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Projections of climate conditions that increase coral disease susceptibility and pathogen abundance and virulence

Maynard, J. and van Hooidonik, R. and Eakin, C.M. and Puotinen, M. and Garren, M. and Williams, G.J. and Heron, S.F. and Lamb, J. and Weil, E. and Willis, B. and Harvell, D. (2015) Projections of climate conditions that increase coral disease susceptibility and pathogen abundance and virulence. Nature Climate Change, 5. pp. 688-694. DOI: 10.1038/nclimate2625

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Abstract

Rising sea temperatures are likely to increase the frequency of disease outbreaks affecting reef-building corals through impacts on coral hosts and pathogens. We present and compare climate model projections of temperature conditions that will increase coral susceptibility to disease, pathogen abundance and pathogen virulence. Both moderate (RCP 4.5) and fossil fuel aggressive (RCP 8.5) emissions scenarios are examined. We also compare projections for the onset of disease-conducive conditions and severe annual coral bleaching, and produce a disease risk summary that combines climate stress with stress caused by local human activities. There is great spatial variation in the projections, both among and within the major ocean basins, in conditions favouring disease development. Our results indicate that disease is as likely to cause coral mortality as bleaching in the coming decades. These projections identify priority locations to reduce stress caused by local human activities and test management interventions to reduce disease impacts.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: Research Publications
Departments: College of Natural Sciences > School of Ocean Sciences
Date Deposited: 02 Apr 2016 03:13
Last Modified: 02 Apr 2016 03:13
ISSN: 1758-678X
URI: http://e.bangor.ac.uk/id/eprint/6434
Identification Number: DOI: 10.1038/nclimate2625
Publisher: Nature Publishing Group
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