DAO 64:181-191 (2005) - doi:10.3354/dao064181
Coral diseases on Philippine reefs: genus Porites is a dominant host
Laurie J. Raymundo1,2,*, Kathryn B. Rosell2, Clarissa T. Reboton2, Longin Kaczmarsky3
ABSTRACT: While it is generally assumed that Indo-Pacific reefs are not widely affected by diseases, limited data suggest a number of diseases and syndromes that appear to differ from those currently under study in the Caribbean. This report presents the results of a baseline survey of coral diseases in 2 regions in the Philippines: the Central Visayas and the Lingayen Gulf. Mean prevalence for all diseases observed was 8.3 ± 1.2% (mean ± SE; n = 8 reefs), with Central Visayas reefs showing higher disease prevalence (11.6 ± 2.8%; n = 4 reefs) than those of Lingayen Gulf (5.1 ± 1.4%; n = 4 reefs). Five diseases and syndromes were described; 3 of thesePorites ulcerative white spot disease (PUWS) (prevalence = 8.96 ± 2.2%), tumors (prevalence = 1.0 ± 0.5%) and pigmentation response (prevalence = 0.5 ± 0.2%)occurred frequently in both regions and targeted the genus Porites. Correlation between disease prevalence and number of Porites colonies was fairly strong (r2 = 43.4), though not significant, and no correlation was seen between prevalence and either the amount or diversity of hard coral. Porites is a major reef-builder in the Indo-Pacific comprising 30% of hard coral colonies on our surveyed reefs, and is generally thought to be a hardy, long-lived genus. Diseases targeting this robust group present an as yet unquantified risk to Philippine reefs and could result in major changes in reef structure.
KEY WORDS: Coral disease · Philippines · Porites · Disease prevalence · Host range · Species diversity
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