A decision tree for describing coral lesions in the field

Raymundo, L., Work, T., Bruckner, A., and Willis, B. (2008) A decision tree for describing coral lesions in the field. In: Raymundo, Laurie J., Couch, Courtney S., and Harvell, C. Drew, (eds.) Coral Disease Handbook: guidelines for assessment monitoring and management. Coral Reef Targeted Research and Capacity Building for Management Program, St Lucia, QLD, Australia, pp. 17-32.

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[Extract] Disease is the absence of health and is usually manifested by the presence of a lesion (a morphologic abnormality). Three important points should be kept in mind when reading this chapter:

1. Diseases can have many causes; some of these are infectious (such as bacteria, parasites, or viruses) and others are not (such as genetically-based or toxicant-induced disorders).

2. The typical sign of a diseased coral is a lesion; a manifestation of disease that may not provide any clue regarding causation.

3. Some lesions in corals may have known causes that are not attributable to disease, though they result in the coral's health being compromised. For example, fish bites and crown-of-thorns starfish feeding scars should be characterized as predation; lesions associated with breakages may be caused by storms or anchor damage and should be characterized as disturbance; and lesions caused by aggressive interactions between corals or between corals and other sessile organisms should be characterized as competition. All can lead to tears and breaks in the tissue and partial mortality, and can stress the host coral. In suspected disease cases, it is often impossible to determine the cause of the lesion (and, therefore, the cause of the disease) without additional laboratory or experimental efforts (as discussed in Chapter 3).

Item ID: 27750
Item Type: Book Chapter (Research - B1)
ISBN: 978-1-9213-17-01-9
Keywords: corals, disease, identifying coral diseases, coral health, OIRS, marine science
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Date Deposited: 19 Jun 2013 05:38
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