DAO 47:229-234 (2001)  -  doi:10.3354/dao047229

Necrotic patches affect Acropora palmata (Scleractinia: Acroporidae) in the Mexican Caribbean

R. E. Rodríguez-Martínez*, A. T. Banaszak, E. Jordán-Dahlgren

Instituto de Ciencias del Mar y Limnología, UNAM. Apartado Postal 1152, 77500 Cancún, Q. Roo, México
1The coral disease page. http://ourworld.compuserve.com/homepages/mccarty_and_peters/coraldis.htm 2In his plenary address at the 30th meeting of the Association of Marine Laboratories of the Caribbean (held June 24-29, 2001, in La Parguera, Puerto Rico), Dr Garriet Smith identified the causative agent of white pox in Acropora palmata as the Eubacterium Serratia sp.

ABSTRACT: An outbreak of necrotic patches was observed affecting Acropora palmata in the Mexican Caribbean in the summer of 1999. This study documents the tissue loss produced by these patches. Following a marked initial increase in the number of patches, there was a decrease in the appearance of new patches but the size of the patches increased throughout the study. In some cases patches expanded but in most cases they enlarged due to fusion of 2 or more patches. Patches recovered but not sufficiently to overcome damage in most colonies surveyed. Percentage tissue loss does not appear to be directly related to temperature but may be related to a combination of factors associated with prolonged summer doldrum-like conditions. The necrotic patch syndrome can have a substantial impact in tissue loss in affected A. palmata colonies.

KEY WORDS: Coral diseases · Patchy necrosis · Acropora palmata · Mexican Caribbean

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