Tag: coral_disease_publication

Reef Sediments Can Act As a Stony Coral Tissue Loss Disease Vector

Studivan, M. S., Rossin, A. M., Rubin, E., Soderberg, N., Holstein, D. M., & Enochs, I. C. (2022). Reef sediments can act as a stony coral tissue loss disease vector. Frontiers in Marine Science, 2046.

Abstract: Stony coral tissue loss disease (SCTLD) was first observed in 2014 near Virginia Key in Miami-Dade County, Florida. Field sampling, lab experiments, and modeling approaches have suggested that reef sediments may play a role in SCTLD transmission, though a positive link has not been tested experimentally. We conducted an ex situ transmission assay using a statistically-independent disease apparatus to test whether reef sediments can transmit SCTLD in the absence of direct contact between diseased and healthy coral tissue. We evaluated two methods of sediment inoculation: batch inoculation of sediments collected from southeast Florida using whole colonies of diseased Montastraea cavernosa, and individual inoculations of sediments following independent, secondary infections of ∼5 cm2 coral fragments. Healthy fragments of the coral species Orbicella faveolata and M. cavernosa were exposed to these diseased sediment treatments, as well as direct disease contact and healthy sediment controls…

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