DAO 106:69-77 (2013)  -  DOI: https://doi.org/10.3354/dao02634

Coral diseases are major contributors to coral mortality in Shingle Island, Gulf of Mannar, southeastern India

T. Thinesh1,2,*, K. Diraviya Raj1, G. Mathews1, J. K. Patterson Edward

1Suganthi Devadason Marine Research Institute, 44 Beach Road, Tuticorin 628 001, Tamil Nadu, India
2Present address: Centre for Ecological Sciences, Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore 560012, India

ABSTRACT: The present study reports coral mortality, driven primarily by coral diseases, around Shingle Island, Gulf of Mannar (GOM), Indian Ocean. In total, 2910 colonies were permanently monitored to assess the incidence of coral diseases and consequent mortality for 2 yr. Four types of lesions consistent with white band disease (WBD), black disease (BD), white plaque disease (WPD), and pink spot disease (PSD) were recorded from 4 coral genera: Montipora, Pocillopora, Acropora, and Porites. Porites were affected by 2 disease types, while the other 3 genera were affected by only 1 disease type. Overall disease prevalence increased from 8% (n = 233 colonies) to 41.9% (n = 1219) over the 2 yr study period. BD caused an unprecedented 100% mortality in Pocillopora, followed by 20.4 and 13.1% mortality from WBD in Montipora and Acropora, respectively. Mean disease progression rates of 0.8 ± 1.0 and 0.6 ± 0.5 cm mo-1 over live coral colonies were observed for BD and WBD. Significant correlations between temperature and disease progression were observed for BD (r = 0.86, R2 = 0.75, p < 0.001) and WBD (R2 = 0.76, p < 0.001). This study revealed the increasing trend of disease prevalence and progression of disease over live coral in a relatively limited study area; further study should investigate the status of the entire coral reef in the GOM and the role of diseases in reef dynamics.


KEY WORDS: Montipora · Pocillopora · Acropora · Porites · White band · Disease · Progression · Laccadive Sea · Indian Ocean


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Cite this article as: Thinesh T, Diraviya Raj K, Mathews G, Patterson Edward JK (2013) Coral diseases are major contributors to coral mortality in Shingle Island, Gulf of Mannar, southeastern India. Dis Aquat Org 106:69-77. https://doi.org/10.3354/dao02634

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