Coral diseases, coral bleaching and other health issues affecting Red Sea coral reefs

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Research paper presented at the 12th International Coral Reef Symposium (ICRS) Cairns, Australia 9-13 July 2012 in the Climate change and bleaching mini-symposium. The paper has presented the first …

Research paper presented at the 12th International Coral Reef Symposium (ICRS) Cairns, Australia 9-13 July 2012 in the Climate change and bleaching mini-symposium. The paper has presented the first detailed quantitative data on the distribution and prevalence of coral diseases and other compromised health signs including coral bleaching that affect multiple corals in multiple sites along the Egyptian Red Sea coast.

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  • 1. Status of coral reef health in the northern Red Sea, Egypt Amin R Mohamed1,2 Abdel-Hamid A Mohamed3 , Hany A Abdel-Salam21ARC Center of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies, James Cook University JCU, Townsville 4811, Queensland, Australia 2Zoology Department, Faculty of Science, Benha University, Benha 13518, Egypt 3National Institute of Oceanography and Fisheries (NIOF), Suez, Egypt
  • 2. The Aims of the studyTo provide baseline knowledge of coral health and disease in the northernEgyptian Red Sea»  Coral disease and other compromised health states currently affecting this region»  Prevalence of coral diseases/syndromes»  Variation in coral diseases among survey sites»  Distribution of coral diseases/syndromes among sites»  Variation in coral diseases among hard coral species
  • 3. Study area
  • 4. Study areaI El-Ain Al-SukhnaII Ras Za’faranaIII HurghadaIV Ras GhozlaniV Old QuayVI Yolanda reefVII Ras Umm SidVIII WoodHouse reefIX Canyon reef Map of nine coral disease prevalence survey sites in the northern Egyptian Red Sea
  • 5. Field survey and data analysis
  • 6. Field survey»  To maximize documentation, the studied reefs were surveyed during summer months 2009-10.»  At each site, three replicate belt transects (20m long and 2m wide) (English et al. 1997) were surveyed at fixed intervals on the reef slope (at a uniform depth contour of 2-6m).»  All colonies within each transect were identified, counted, photographed, and checked for signs of disease, bleaching, predation and compromised health.»  Coral species and diseases were identified in situ and underwater photographs (SeaLife ECOShot/SL321) were used for further confirmation.»  Coral disease, bleaching, predation and other signs of compromised health (pigmentation response, sediment damage, algae and sponge overgrowth) were identified by the characteristics of the lesions using the guides of Beeden et al. (2008) and Raymundo et al.(2008).
  • 7. Data analysis»  The prevalence of coral disease, bleaching, predation and other signs of compromised health was expressed as a percentage of the total number of coral colonies surveyed per transect.»  Mean prevalence and standard errors were calculated from all three replicate transects per site. Differences in the prevalence of disease and compromised health signs among affected hard coral species and sites were tested using separate one-way analyses of variance (ANOVA).»  Regression analysis was used to examine whether the prevalence of coral disease was related to live hard coral cover and species abundance.»  Cluster analysis (joining or tree clustering method) was carried out using STATISTICA software to examine the similarities among the studied sites in coral disease and compromised health occurrence.
  • 8. Results
  • 9. Recorded coral diseases and other signs of compromised health White syndrome (WS) Skeletal eroding band (SEB)Black band disease (BBD) Pink line syndrome (PLS) Pigmentation response Fish predation Drupella cornus predation Coral bleaching Sediment damage Sponge overgrowth In situ photographs of diseases and compromised health signs affecting corals in the northern Egyptian Red Sea
  • 10. Overall prevalence of coral diseases and other compromised health states 0.5 Percent prevalence 0.4 0.3 0.2 0.1 0.0 B BL re ion S S pr tion D th ga da e h SE S ve ge PL W s BB ov wt ow W en on at a U a ge rgro m ed ed gr sp er pr t lla sh Se n Sp e o tio pe Fi m ta on di ru en Al D gm PiMean prevalence of coral diseases and compromised health states across nine survey sites in the northern Egyptian Red Sea in 2009-10. BBD, black Band disease; WS, white syndrome; PLS, pink line syndrome; UWS, ulcerative white spots; SEB, skeletal eroding band; Bl, bleaching. (N=9 sites; n= 3 transect per site; mean±SE) (ANOVA, F=11.6, df=1, p≤0.05)
  • 11. Variation of coral diseases among survey sites 1.8 1.6 1.4 Percent Prevalence 1.2 1.0 0.8 0.6 0.4 0.2 0.0 VI IX IV I I II V II VI III te VI te te te te te Si te te Si Si Si Si te Si Si Si SiMean prevalence of diseases and compromised health signs affecting corals in the surveyed sites in the northern Egyptian Red Sea. (N = 9 sites; n = 3 transect per site; mean ± SE) (ANOVA, F= 8.8, df=1, p≤0.05)
  • 12. Distribution of the different coral diseases and compromised health among sites Cluster analysis dendrogram showing the similarities in the occurrence of particular coral diseases among sites in northern Egyptian Red Sea.
  • 13. Distribution of the different coral diseases an compromised health among site, con. Diseases and Compromised health Sites signs BBD III, IV, V, VI, VII, and IX WS II, V, VI, VII, and IX PLS I and IX SEB II UWS VII Bleaching I, II, II, IV, V, VI, VII, and VIII Drupella cornus predation I Fish predation VI and VII Pigmentation response I, II, V, VI, and IX Sediment damage I and II Sponge and algae overgrowth II, III, and IV Table showing the the distribution of the different diseases and compromised health signs affecting corals in the northern Egyptian Red Sea
  • 14. Variation in coral diseases among hard coral species Mean prevalence of diseases and compromised health signs affecting corals in the affected hard coral species in the northern Egyptian Red Sea (N = 9 sites; n = 3 transect per site; mean ± SE)
  • 15. NOAA Coral Reef Watch during the survey Thermal stress during summer (Jul-Oct) in 2009 Thermal stress during summer in (Jul-Oct) 2010 Source: http://coralreefwatch.noaa.gov/satellite/index.html
  • 16. Conclusion
  • 17. Conclusion»  This study has documented that Egyptian Red Sea reefs are currently impacted by a number of diseases/syndromes.»  These coral diseases affect both protected and non-protected reefs. However, prevalence of coral diseases and compromised health signs were higher in non- MPA sites than in MPA sites.»  Enhanced local anthropogenic stressors and increased sea surface temperatures are suggested potential factors responsible for the initiation and progression of different types of coral diseases and bleaching in the studied reefs.»  Under increasing exposure to anthropogenic stressors in non-MPA sites, natural resilience of coral reefs would be weakened, increasing the percentages of corals affected by diseases leading to the fragile health state of corals in the Egyptian Red Sea.
  • 18. References¨  English S, Wilkinson C, Baker V (1997) Survey manual for tropicalmarine resources, 2nded. Australian Institute of Marine Science, Townsville, Australia 390p¨  Veron JEN (2000) Corals of the world. Australian Institute of Marine Science. Townsville, Australia . Vol.1-3: 1382 p¨  Wallace CC (1999) Staghorn corals of the world: A revision of the coral genus Acropora. CSIRO publishing, Australia¨  Raymundo LJ, Couch CS, Bruckner AW, Harvell CD, Work TM,Weil E, Woodley CM, Jordan-Dahlgren E, Willis BL, SatoY, Aeby GS (2008) Coral Disease Hand book: Guidelines forAssesment, Monitoring, and Management. Coral Reef TargetedResearch and Capacity Building for Management Program,Currie Communications, Melbourne, pp 1- 121¨  Sheppard CRC, Sheppard A LS (1991) Corals of the Indian Ocean.CD-ROM. Sida, Stockholm¨  Loya Y (1972) Community structure and species diversity of hermatypic corals at Eilat, Red Sea. Mar Biol 13:100-123¨  Rinkevich B (2005) What do we know about Eilat (Red Sea) reef degradation? A critical examination of the published literature. J Exp Mar Biol Ecol 327:183-200¨  Antonius A, Riegl B (1997) A possible link between coral diseases and a corallivorous snail (Drupella cornus) outbreak in the Red Sea. Atoll Res Bull 447:1–9¨  Beeden R, Willis BL, Raymundo L J, Page C A, Weil E (2008) Underwater cards for assessing coral health on Indo- pacific reefs. Underwater Cards for Assessing Coral Health on Indo-Pacific Reefs. Coral Reef Targeted Research and Capacity Building for Management Program, Currie Communications, Melbourne, 22
  • 19. CreditsØ  Thanks to the Faculty of Science, Benha University, Egypt for funding the project.Ø  for the ability to attend the ICRS 2012 in Cairns. Reef Studies Thanks to the ARC Center of Excellence for Coral