[Coral-List] Coral disease? Which one?

Eric Borneman eborneman at uh.edu
Thu Jun 22 13:24:33 EDT 2006

To me, its hard to say if this is a result of predation by  
Acanthaster followed by a secondary colonization of something like a  
Beggiatoa or other microbe over the exposed tissue and or  
degenerating tissue.  Could also be a response to a xenobiotic,  
previous cyobacterial overgrowth with secondary microbial coverage.  
Its too hard to say without samples and analysis.  The fact that you  
only see it affecting one species...and appears patchy, does not lend  
credence to anything like a pandemic, and contagion in terms of  
virulence would not be possible without experimentation...and  DO NOT  
do any in the field.  There is a bad trend to do field infection  
experiments which in my view are very irresponsible. But, do keep an  
eye on it and in other locations and perhaps, if possible, send  
samples to the International Registry of Coral Pathology (contact  
them first for interest, availability of resources and proper  
fixation, storage and shipping protocols.)
Eric Borneman
Department of Biology and Biochemistry
University of Houston
Science and Research Bldg. II
4800 Calhoun Rd.
Houston, TX 77204-5001

ph: 713-743-2667

On Jun 22, 2006, at 6:53 AM, Jeffrey Low wrote:

> Hi coral-listers,
>   I would like to draw upon your collective knowledge on what I saw  
> yesterday.
>   I came across two Montipora (hispida?) colonies showing signs of  
> die-off from apparent disease. The link below will take you to the  
> series of photos I took (not very good ones, I'm afraid).
>   http://www.flickr.com/photos/cat64fish/sets/72157594173810429/
>   I checked the web for what disease might be causing this die-off  
> and it seems like some kind of "white" disease (White Plague was  
> the closest I could determine).
>   A few questions:
>   1. How do we determine the exact nature of this die-off?
>   2. If it is a "white" disease of some sort, how "contagious" is  
> this disease to other coral colonies?
>   3. How worried should we be about this occurrance? Will be pandemic?
>   4. Is there anything we can do to prevent its spread? Assuming  
> worse case scenrio of a "pandemic".
>   The water conditions at the site silty, with usual visibility of  
> 2m (5m on good days). Depth was approx. 2m (at or near the reef  
> crest). It had been raining a few days beforehand, so there was a  
> lot of algae in the water as well (not normal for this time of the  
> year, usually).
>   Hope someone can help.
>   Cheers, Jeff
> Jim Hendee <Jim.Hendee at noaa.gov> wrote:
>   Greetings!
> The proposed Caribbean MPA Managers meeting, originally scheduled
> for August 7 - 11, 2006 in La Parguera, Puerto Rico (see below) was
> found to be popular, but also at financial odds with the managers,
> mainly due to other meetings held for them in a similar time frame  
> when
> only one or two meetings might be affordable in one year. Thus, we  
> have
> worked closely with the organizers of the 59th annual Gulf and  
> Caribbean
> Fisheries Institute conference, and will make our presentation and  
> seek
> input from the managers at that meeting, to be held from 6 Nov 2006
> through 11 November 2006 in Belize City, Belize. We will give a
> presentation, have a special booth to show all the new features
> highlighted in the originally circulated message, and work closely  
> with
> other presenters in the Caribbean Connectivity portion of the meeting,
> to underscore our goal of providing near real-time integrated data for
> MPA decision support. Please visit this URL for information on
> registering for the conference:
> http://www.gcfi.org/Conferences/59th/Belize59.htm
> I apologize to those of you who went through the effort of
> registering for the La Parguera meeting. I still hope that we will get
> a chance to meet with you in the near future and discuss ways in which
> the Integrated Coral Observing Network (ICON) stations and online
> software might work for you in MPA decision support. Please drop me a
> line if you wish to know more.
> Sincerely yours,
> Jim Hendee
> ----------------------------------------------------
> James C. Hendee, Ph.D.
> Coral Health and Monitoring Program
> Ocean Chemistry Division
> Atlantic Oceanographic and Meteorological Laboratory
> National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
> U.S. Department of Commerce
> 4301 Rickenbacker Causeway
> Miami, FL 33149-1026
> Voice: (305) 361-4396
> Fax: (305) 361-4447
> Email: jim.hendee at noaa.gov
> Web: http://www.coral.noaa.gov
> --- In campam at yahoogroups.com, "Jim Hendee" wrote:
> Greetings!
> This message is an invitation to Caribbean MPA managers to meet with
> selected data suppliers and information systems engineers to help  
> design
> a next generation Web-based tool to aid in management and research,
> based on the integration of near real-time and other data. The meeting
> will be held at La Parguera, Puerto Rico, August 7-11, 2006, at the
> Parador Villa Parguera near Phosphorescent Bay.
> NOAA has committed to integrating ocean data from a variety of sources
> under a project called the Integrated Ocean Observing System. NOAA's
> Coral Reef Conservation Program has also committed to integrating  
> coral
> data from a variety of sources for the benefit of coral reef  
> researchers
> and Marine Protected Area (MPA) managers, especially under the  
> aegis of
> the Coral Reef Ecosystem Integrated Observing System program. NOAA
> Research and the Atlantic Oceanographic and Meteorological Laboratory
> (AOML) are participating in this venture by providing Web-based  
> software
> to integrate various near real-time data sources, and by providing an
> inference engine (artificial intelligence tool) to provide ecosystem
> forecasts for MPA decision support under a program called the  
> Integrated
> Coral Observing Network (ICON).
> ~~ What We Hope To Accomplish ~~
> We hope to eventually be able to provide decision support for selected
> questions an MPA manager might have, such as:
> * Is increased weekend user activity negatively affecting water
> quality (turbidity, chlorophyll, nitrogen, wind/waves, for example)?
> * Can I detect a pollution event?
> * If there is an oil spill, can it be detected automatically and
> what direction will it travel?
> * When will selected fish/corals spawn (and where will they go)?
> * When will selected fish/invertebrates migrate?
> * Can I detect large ship intrusion into my MPA in time to stop a
> disaster on the reefs?
> * Can I detect large rainfall events, and how will these affect
> local run-off into my MPA?
> * How can I detect large-scale change in my reef systems?
> * When are conditions conducive to coral disease and/or bleaching?
> * When are conditions conducive to increased algal growth?
> * Can I detect significant harmful algal blooms in time to prevent
> fishing contaminated species?
> * Can I detect unauthorized access into my MPA?
> * How can I broadcast underwater live events (such as coral spawning
> or bleaching) and other outreach events to the public?
> * How can I see trends in environmental parameters through time, and
> can I receive notice when things change?
> After the meeting, a document will be prepared which summarizes the
> Caribbean MPA Managers' requirements for data and research support, as
> well as questions such as these. This document will be used to  
> guide the
> ICON team and colleagues in developing the software, but also in
> providing guidance to other software developers and researchers of all
> relevant disciplines.
> ~~ Attendance and Support ~~
> Through NOAA's Coral Reef Conservation Program, and the Caribbean  
> Coral
> Reef Institute, funds are being provided to support rooms for about 20
> managers or their designates; however, there will be room for about 80
> additional attendees in the conference hall. All attendees must  
> provide
> their own air fare.
> The priority on selecting attendees will be for managers from as many
> representative Caribbean MPAs as possible; however, a few special  
> guests
> who are data suppliers will also be in attendance. The selection of
> attendees will be made by the Program Managers and will be based  
> mainly
> on location and who first registered; however, you will have a  
> chance to
> apply for attendance based on special considerations.
> A Web Page describing more about the project, as well as details  
> and the
> form for registering can be found at:
> http://www.coral.noaa.gov/mpa/retreat/
> All 20 officially invited attendees will be asked to give a 20 minute
> presentation describing their coral reef MPA, but concentrating
> especially on what their data, research and socioeconomic needs  
> are. It
> doesn't matter if particular data streams are currently available or
> not: part of the purpose of the meeting is to determine which research
> data sources need to be gained for effective management. In turn, the
> ICON team will meet with the invitees as necessary for follow-up on  
> how
> we can help.
> The period for selection of the representative attendees will  
> closed May
> 1, 2006. An announcement will be made shortly thereafter as to the
> supported and non-supported attendees. Non-supported attendees may
> continue to apply so long as the 100 slots are not filled.
> ~~ The New La Parguera Marine Reserve ICON/CREWS Station ~~
> The La Parguera Marine Reserve is the site of the latest CREWS  
> station,
> which is a data supplier to the ICON program. The University of Puerto
> Rico's Department of Marine Science at the Magueyes Island Marine
> Laboratory, and the Caribbean Coral Reef Institute (CCRI), are
> collaborating with AOML to maintain and operate this station. We
> anticipate being able to provide some support for attendees to  
> visit the
> station and the laboratory. Here are some links for more information:
> * http://www.coral.noaa.gov/crw/crw_data_lppr1_Web_12.html (CREWS
> Data Report)
> * http://lppr1-log.blogspot.com/ (temporary station maintenance page)
> * http://www.coral.noaa.gov/noaa/icon/crews-install.pdf (CREWS
> station installation description)
> * http://cima.uprm.edu/magueyes.html (Magueyes Island Marine  
> Laboratory)
> *
> http://www.cop.noaa.gov/ecosystems/coralreefs/current/ccri- 
> factsheet-cr.html
> (Caribbean Coral Reef Institute)
> Thank you for your attention and support!
> Sincerely yours,
> The Program Managers
> Jim Hendee, NOAA/AOML
> Richard Appledoorn, UPRM/CCRI
> Brian Keller, FKNMS
> --- End forwarded message ---
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