Research Abstract


Localized outbreak of attached diatoms on the coral Montipora due to low-temperature stress

2012年8月1日 Scientific Reports 2 : 552 doi: 10.1038/srep00552


山城 秀之1, 三瓶 ゆりか2 & 鈴木 秀和2

  1. 沖縄工業高等専門学校 生物資源工学科
  2. 東京海洋大学 大学院海洋科学技術研究科
A short-term, localized outbreak of diatoms attached to live corals was observed along the coast of Sesoko Island, Okinawa, Japan in February, 2011. Diatoms are recognized as brown patches in the initial stage, becoming fluffy encrustations and resulting in complete or partial coral death. Attached diatoms, including Licmophora, Climacosphenia, Ardissonea and others, attached and overgrew exclusively Montipora corals, which are dominant corals in some parts of Sesoko reef. Heavily-covered colonies or branches died. The rate of affected corals reached 80% in the worst-affected area. Microscopic observation showed that most diatoms settled directly with polysaccharide stalks or pads onto the partly-bared skeleton of coral branches, although some settled on coral soft tissues. Although no similar phenomenon was reported from other areas of Japan, cold-water events might have important roles in coral weakening, as a consequence, enabling diatom attachment on corals, thus leading to coral death in this area.