[Coral-List] Another question about coral disease

Drew Harvell cdh5 at cornell.edu
Wed Mar 8 11:24:45 EST 2006

Dear Victor:

The syndrome in your pictures looks similar to an Acropora white 
syndrome that has been reported throughout the Barrier Reef in 
Australia, and also in Palau and Marshall Islands.  Bette Willis' 
group at James Cook has done work on the causative microorganism, and 
she is collaborating with others working on that similar syndrome at 
other locations in the Pacific.  Her email is Bette.Willis at jcu.edu.au 
White Syndrome on the GBR has in the past been sensitive to 
temperature warming, so it is possible this warm season could be a 
triggering event on your reefs.  I agree with Josh's excellent point 
that there could be a corallivorous predator involved, because of the 
particular locations near the base of those dead tissue areas.  I've 
certainly seen Drupella damage similar to that. It sounds as though 
you have already attempted to rule that out.

We will be very interested to hear how this ends up. It will be 
valuable to note this if it is a new outbreak of White Syndrome in 
your area.

Regards, Drew

>Dear Colleagues,
>These photos have been taken at Gove/Nhulunbuy area, Arafura sea, 
>the Northern Territory, Australia (GPS reading: S12 04.413; E136 
>White spots and bands on Acropora corals are not related to coral 
>bleaching (quite often affected colonies are located 0.5-1 m deeper 
>than unaffected colonies). Also, spots location and distribution 
>pattern excludes coral bleaching as a cause of these white spots). 
>Predators like Crown-of-thorn starfish  are not found in the area 
>and Drupiella gastropods are rare.
>What is that,  a "white band disease"?
>Your suggestions are appreciated
>Victor Gomelyuk
>Dr Victor Gomelyuk
>Marine Scientist
>Parks & Wildlife Commission
>of the Northern Territory
>Darwin,  NT,  Australia 0812
>tel +61(0)889209281
>fax 61(0)889209222
>Coral-List mailing list
>Coral-List at coral.aoml.noaa.gov

Drew Harvell
Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology
E- 321 Corson Hall
Cornell University
Ithaca, NY 14853

VOICE:  607-254-4274   FAX: 607-255-8088  email:cdh5 at cornell.edu 

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