[Coral-List] White Plague in PRico

EWeil eweil at caribe.net
Sun Jan 1 17:47:16 EST 2006

Dear colleagues, apologies for delivering sad news at the begining of 2006.

An outbreak of white plague (WP) started in many reefs off La Parguera during late November-December. I went diving the last couple of days and found high numbers of M. faveolata, M. franksi, M. annularis, C. natans and D. labyrinthiformis, U.danae and M. ferox infected or recently killed by WP. Many colonies are still inefected but the disease seem to be slowing down (narrow white band) and arresting in many colonies as the water temp drops. This is the second time an outnreak of WP has followed a bleaching event in La Parguera. Similar outbreaks were reproted by J.iller for the US VI.
It seems that these observations support the high water temperature-stressing coral hypothesis. High temp  might render them susceptible to infection by A. coralicida, or A. coralicida becomes more virulent, or a combination of these. We will be collecting samples next week to be checked by L. Richardson's A. coralicida probe.


Dr. Ernesto Weil
Department of Marine Sciences
University of Puerto Rico
PO BOX 3208
Lajas PR 00667
Pho: (787) 899-2048 x. 241
Fax: (787) 899-5500 - 2630

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