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Differential disease incidence and mortality of inner and outer reef corals of the upper Florida Keys in association with a white syndrome outbreak

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The Florida Keys Reef Tract has suffered extraordinary losses in live coral cover over the past four decades and is now battling an unprecedented coral disease outbreak. Here, colonies of Siderastrea siderea (Ellis and Solander, 1786) and Pseudodiploria strigosa (Dana, 1846) were tracked over 3 yrs (2015–2017) across two pairs of inner and outer reef sites in the upper keys, offering a unique perspective into the distribution of disease throughout the reef tract. We found that outer reef colonies of both coral species exhibited greater disease incidence and mortality associated with this ongoing epidemic, while inner patch reef colonies remained largely unaffected. These findings suggest that ecological or biological factors that differentiate coral populations across these reef zones may play an important role in susceptibility to disease.
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Document Type: Short Communication

Affiliations: 1: Department of Marine Sciences, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 3202 Murray Hall, Chapel Hill, North Carolina 27599;, Email: [email protected] 2: Department of Biology, Boston University, 5 Cummington Mall, Boston, Massachusetts 02215 3: Department of Marine Sciences, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 3202 Murray Hall, Chapel Hill, North Carolina 27599, Environment, Ecology and Energy Program, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 3202 Murray Hall, Chapel Hill, North Carolina 27599

Publication date: April 1, 2019

This article was made available online on December 5, 2018 as a Fast Track article with title: "Differential disease incidence and mortality of inner and outer reef corals of the upper Florida Keys in association with a white syndrome outbreak".

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  • The Bulletin of Marine Science is dedicated to the dissemination of high quality research from the world's oceans. All aspects of marine science are treated by the Bulletin of Marine Science, including papers in marine biology, biological oceanography, fisheries, marine affairs, applied marine physics, marine geology and geophysics, marine and atmospheric chemistry, and meteorology and physical oceanography.
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