[Coral-List] Coralline Algae Disease first publication

Thomas Goreau goreau at bestweb.net
Sat Nov 3 20:25:34 EDT 2007

I had forgotten that a clear half page description of what I called  
Coralline Algae Lethal Disease, later named Coralline White Band  
Syndrome by Ballantine, Weil, & Ruiz, 2004, was in fact published in  
the international peer-reviewed literature on page 165 in Goreau et  
al., 1998, Rapid spread of diseases in Caribbean Coral Reefs, Revista  
Biologia Tropical 46: 157-171. However that publication describes the  
first observation of the syndrome as being in 1996, which I now  
suspect is a typo, as I recall publishing something on it in the  
Jamaican literature prior to that, but don't have a copy available  
right now to confirm.  I have since seen much earlier photographs  
with this characteristic pattern, but it was rare, and it's sudden  
outbreak over a few months was very noticeable to me at a site where  
I was very frequently in the water. In the Revista article has a  
photograph of the syndrome taken by James Cervino at my request (as I  
recall at Karpata in Bonaire), but it is not a very clear photograph  
and shows the mottled pattern lacking the clear circular white band  
of the active expanding phase, and is more typical of after the  
disease has stopped spreading. I have hundreds of much better images,  
but as these are not now available, the excellent one published by  
Ballantine et al should be used. Since the later name proposed by  
Ballantine et al. is more descriptive, I prefer it to the name I  
originally proposed, and waive priority.

Thomas J. Goreau, PhD
Global Coral Reef Alliance
37 Pleasant Street, Cambridge MA 02139
goreau at bestweb.net

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