Stony Coral Tissue Loss Disease in Biscayne National Park
The Florida Keys reefs have been experiencing a severe disease outbreak from 2014 to present called Stony Coral Tissue Loss Disease (SCTLD). Depicted here are two photographs of the same coral colony of symmetrical brain coral, Pseudodiploria strigosa, that was infected by the disease in April 2015 (left photo) and completely dead by April 2016 (right photo). One of the signatures of this disease is the speed at which most corals are consumed by it; a coral can go from apparently healthy to one-hundred percent mortality in a few weeks. The photographs were taken during USGS research in Biscayne National Park at Fowey Rocks reef under scientific collection permits BISC-2015-SCI-0003 and BISC-2016-SCI-0003 issued to Ilsa B. Kuffner.