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Selective Impact of Disease on Coral Communities: Outbreak of White Syndrome Causes Significant Total Mortality of Acropora Plate Corals.

Hobbs JP, Frisch AJ, Newman SJ, Wakefield CB - PLoS ONE (2015)

Bottom Line: Following the outbreak, live Acropora plate coral cover at 5 m depth decreased significantly from 7.0 to 0.8%, while the cover of other coral taxa remained unchanged.Observations five years after the initial outbreak revealed that total Acropora plate cover remained low and confirmed that corals that lost all their tissue due to WS did not recover.These results demonstrate that WS represents a significant and selective form of coral mortality and highlights the serious threat WS poses to coral reefs in the Indo-Pacific.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Environment and Agriculture, Curtin University, Perth, Australia.

ABSTRACT
Coral diseases represent a significant and increasing threat to coral reefs. Among the most destructive diseases is White Syndrome (WS), which is increasing in distribution and prevalence throughout the Indo-Pacific. The aim of this study was to determine taxonomic and spatial patterns in mortality rates of corals following the 2008 outbreak of WS at Christmas Island in the eastern Indian Ocean. WS mainly affected Acropora plate corals and caused total mortality of 36% of colonies across all surveyed sites and depths. Total mortality varied between sites but was generally much greater in the shallows (0-96% of colonies at 5 m depth) compared to deeper waters (0-30% of colonies at 20 m depth). Site-specific mortality rates were a reflection of the proportion of corals affected by WS at each site during the initial outbreak and were predicted by the initial cover of live Acropora plate cover. The WS outbreak had a selective impact on the coral community. Following the outbreak, live Acropora plate coral cover at 5 m depth decreased significantly from 7.0 to 0.8%, while the cover of other coral taxa remained unchanged. Observations five years after the initial outbreak revealed that total Acropora plate cover remained low and confirmed that corals that lost all their tissue due to WS did not recover. These results demonstrate that WS represents a significant and selective form of coral mortality and highlights the serious threat WS poses to coral reefs in the Indo-Pacific.

No MeSH data available.


Mean mortality rate (% ± SE) of Acropora plate corals as measured by the percent of recently dead colonies recorded in surveys 6 to 8 months after the White Syndrome outbreak began at Christmas Island.Data were recorded at 5 m (black bars) and 20 m depths (white bars) at eight survey sites in October 2008.
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pone.0132528.g007: Mean mortality rate (% ± SE) of Acropora plate corals as measured by the percent of recently dead colonies recorded in surveys 6 to 8 months after the White Syndrome outbreak began at Christmas Island.Data were recorded at 5 m (black bars) and 20 m depths (white bars) at eight survey sites in October 2008.

Mentions: Site and depth specific responses were also evident in the proportion of Acropora plate corals that died following the WS outbreak (two-way ANOVA interaction: F1,7 = 13.2, p < 0.0001, Fig 7). Across all surveyed sites and depths, 36% of Acropora plate corals died (353 of 973 colonies). Mortality rates in the shallows (5 m) ranged from 0 to 96% per site and were generally higher than those recorded at 20 m depth (0 to 30%). At one site (Northwest Point), however, the mortality rate was higher at 20 m depth (12%) than at 5 m depth (0%). This contrasting result could represent a sampling artifact related to the rarity of Acropora plates remaining in the shallows at Northwest Point. The mean number of live Acropora plate corals at 5 m depth at this site did decline following the WS outbreak (Fig 6A).


Selective Impact of Disease on Coral Communities: Outbreak of White Syndrome Causes Significant Total Mortality of Acropora Plate Corals.

Hobbs JP, Frisch AJ, Newman SJ, Wakefield CB - PLoS ONE (2015)

Mean mortality rate (% ± SE) of Acropora plate corals as measured by the percent of recently dead colonies recorded in surveys 6 to 8 months after the White Syndrome outbreak began at Christmas Island.Data were recorded at 5 m (black bars) and 20 m depths (white bars) at eight survey sites in October 2008.
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
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getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4493122&req=5

pone.0132528.g007: Mean mortality rate (% ± SE) of Acropora plate corals as measured by the percent of recently dead colonies recorded in surveys 6 to 8 months after the White Syndrome outbreak began at Christmas Island.Data were recorded at 5 m (black bars) and 20 m depths (white bars) at eight survey sites in October 2008.
Mentions: Site and depth specific responses were also evident in the proportion of Acropora plate corals that died following the WS outbreak (two-way ANOVA interaction: F1,7 = 13.2, p < 0.0001, Fig 7). Across all surveyed sites and depths, 36% of Acropora plate corals died (353 of 973 colonies). Mortality rates in the shallows (5 m) ranged from 0 to 96% per site and were generally higher than those recorded at 20 m depth (0 to 30%). At one site (Northwest Point), however, the mortality rate was higher at 20 m depth (12%) than at 5 m depth (0%). This contrasting result could represent a sampling artifact related to the rarity of Acropora plates remaining in the shallows at Northwest Point. The mean number of live Acropora plate corals at 5 m depth at this site did decline following the WS outbreak (Fig 6A).

Bottom Line: Following the outbreak, live Acropora plate coral cover at 5 m depth decreased significantly from 7.0 to 0.8%, while the cover of other coral taxa remained unchanged.Observations five years after the initial outbreak revealed that total Acropora plate cover remained low and confirmed that corals that lost all their tissue due to WS did not recover.These results demonstrate that WS represents a significant and selective form of coral mortality and highlights the serious threat WS poses to coral reefs in the Indo-Pacific.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Environment and Agriculture, Curtin University, Perth, Australia.

ABSTRACT
Coral diseases represent a significant and increasing threat to coral reefs. Among the most destructive diseases is White Syndrome (WS), which is increasing in distribution and prevalence throughout the Indo-Pacific. The aim of this study was to determine taxonomic and spatial patterns in mortality rates of corals following the 2008 outbreak of WS at Christmas Island in the eastern Indian Ocean. WS mainly affected Acropora plate corals and caused total mortality of 36% of colonies across all surveyed sites and depths. Total mortality varied between sites but was generally much greater in the shallows (0-96% of colonies at 5 m depth) compared to deeper waters (0-30% of colonies at 20 m depth). Site-specific mortality rates were a reflection of the proportion of corals affected by WS at each site during the initial outbreak and were predicted by the initial cover of live Acropora plate cover. The WS outbreak had a selective impact on the coral community. Following the outbreak, live Acropora plate coral cover at 5 m depth decreased significantly from 7.0 to 0.8%, while the cover of other coral taxa remained unchanged. Observations five years after the initial outbreak revealed that total Acropora plate cover remained low and confirmed that corals that lost all their tissue due to WS did not recover. These results demonstrate that WS represents a significant and selective form of coral mortality and highlights the serious threat WS poses to coral reefs in the Indo-Pacific.

No MeSH data available.