[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

Dear Coral-List:

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.

Best regards,

Jada-Simone White
Ph.D. Candidate
Dept. of Zoology
University of Florida

Where can we see a photo of this disease?

   Barb Whitman

   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.
     -----Original Message-----
     From: [1]coral-list-bounces at coral.aoml.noaa.gov on behalf of Thomas
     Sent: Wed 10/31/2007 5:16 PM
     To: Aldo Croquer; [2]Coral-list at coral.aoml.noaa.gov
     Cc: Mark Littler; [3]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.
     Best wishes,
     Thomas J. Goreau, PhD
     Global Coral Reef Alliance
     37 Pleasant Street, Cambridge MA 02139
     [4]goreau at bestweb.net

More information about the Coral-List mailing list