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Diseases of Aquatic Organisms

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DAO 105:65-74 (2013)  -  DOI:

Prevalence, host range, and spatial distribution of black band disease in the Maldivian Archipelago

Simone Montano1,2,*, Giovanni Strona1,2, Davide Seveso1,2, Paolo Galli1,2

1Department of Biotechnologies and Biosciences, University of Milan - Bicocca, Piazza della Scienza 2, 20126 Milan, Italy
2MaRHE Centre (Marine Research and High Education Centre), Magoodhoo Island, Faafu Atoll, Republic of Maldives

ABSTRACT: Little research has been conducted on diseases affecting reef-building corals in the central Indian Ocean. During 2010 and 2011, we performed a quantitative assessment of black band disease (BBD) in the central Republic of Maldives. Distribution, host range, and prevalence of BBD were investigated at 6 coral islands (Magoodhoo, Adanga, Ihuru, Vabbinfaru, Thudufushi, and Athuruga) belonging to 3 different atolls. BBD was found to be widespread among the atolls. All the islands showed a prevalence lower than 0.5%. Magoodhoo Island showed the highest mean disease prevalence. In the whole surveyed area, shallow sites showed higher overall mean BBD prevalence than deep ones. BBD was recorded from 6 scleractinian families (Acroporidae, Faviidae, Poritidae, Siderastreidae, Agariciidae, Fungiidae) and 13 scleractinian genera. Two of them, Gardineroseris and Sandalolitha, constitute new records for the disease. The siderastreid Psammocora (BBD prevalence: 5.33 ± 1.41%, mean ± SE) was the most affected genus, followed by Goniopora (2.7 ± 1.3%). BBD prevalence was positively correlated to the respective host density in both genera. Favites and Acropora were the less affected genera (both <0.1%). Although we observed an extremely low overall disease prevalence in the surveyed area (<1%), the large number of different scleractinian genera affected and the widespread distribution of BBD indicate a need for further investigation.

KEY WORDS: Coral diseases · Republic of Maldives · Black band disease · Disease prevalence · Host range · Psammocora

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Cite this article as: Montano S, Strona G, Seveso D, Galli P (2013) Prevalence, host range, and spatial distribution of black band disease in the Maldivian Archipelago. Dis Aquat Org 105:65-74.

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