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Investigating the Ongoing Coral Disease Outbreak in the Florida Keys: Collecting Corals to Diagnose the Etiological Agent(s) and Establishing Sentinel Sites to Monitor Transmission Rates and the Spatial Progression of the Disease

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Document Type: 
Report
Author Name: 
William Sharp and Kerry Maxwell

The goal of this project was to improve our understanding of the causative pathogens responsible for the widespread coral mortality and improve understanding of its rates of transmission between coral colonies. The outcome of this project contributes to the on-going coral disease response effort that seeks to improve the understanding of this disease event and facilitate effective management actions to remediate its impacts. Ultimately, the results of this project will aid mitigation or prevention of future “white blotch” disease outbreaks. The specific objectives of this project were:

i) provide coral samples for an upcoming Florida State Wildlife Grants-funded project that will identify the causative pathogens responsible for this coral mortality

ii) establish and monitor “sentinel” coral colonies at locations off Marathon, FL in areas currently unaffected by the disease to monitor the outbreak’s spatial progression along the reef tract and monitor disease transmission rates and evaluate the spatial epidemiology of the disease outbreak.

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Last Modified:
July 18, 2019 - 2:38pm

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