Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

What might have caused recent increase of coral diseases in the Caribbean?

Date:
October 9, 2012
Source:
Florida Institute of Technology
Summary:
Marine diseases are killing coral populations all over the world, threatening the livelihoods of millions of people who depend on reefs for food and protection from storms. Are these diseases new and unprecedented infections, or do they erupt from the stresses of environmental change?

Marine diseases are killing coral populations all over the world, threatening the livelihoods of millions of people who depend on reefs for food and protection from storms. Are these diseases new and unprecedented infections, or do they erupt from the stresses of environmental change?

Florida Institute of Technology biologist Robert van Woesik and his former student Erinn Muller -- now a researcher at the Mote Marine Lab in Sarasota, Fla. -- used a mapping technique to examine disease clustering and determine what might have caused the recent increase of coral diseases in the Caribbean. Their results appear in the October 9 issue of Global Change Biology.

Public health officials have been mapping diseases since the first outbreak of cholera in London in 1854. Mapping provides clues about the origin of diseases and how rapidly diseases can spread. According to Muller, "When diseases cluster they are usually contagious and are spreading rapidly. When they don't cluster, environmental stress is usually the cause."

Muller and van Woesik mapped the clustering of three coral diseases in the Caribbean and concluded that they are stress-related rather than contagious. "These coral diseases in the Caribbean are likely caused by stress," said van Woesik, "and that stress is the warming seas that are the result of climate change." The researchers suspect the corals' immune systems are compromised by increasing water temperatures, making them more susceptible to infection.

"We more easily catch a cold when we are stressed, and corals are likewise responding to stress by getting sick," said van Woesik. "The ocean will continue to warm, increasing the likelihood of coral diseases."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Florida Institute of Technology. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Erinn M. Muller, Robert van Woesik. Caribbean coral diseases: primary transmission or secondary infection? Global Change Biology, 2012; DOI: 10.1111/gcb.12019

Cite This Page:

Florida Institute of Technology. "What might have caused recent increase of coral diseases in the Caribbean?." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 9 October 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/10/121009112131.htm>.
Florida Institute of Technology. (2012, October 9). What might have caused recent increase of coral diseases in the Caribbean?. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 1, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/10/121009112131.htm
Florida Institute of Technology. "What might have caused recent increase of coral diseases in the Caribbean?." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/10/121009112131.htm (accessed September 1, 2014).

Share This




More Plants & Animals News

Monday, September 1, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

We've Got Mites Living In Our Faces And So Do You

We've Got Mites Living In Our Faces And So Do You

Newsy (Aug. 30, 2014) A new study suggests 100 percent of adult humans (those over 18 years of age) have Demodex mites living in their faces. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Washington Wildlife Center Goes Nuts Over Baby Squirrels

Washington Wildlife Center Goes Nuts Over Baby Squirrels

Reuters - US Online Video (Aug. 30, 2014) An animal rescue in Washington state receives an influx of orphaned squirrels, keeping workers busy as they nurse them back to health. Rough Cut (no reporter narration). Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Experimental Ebola Drug ZMapp Cures Lab Monkeys Of Disease

Experimental Ebola Drug ZMapp Cures Lab Monkeys Of Disease

Newsy (Aug. 29, 2014) In a new study, a promising experimental treatment for Ebola managed to cure a group of infected macaque monkeys. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Killer Amoeba Found in Louisiana Water System

Killer Amoeba Found in Louisiana Water System

AP (Aug. 28, 2014) State health officials say testing has confirmed the presence of a killer amoeba in a water system serving three St. John the Baptist Parish towns. (Aug. 28) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins