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Reef Ecology

We have conducted field surveys to quantify the prevalence of coral stress and disease in relation to environmental conditions in numerous locations, including Micronesia, Indonesia, Florida, Cuba, Red Sea and the Caribbean (Cervino et al., 2008; Dona et al., 2008; Aeby et al., 2014; Work et al., 2015; Bernstein et al., 2016; Rodriguez et al., 2016).  Yellow Band Disease in the Red Sea was shown to coincide with high nutrient loading from large urban centers (Furby et al., 2014).  Although cultured bacteria from diseased corals in the field reveal high concentrations of Vibrio pathogens (Cervino et al., 2008; 2012), cultivation-independent microbiome studies yield no such concentrations (Apprill et al., 2013; Bayer et al., 2013).

Conducting benthic ecological survey off Kosrae Island, Micronesia.


Relevant Publications:

  • Bernstein, W., Hughen, K., Langdon, C., McCorkle, D., Lentz, S., 2016, Environmental Controls on Daytime Net Ecosystem Calcification on a Red Sea Reef Flat, Coral Reefs doi:10.1007/s00338-015-1396-6.
  • Rodriguez, V., Gonzalez, P., Fernandez, L., Siciliano, D., Bretos, F., Apprill, A., Hughen, K., Santoro, A., 2016, Health of the coral communities on reefs from Jardines de la Reina - golfo de Ana María, south-central region of Cuba, Revista Investigationes Marinas 36, 34-53.
  • Work, T.M., Aeby, G.S., Hughen, K.A., 2015, Gross and microscopic lesions in corals from Micronesia, Veterinary Pathology 1-10, doi:10.1177/0300985815571669.
  • Aeby, G.S., Work, T.M., Hughen, K.A., 2014, The first cyanobacterial infection of Crustose Coralline Algae discovered on the reefs of Pohnpei, Micronesia, Bulletin of Marine Science 90, 873-874.
  • Furby, K., Apprill, A., Cervino, J., Ossolinski, J., Hughen, K., 2014, Incidences of lesioned Fungiidae corals in the eastern Red Sea related to water temperature and urban proximity, Marine Environmental Research 98, 29-38.
  • Bayer, T., Neave, M., Hussain, A., Aranda, M., Yum, L., Mincer, T., Hughen, K., Apprill, A., Voolstra, C., 2013, The microbiome of the Red Sea coral Stylophora pistillata is dominated by tissue-associated Endozoicomonas bacteria, Applied & Environmental Microbiology, doi:10.1128/AEM.00695-13.
  • Apprill, A., Hughen, K., Mincer, T., 2013, Species-specificity and not lesioned condition influences the bacterial communities associated with Fungiidae corals, Environmental Microbiology, doi:10.1111/1462-2920.12107.
  • Cervino, J., Hauff , B., Haslun, Cavazos, M., Lawther, P., Wier, A.M., Hughen, K., Strychar, K., 2012, Ulcerated Yellow Spot Syndrome: Implications of aquaculture related pathogens inducing tissue lesions on the soft coral Sarcophyton ehrenbergi, Diseases of Aquatic Organisms 102, 137-148.
  • Dona, A. R., Cervino, J., Goreau, T., Bartels, E., Hughen, K., Smith, G., Dona, A., 2008, Coral Yellow Band Disease; Current status in the Caribbean, and links to new Indo-Pacific outbreaks, Proc. 11th Int’l Coral Reef Symp., Ft. Lauderdale, FL, July 7-11, 2008

Funding provided by:

KAUST, WHOI Internal awards and Academic Programs, Coastal Preservation Network


Principle Collaborators

Amy Apprill, MCG, WHOI
James Cervino, Coastal Preservation Network
Greta Aeby, U. Hawaii
Angela Dona, U. Hawaii
Patricia Gonzalez, U. Havana, Cuba