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Extending biophysical and epidemiological simulations of larval connectivity and SCTLD spread to inform mitigation and restoration

Document Type: 
Report
Author Name: 
Daniel M. Holstein, Thomas Dobbelaere, Lew Gramer, Emmanuel Hanert, Luke McEachron, Erinn Muller, Sara Williams

In the effort to mitigate and understand the ongoing and prolonged outbreak of Stony Coral Tissue Loss Disease (SCTLD) on Florida’s Coral Reef (FCR) and throughout the Caribbean, it has become widely understood that the disease is capable of dispersal on ocean currents which has resulted in infection between otherwise isolated coral reef patches. Here we’ve extended coupled hydrodynamic-biological-epidemiological models of the larvae of five coral species and of SCTLD disease agents in a high-resolution coastal ocean circulation model on FCR. We have updated the hydrodynamic and dispersal models, and further developed nested coupled hydrodynamic-epidemiological models to assess how varied species’ susceptibilities and mortalities associated with SCTLD has and will influence the trajectory of the disease on FCR. The model currently provides one of the best mathematical and holistic descriptions of the multiscale dispersal and transmission of SCTLD, and the coral mortality associated with the disease. Also included are updated metrics that provide an estimation of coral reef restoration value at FCR locations for the five modeled species of coral.

Last Modified:
February 8, 2023 - 8:42am

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