcareous algae
expands in circular lesions, but often stops short of killing the
whole alga. It is distinguished by a white expanding ring, usually
millimeter or two wide, but in some cases up to a centimeter wide,
with a sharp rim against the external pink or purplish encrusting
calcareous alga, The interior of the expanding circle is made up of
fine filamentous alga with a very distinctive olive green color.
I have documented it globally since 1991. I have many images on
and a few photographs showing it all around the Caribbean, Indian
Ocean, Pacific, and South East Asia, but have never had the time to
compile them. However I have seen rare examples of it on much older
photographs, so while it is not genuinely a "new' disease, it has
certainly greatly expanded in the last 15 years.
I first noticed that this disease had spread very rapidly in the
intertidal sea level notch in Negril, Jamaica, over a few months
around 1991-2, and named it Coralline Algae Lethal Disease *CALD),
analogy with the Littler's Coralline Lethal Orange Disease (CLOD).
Subsequently the encrusting reds in this habitat were overgrown and
killed by fleshy algae as the area became eutrophic and algae
all over the reef (NB: algae overgrew the reefs in Negril only in
early 1990s, after tourism development and NOT after the Diadema
off in 1983, or the earlier overfishing, as popular "phase shift"
mythology claims). Later Esther Peters mentioned it on her web site
and called it "Goreau's Disease", a name I 'd rather see confined
something that is completely lethal and affects only politicians
their scientific servants. CALD is what Ernesto Weil and yourself
have recently noticed and are now calling Algae White Disease.
I wrote a paper describing this around 1992 in a report on
environmental changes in western Jamaica published in the
of a conference held by the Negril Coral Reef Preservation Society.
don't have either a xerox or a scanned copy available, and the
original is someplace in the mountain of boxes in my basement, that
is to say, effectively unreachable. It took me a couple of years to
convince Mark and Diane Littler that this was in fact a disease
had not noticed before, and they now agree that it is far more
widespread than CLOD.
Since CALD is so widespread, and I don't have time to compile my
observations, I'm now forwarding this to the coral list server to
if other people are also noticing it. I'm sure it is present almost
every place where encrusting red algae have not yet been totally
smothered by eutrophic fleshy algae, although it's frequency varies
greatly from site to site.
Thomas J. Goreau, PhD
Global Coral Reef Alliance
37 Pleasant Street, Cambridge MA 02139
goreau at bestweb.net
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