Spatial and temporal patterns of Porites trematodiasis on the reefs of Kaneohe Bay, Oahu, Hawaii
Corals from the genus Porites are susceptible to infection by the digenetic trematode, Podocotyloides stenometra Pritchard, a disease termed Porites trematodiasis. Infected coral polyps appear as pink, swollen nodules on the coral colony. Infected corals have been reported from reefs in Kaneohe Bay, Oahu, but little is known about the distribution of this disease. The reefs of south Kaneohe Bay are exposed to higher levels of terrestrial run-off than are the reefs of the north Bay, thus Kaneohe Bay was selected to determine whether the level, distribution, and duration of Porites trematodiasis varied among reefs within the Bay and whether disease levels were related to degree of anthropogenic influences, coral cover, reef zone, or seasonal changes. Surveys on reefs within Kaneohe Bay, between March 1989 and January 1991, found that all reefs had infected coral from the reef top to the bottom of the reef slope. The level of Porites trematodiasis was highest in areas with intermediate coral cover regardless of reef or zone. Reefs in the north Bay had significantly higher levels of the disease than did reefs in the south central Bay and this may be due to the abundance of multiple hosts required for this disease to occur. There were no significant seasonal (winter vs summer) differences in level of disease.
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Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: 01 January 2007
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