[CDHC] new paper from Bruno et al

Cheryl Woodley cheryl.woodley at noaa.gov
Fri Jul 13 19:45:16 EDT 2007

Hi CDHC members,
Here is another paper that you may be interested in 
reading......remember we'd like to know about any new papers of your's 
coming out so please take advantage of the list serve to post the 
citation and abstract...
All the best.
PLoS Biology | www.plosbiology.org 0001 June 2007 | Volume 5 | Issue 6 | 
open access, available on line

Thermal Stress and Coral Cover as Drivers of Coral Disease Outbreaks*
John F. Bruno, Elizabeth R. Selig, Kenneth S. Casey, Cathie A. Page, 
Bette L. Willis, C. Drew Harvell, Hugh Sweatman, Amy M. Melendy

Very little is known about how environmental changes such as increasing 
temperature affect disease dynamics in the ocean, especially at large 
spatial scales. We asked whether the frequency of warm temperature 
anomalies is positively related to the frequency of coral disease across 
1,500 km of Australia’s Great Barrier Reef. We used a new high 
resolution satellite dataset of ocean temperature and 6 y of coral 
disease and coral cover data from annual surveys of 48 reefs to answer 
this question. We found a highly significant relationship between the 
frequencies of warm temperature anomalies and of white syndrome, an 
emergent disease, or potentially, a group of diseases, of Pacific 
reef-building corals. The effect of temperature was highly dependent on 
coral cover because white syndrome outbreaks followed warm years, but 
only on high (.50%) cover reefs, suggesting an important role of host 
density as a threshold for outbreaks. Our results indicate that the 
frequency of temperature anomalies, which is predicted to
increase in most tropical oceans, can increase the susceptibility of 
corals to disease, leading to outbreaks where corals are abundant.

Cheryl Woodley, Ph.D.
Coral Health and Disease Program

Center for Coastal Environmental Health and Biomolecular Research
Hollings Marine Laboratory
331 Fort Johnson Rd
Charleston, SC 29412
843.762.8862 Phone
843.762.8737 Fax
cheryl.woodley at noaa.gov

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