Title

A comparison of disease prevalence in Wild AND outplanted Acropora cervicornis colonies along the Florida Reef Tract

Location

Guy Harvey Oceanographic Center Facility

Start

5-19-2016 10:15 AM

End

5-19-2016 10:30 AM

Abstract

As coral restoration projects become more common there are important ecological questions to be addressed, such as the health of outplanted corals in relation to the natural reef community. Here we examined data from multiple projects to make preliminary comparisons of disease prevalence in wild and outplanted Acropora cervicornis colonies. Data were gathered from a large A. cervicornis demographic monitoring project covering three Florida regions: Broward County (BWD), Middle Keys (MDK) and Dry Tortugas (DRTO) and multiple outplanting projects within BWD. Prevalence of disease was calculated for every monitoring event (annual to monthly) between 2010 and 2015 for each region and all outplant projects. The overall mean colony prevalence of disease per event, all projects combined, was 3.4%. Disease was most prevalent during summer months for wild and outplanted populations. MDK wild colonies had the highest mean prevalence of disease per monitoring event, whereas outplanted colonies had the lowest mean prevalence of disease per event. The highest prevalence of disease for any one event was recorded on wild colonies in BWD during the Summer 2015 at 18.5%. These data indicate that the prevalence of disease in outplanted corals across multiple years and during outbreak events is similar to, if not less than, that recorded across the entire Florida Reef Tract for wild colonies. These data also provide further evidence that outplanted corals respond to stressors similar to wild colonies and currently are not a significant health risk to wild coral populations.

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May 19th, 10:15 AM May 19th, 10:30 AM

A comparison of disease prevalence in Wild AND outplanted Acropora cervicornis colonies along the Florida Reef Tract

Guy Harvey Oceanographic Center Facility

As coral restoration projects become more common there are important ecological questions to be addressed, such as the health of outplanted corals in relation to the natural reef community. Here we examined data from multiple projects to make preliminary comparisons of disease prevalence in wild and outplanted Acropora cervicornis colonies. Data were gathered from a large A. cervicornis demographic monitoring project covering three Florida regions: Broward County (BWD), Middle Keys (MDK) and Dry Tortugas (DRTO) and multiple outplanting projects within BWD. Prevalence of disease was calculated for every monitoring event (annual to monthly) between 2010 and 2015 for each region and all outplant projects. The overall mean colony prevalence of disease per event, all projects combined, was 3.4%. Disease was most prevalent during summer months for wild and outplanted populations. MDK wild colonies had the highest mean prevalence of disease per monitoring event, whereas outplanted colonies had the lowest mean prevalence of disease per event. The highest prevalence of disease for any one event was recorded on wild colonies in BWD during the Summer 2015 at 18.5%. These data indicate that the prevalence of disease in outplanted corals across multiple years and during outbreak events is similar to, if not less than, that recorded across the entire Florida Reef Tract for wild colonies. These data also provide further evidence that outplanted corals respond to stressors similar to wild colonies and currently are not a significant health risk to wild coral populations.