Skip to main content

Library Item

Incidence and Spatial Distribution of Caribbean Yellow Band Disease in La Parguera, Puerto Rico


The incidence and spatial distribution patterns of Caribbean Yellow Band Disease (CYBD) on the important frame-builder coral Montastraea faveolata were assessed by counting, tagging, and mapping all diseased and healthy colonies for one year in each of three 100?m2 quadrats on two inner, mid-shelf, and shelf-edge reefs off La Parguera, Puerto Rico. Healthy colonies were checked every month from January to December of 2009 to monitor disease spread within each quadrant. Incidence increased significantly from winter to summer . Mid-shelf reefs had the highest host abundance and showed significantly higher CYBD incidence compared to the other zones. The increased incidence in the summer suggests that warmer months favor development of CYBD on M. faveolata. Results showed aggregated patterns of CYBD when all colonies (i.e., healthy + diseased) at the spatial scales sampled were analyzed on each reef. This suggests facilitation of disease spread between aggregated colonies within populations. Similar stressful conditions then might trigger the disease in susceptible, aggregated colonies harboring the potential pathogens.