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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.


The relationship between the mean percent of Acropora plate corals affected by White Syndrome during the initial outbreak and the mortality rate as measured by mean percent of dead Acropora plate corals recorded 6 to 8 months after the outbreak.Data are from surveys at 5 m depth at eight sites around Christmas Island.
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pone.0132528.g009: The relationship between the mean percent of Acropora plate corals affected by White Syndrome during the initial outbreak and the mortality rate as measured by mean percent of dead Acropora plate corals recorded 6 to 8 months after the outbreak.Data are from surveys at 5 m depth at eight sites around Christmas Island.

Mentions: Regression analysis revealed that differences in site-specific mortality rates of Acropora plate corals was not correlated with the initial number of Acropora corals (F = 0.13, p = 0.74, r2 = 0.02, Fig 8A) but was positively related to the initial percent cover of live Acropora plate coral (F = 7.21, p = 0.036, r2 = 0.55, Fig 8B). Mortality rates were weakly associated with total live hard coral cover (F = 5.45, p = 0.058, r2 = 0.48, Fig 8C). The proportion of WS-affected Acropora plate corals recorded at a site during the WS outbreak was a reliable predictor of the subsequent level of Acropora plate coral mortality at that site (F = 175.71, p < 0.0001, r2 = 0.97, Fig 9).


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)

The relationship between the mean percent of Acropora plate corals affected by White Syndrome during the initial outbreak and the mortality rate as measured by mean percent of dead Acropora plate corals recorded 6 to 8 months after the outbreak.Data are from surveys at 5 m depth at eight sites around Christmas Island.
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4493122&req=5

pone.0132528.g009: The relationship between the mean percent of Acropora plate corals affected by White Syndrome during the initial outbreak and the mortality rate as measured by mean percent of dead Acropora plate corals recorded 6 to 8 months after the outbreak.Data are from surveys at 5 m depth at eight sites around Christmas Island.
Mentions: Regression analysis revealed that differences in site-specific mortality rates of Acropora plate corals was not correlated with the initial number of Acropora corals (F = 0.13, p = 0.74, r2 = 0.02, Fig 8A) but was positively related to the initial percent cover of live Acropora plate coral (F = 7.21, p = 0.036, r2 = 0.55, Fig 8B). Mortality rates were weakly associated with total live hard coral cover (F = 5.45, p = 0.058, r2 = 0.48, Fig 8C). The proportion of WS-affected Acropora plate corals recorded at a site during the WS outbreak was a reliable predictor of the subsequent level of Acropora plate coral mortality at that site (F = 175.71, p < 0.0001, r2 = 0.97, Fig 9).

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.