Standardized nomenclature and diagnostic criteria were developed by the Coral Disease and Health Consortium (CDHC) to assist in the identification of coral disease in the field. Through application of a series of steps, a researcher can determine a common field name for a coral lesion which can be further refined based on a morphologic diagnosis and an etiologic diagnosis. The approach involves describing the lesion in general terms based on visual appearance. The terms and accompanying photographs are provided to assist in this process.
The coral disease assessment consists of describing the lesion using standardized terms and recording this information on the coral disease assessment form. Once the coral lesion is described the researcher can make a field diagnosis using the diagnostic decision tree and the coral disease identification keys.