Developments in understanding relationships between environmental conditions and coral disease

Heron, Scott F., Maynard, Jeffrey, Willis, Bette, Christensen, Tyler, Harvell, C Drew, Vargas-Angel, Bernardo, Beeden, Roger, Sziklay, Jamie, Aeby, Greta, Franklin, Eric C., Skirving, William, Eakin, C. Mark, Burgess, Tim, Li, Jianke, Liu, Gang, Lucas, Ethan, Rauenzahn, Jackqueline, and Strong, Al (2012) Developments in understanding relationships between environmental conditions and coral disease. In: Proceedings of the 12th International Coral Reef Symposium. 16B_4. pp. 1-5. From: 12th International Coral Reef Symposium, 9-13 July 2012, Cairns, QLD, Australia.

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Abstract

Coral disease events are emerging as a significant threat to coral reefs in a changing climate. Over the past few years, several modelling studies have derived empirical relationships linking white syndrome (WS) disease outbreaks on Pacific coral reefs with unusual temperatures in summer and winter, and host density. These relationships have informed development of a series of predictive tools – maps of outbreak likelihood for Australia's Great Barrier Reef and the Hawaiian archipelago. These tools are key to strategic regional frameworks to respond to coral disease outbreaks. They inform both the targeted monitoring that can improve our understanding of coral disease dynamics and trials of experimental management actions that may mitigate disease impacts. Early research suggests that water quality could be another key driver of coral disease prevalence on reefs, as poor water quality has been correlated with increased susceptibility of corals to diseases and bleaching. Therefore we plan to test the inclusion of water quality measurements as a means of increasing the predictive capacity of these management-directed tools. By reducing the number of false positives and negatives, we aim to refine and improve the accuracy of tools developed to assess disease outbreak likelihood. Ongoing and future work also includes testing for links between environmental parameters and other coral diseases; expanding this work spatially, including a specific focus on coral disease dynamics in the Caribbean; and combining the learned relationships with climate predictions to examine potential future disease scenarios.

Item ID: 22400
Item Type: Conference Item (Research - E1)
ISBN: 978-0-9808572-5-2
Keywords: coral disease, satellite temperature, predictive tools, water quality, climate change
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Date Deposited: 13 Aug 2012 06:57
FoR Codes: 04 EARTH SCIENCES > 0405 Oceanography > 040503 Physical Oceanography @ 100%
SEO Codes: 96 ENVIRONMENT > 9609 Land and Water Management > 960902 Coastal and Estuarine Land Management @ 100%
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