Science Inventory

Corals diseases are a major cause of coral death


SANTAVY, D. L. AND E. C. PETERS. Corals diseases are a major cause of coral death. Chapter 4, Kruczynski, W.L. and P.J. Fletcher (ed.), Tropical Connections: South Florida's marine environment. University of Maryland, Baltimore, MD, , 223-225, (2012).


Book chapter


Corals, like humans, are susceptible to diseases. Some coral diseases are associated with pathogenic bacteria; however, the causes of most remain unknown. Some diseases trigger rapid and extensive mortality, while others slowly cause localized color changes or injure coral tissue, but recovery can occur. Several coral diseases involve the symbiotic algae harbored in the coral’s tissue. While causes vary, all diseases occur in response to biotic stresses, such as bacteria or fungi, or abiotic stresses, such as changes in sea temperature, pollutants, or terrestrial run-off. Most probably result from multiple stresses. Deteriorating water quality, anthropogenic pollutants, and increasing sea temperature from global climate change might reduce coral immunity and promote increased disease-causing microorganisms.

Record Details:

Product Published Date: 01/01/2012
Record Last Revised: 03/19/2013
OMB Category: Other
Record ID: 233765