Pink Pigmented Lesions on Massive Porites in Mo’orea: Distribution and Environmental Factors
Abstract.Much of the recent decline in coral reefs can be attributed to coral disease; however, very little is known about coral immunity. Pink non-nomral pigmented immune response lesions have been seen on massivePoritescoral in Mo’orea. Field surveys were conducted around the island measuring; sedimentation, water flow rate, location in the fringing or back reef and the number ofDendropoma maximumandSpirobranchus giganteusembedded in the coral to test for an association with the immune response. Multivariate linear regression reveals a nearly significant positive association betweenSpirobranchusgiganteusand pink lesions. This study suggestsS. giganteusmay play a role in this immune response or be linked to some other confounding factor. Thus,S.giganteuscould be a potential bio-indicator for coral disease to help aid reef conservation efforts.