ASSESSING PREVALENCE OF CORAL HEALTH AND DISEASE IN TIOMAN ISLAND MARINE PARK, MALAYSIA
Coral disease outbreaks continue to reduce coral populations worldwide. Its occurrence and prevalence are increasingly reported around the Indo-Pacific countries. However, there is a paucity of research on the coral disease in Malaysia. This study provides baseline information on the prevalence of coral health and disease in Tioman Island. Disease surveys were recorded a higher mean prevalence of healthy (66.9%) compared to diseased (6.9%) and compromised (26.0%) coral colonies. Developed isolated (9.1 Â± 3.8%) and west coast (6.4 Â± 1.2%) reef areas exhibited higher disease prevalence compared to less developed east coast (4.5 Â± 0.5%) area of Tioman. Among five recorded diseases, yellow band disease/ YBD (3.0%) showed the highest mean prevalence, followed by ulcerative white spot/ UWS (1.5%) and white syndrome/ WS (1.1%). Meanwhile, sediment necrosis/ SN (6.7%), algal overgrowth/ AO (6.5%) and predation scar/ PS (6.5%) were the higher mean prevalence of compromised health states. Fungia sp. was found dominant being affected by YBD while Porites sp., being affected by UWS, AO and PS. Overall, this study suggests that the coral colonies in Tioman were in good condition. However, further study is required to examine the factors influenced by the occurrence of recorded coral diseases and other compromised health.