Relationships between the history of thermal stress and the relative risk of diseases of Caribbean corals

Randall, C.J., Jordan-Garza, A.G., Muller, E.M., and van Woesik, R. (2014) Relationships between the history of thermal stress and the relative risk of diseases of Caribbean corals. Ecology, 95 (7). pp. 1981-1994.

[img] PDF (Published Version) - Published Version
Restricted to Repository staff only

View at Publisher Website:


The putative increase in coral diseases in the Caribbean has led to extensive declines in coral populations. Coral diseases are a consequence of the complex interactions among the coral hosts, the pathogens, and the environment. Yet, the relative influence that each of these components has on the prevalence of coral diseases is unclear. Also unknown is the extent to which historical thermal‐stress events have influenced the prevalence of contemporary coral diseases and the potential adjustment of coral populations to thermal stress. We used a Bayesian approach to test the hypothesis that in 2012 the relative risk of four signs of coral disease (white signs, dark spots, black bands, and yellow signs) differed at reef locations with different thermal histories. We undertook an extensive spatial study of coral diseases at four locations in the Caribbean region (10³ km), two with and two without a history of frequent thermal anomalies (∼4–6 years) over the last 143 years (1870–2012). Locations that historically experienced frequent thermal anomalies had a significantly higher risk of corals displaying white signs, and had a lower risk of corals displaying dark spots, than locations that did not historically experience frequent thermal anomalies. By contrast, there was no relationship between the history of thermal stress and the relative risk of corals displaying black bands and yellow signs, at least at the spatial scale of our observations.

Item ID: 64840
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1939-9170
Keywords: Caribbean, Climate change, Coral reefs, Disease, Ocean temperature, Relative risk, Shallow-water reef, Temperature stress, Thermal stress
Copyright Information: © 2014 by the Ecological Society of America
Funders: National Science Foundation (NSF), Consejo Nacional de Ciencia y Tecnología (CONACyT), Mote Marine Laboratory (MML)
Projects and Grants: NSF grant OCE-1219804, MML Postdoctoral Fellowship
Date Deposited: 05 Jan 2021 22:57
FoR Codes: 06 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 0602 Ecology > 060205 Marine and Estuarine Ecology (incl Marine Ichthyology) @ 50%
06 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 0608 Zoology > 060808 Invertebrate Biology @ 50%
SEO Codes: 97 EXPANDING KNOWLEDGE > 970106 Expanding Knowledge in the Biological Sciences @ 100%
Downloads: Total: 2
More Statistics

Actions (Repository Staff Only)

Item Control Page Item Control Page