Some coral diseases track climate oscillations in the Caribbean

Randall, C.J., and van Woesik, R. (2017) Some coral diseases track climate oscillations in the Caribbean. Scientific Reports, 7. 5719.

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Abstract

Disease outbreaks continue to reduce coral populations worldwide. Understanding coral diseases and their relationships with environmental drivers is necessary to forecast disease outbreaks, and to predict future changes in coral populations. Yet, the temporal dynamics of coral diseases are rarely reported. Here we evaluate trends and periodicities in the records of three common coral diseases (white-band disease, yellow-band disease, and dark-spot syndrome) that were surveyed between 1997 and 2014 at 2082 sites throughout the Caribbean. The relationship between the periodicities of disease prevalence and El Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO) cycles was examined using cross-wavelet analyses and convergent cross mapping (CCM). The prevalence of the diseases peaked every two to four years, and matched periodicities in ENSO conditions. CCM models suggested that environmental conditions associated with recent ENSO cycles may have influenced the patterns in disease prevalence. We also found no increasing trends in disease prevalence through time. Instead, our work suggests that the prevalence of coral diseases is dynamic and complex. The gradual increase in sea-surface temperature, a consequence of increasing greenhouse gas emissions, progressively raises the modal temperature threshold of each ENSO cycle. These dynamic cycles and the increasing modal temperatures appear to influence the dynamics of coral diseases.

Item ID: 64844
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 2045-2322
Copyright Information: Open Access. This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Cre-ative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article’s Creative Commons license, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article’s Creative Commons license and your intended use is not per-mitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this license, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/. © The Author(s) 2017
Date Deposited: 11 Jan 2021 23:47
FoR Codes: 31 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 3109 Zoology > 310910 Animal physiology - systems @ 50%
31 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 3103 Ecology > 310303 Ecological physiology @ 50%
SEO Codes: 97 EXPANDING KNOWLEDGE > 970106 Expanding Knowledge in the Biological Sciences @ 100%
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