Oceanography The Official Magazine of
The Oceanography Society
Volume 20 Issue 01

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Volume 20, No. 1
Pages 172 - 195


Coral Disease, Environmental Drivers, and the Balance Between Coral and Microbial Associates

By Drew Harvell , Eric Jordán-Dahlgren, Susan Merkel , Eugene Rosenberg, Laurie Raymundo, Garriet Smith, Ernesto Weil , and Bette Willis  
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Across the globe, we are witnessing the decline of coral reef ecosystems. One relatively new factor contributing to this decline is the outbreak of destructive infectious diseases, especially on Caribbean reefs. As the Coral Disease Working Group of the Coral Reef Targeted Research Program, our research focuses on four priorities: (1) assessing the global prevalence of coral disease, (2) investigating the environmental drivers of disease, (3) identifying the pathogens that cause disease, and (4) evaluating the coral’s ability to resist disease. Monitoring has revealed new coral-disease syndromes at each of four Global Environmental Fund Centers of Excellence: the Caribbean, the Philippines, Australia, and East Africa. Over the last 20 years, drastic (> 50 percent) loss of coral cover has occurred on the Yucatán Peninsula, even in pristine areas.


Coral Disease Working Group of the Global Environmental Facility Coral Reef Targeted Research Program. 2007. Coral disease, environmental drivers, and the balance between coral and microbial associates. Oceanography 20(1):172–195, https://doi.org/10.5670/oceanog.2007.91.

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