Aspergillosis of Gorgonians

  • Garriet W. Smith
  • Ernesto Weil


In the 1980s, certain areas in the Caribbean experienced mass mortalities of sea fans (Gorgonia flabellum). These areas included the coasts of Costa Rica (Guzman and Cortez 1984), Panama (Garzon-Ferreira and Zea 1992; Diaz et al. 1995), and Trinidad (Laydoo 1983). Laydoo (1983) suggested that the cause may be due to a species-specific pathogen, but microbiological studies were not performed. Although limited mortalities of gorgonian colonies were previously observed due to fish grazing (Kinzie 1973), Cyphoma sp. grazing (Harvell and Suchanek 1987), fouling and overgrowth (Wahle 1985) and tumors (Morse et al. 1977, 1981), the 1980’s outbreak showed signs of an epizootic which had spread from the southwestern to the southeastern Caribbean.


Coral Reef Aspergillus Versicolor African Dust Fish Grazing Carbon Source Utilization Pattern 
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© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  • Garriet W. Smith
  • Ernesto Weil

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