Published On: Thu, May 17th, 2018

Florida Coral Reefs Have Been Plagued By Mystery Disease For Past Four Years

Florida Coral Reefs Have Been Plagued By Mystery Disease For Past Four Years

It was in 2014 when researchers first noticed that something was amiss with Florida’s coral reefs. Brain corals in the Miami area started developing white patches that progressively grew in size until they were completely covered. Four years later, scientists are still baffled by the mystery disease that is believed to affect about half of the Sunshine State’s coral species.

According to a report from NPR, the disease adds to the ongoing problem of coral bleaching, which has greatly affected Florida’s coral reefs as ocean temperatures continue to rise. Scientists aren’t sure of what is causing the disease, but Erinn Muller, science director of the Mote Marine Lab in the Florida Keys, believes that it might be a bacteria infection.

“When they’re affected by this, the tissue sloughs off the skeleton,” Muller explained to NPR.

“[Once] we see that once a coral is infected, it usually kills the entire coral, sometimes within weeks. And it doesn’t seem to stop.

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Florida Coral Reefs Have Been Plagued By Mystery Disease For Past Four Years