Jul 18, 2017

Some coral diseases track climate oscillations in the Caribbean

by
C. J. Randall, R. van Woesik
,
Scientific Reports
  • States that understanding coral diseases and their relationships with environmental drivers is necessary to forecast disease outbreaks and to predict future population changes
  • Evaluates trends and periodicities in the records of three common coral diseases that were surveyed between 1997 and 2014 at 2082 sites throughout the Caribbean
  • Examines the relationship between the periodicities of disease prevalence and El Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO) cycles using cross-wavelet analyses and convergent cross mapping (CCM)
  • Finds that the prevalence of the diseases peaked every two to four years, and matched periodicities in ENSO conditions
  • CCM models suggest that environmental conditions associated with recent ENSO cycles may have influenced disease prevalence patterns
  • Finds that the gradual increase in sea-surface temperature, a consequence of increasing greenhouse gas emissions, progressively raises the modal temperature threshold of each ENSO cycle