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Diseases of Aquatic Organisms

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DAO 98:163-170 (2012)  -  DOI:

Extended geographic distribution of several Indo-Pacific coral reef diseases

E. Weil1,*, A. Irikawa2, B. Casareto2, Y. Suzuki2

1Department of Marine Sciences, University of Puerto Rico, Call Box 9000, Mayaguez, Puerto Rico 00681, USA
2Graduate School of Science and Technology, Environmental Science Section, Shizuoka University, 836 Ohya, Shizuoka-ku, Shizuoka 422-8529, Japan

ABSTRACT: Other than coral bleaching, few coral diseases or diseases of other reef organisms have been reported from Japan. This is the first report of lesions similar to Porites ulcerative white spots (PUWS), brown band disease (BrB), pigmentation response (PR), and crustose coralline white syndrome (CCWS) for this region. To assess the health status and disease prevalence, qualitative and quantitative surveys (3 belt transects of 100 m2 each on each reef) were performed in March and September 2010 on 2 reefs of the Ginowan-Ooyama reef complex off Okinawa, and 2 protected reefs off Zamani Island, in the Kerama Islands 40 km west of Okinawa. Overall, mean (±SD) disease prevalence was higher in Ginowan-Ooyama (9.7 ± 7.9%) compared to Zamami (3.6 ± 4.6%). Porites lutea was most affected by PUWS at Ooyama (23.1 ± 10.4 vs. 4.5 ± 5.2%). White syndrome (WS) mostly affected Acropora cytherea (12. 5 ± 18.0%) in Zamami and Oxipora lacera (10.2 ± 10%) in Ooyama. Growth anomalies (GA) and BrB were only observed on A. cytherea (8.3 ± 6.2%) and A. nobilis (0.8%) at Zamami. Black band disease affected Pachyseris speciosa (6.0 ± 4.6%) in Ooyama only. Pigmentation responses (PR) were common in massive Porites in both localities (2.6 ± 1.9 and 5.6 ± 2.3% respectively). Crustose coralline white syndrome (CCWS) was observed in both localities. These results significantly expand the geographic distribution of PUWS, BrB, PR and CCWS in the Indo-Pacific, indicating that the northernmost coral reefs in the western Pacific are susceptible to a larger number of coral diseases than previously thought.

KEY WORDS: Japan · Northern Pacific · Brown band disease · Porites ulcerative white spots · White syndrome · Growth anomalies

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Cite this article as: Weil E, Irikawa A, Casareto B, Suzuki Y (2012) Extended geographic distribution of several Indo-Pacific coral reef diseases. Dis Aquat Org 98:163-170.

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