Led by Dr Wolfgang Reichardt, this project aims to:
- Survey diseases of corals from the Gulf of lingayen (near Bolinao and Alaminos) and to identify microbial populations as single causative agents.
- Test the hypothesis of a linkage between organic pollution from nearby mariculture and the incidence of certain bacterial diseases in corals.
Identify epidemiological pathways by screening for potential vectors carrying bacterial pathogens such as certain coral reef-inhabiting invertebrates.
Test the hypothesis of a linkage between monsoonal climate-linked changes in coastal water quality and the incidence of microbial diseases in nearby coral reefs.
Test the hypothesis of a linkage between the incidence of microbial coral diseases and elevated water temperature maxima, also in combination with organic pollution levels favoring opportunistic mesophilic pathogens.
Progress to date includes:
Infection trials have revealed three Vibrio spp. isolates as causative agents of Porites ulcerative White Spot (PUWS) disease. On the other hand, fish farming waste did not have significant effect on the incidence of, and recovery from, PUWS under experimental conditions.