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Baseline coral disease surveys within three marine parks in Sabah, Borneo

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Michael Sweet, Professor John BythellORCiD


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Two of the most significant threats to coral reefs worldwide are bleaching and disease. However, there has been a scarcity of research on coral disease in South-East Asia, despite the high biodiversity and the strong dependence of local communities on the reefs in the region. This study provides baseline data on coral disease frequencies within three national parks in Sabah, Borneo, which exhibit different levels of human impacts and management histories. High mean coral cover (55%) and variable disease frequency (mean 0.25 diseased colonies m−2) were found across the three sites. Highest disease frequency (0.44 diseased colonies m-2) was seen at the site closest to coastal population centres. Bleaching and pigmentation responses were actuallyhigher at Sipadan, the more remote, offshore site, whereas none of the other coral diseases detected in the other two parks were detected in Sipadan. Results of this study offer a baseline dataset of disease in these parks and indicate the need for continued monitoring, and suggest that coral colonies in parks under higheranthropogenic stressors and with lower coral cover may be more susceptible to contracting disease.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Miller J, Sweet MJ, Wood E, Bythell JC

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: PeerJ

Year: 2015

Volume: 3

Pages: e1391

Online publication date: 03/11/2015

Acceptance date: 16/10/2015

ISSN (electronic): 2167-8359

Publisher: PeerJ, Ltd.


DOI: 10.7717/peerj.1391


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