Coral Reefs

, Volume 15, Issue 4, pp 219–223

Abundance and distribution of black band disease on coral reefs in the northern Florida keys

  • K. G. Kuta
  • L. L. Richardson

DOI: 10.1007/BF01787455

Cite this article as:
Kuta, K.G. & Richardson, L.L. Coral Reefs (1996) 15: 219. doi:10.1007/BF01787455


The abundance and distribution of black band disease on the reef building coralsMontastraea annularis, M. cavernosa, Colpophyllia natans, Diploria clivosa, D. labyrinthiformis andD. strigosa were determined at Algae Reef, Grecian Rocks and Key Largo Dry Rocks in the Key Largo National Marine Sanctuary, Florida, USA. During July and November of 1992 and July 1993, surveys of permanently marked sites covering 9424m2 of reef tract showed that up to 0.72% of 1397 coral colonies of these species were infected with black band disease. The distribution of the disease among the thirty 20-meter diameter sites was clumped, suggesting that the disease is infectious. Year-round monitoring revealed that seasonal disease patterns varied between reefs. Three seasonal patterns were apparent: some coral colonies were infected year round; several colonies exhibited previously unreported reinfection on a seasonal basis; and some exhibited the widely reported pattern of infection limited to the warmer months of the year (sea water temperatures 25 °C or higher).

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1996

Authors and Affiliations

  • K. G. Kuta
    • 1
  • L. L. Richardson
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Biological SciencesFlorida International UniversityMiamiUSA
  2. 2.Department of Biological Sciences and Drinking Water Research CenterFlorida International UniversityMiamiUSA