Impact of CLOD Pathogen on Pacific Coral Reefs

See allHide authors and affiliations

Science  03 Mar 1995:
Vol. 267, Issue 5202, pp. 1356-1360
DOI: 10.1126/science.267.5202.1356


A bacterial pathogen of coralline algae was initially observed during June 1993 and now occurs in South Pacific reefs that span a geographic range of at least 6000 kilometers. The occurrence of the coralline algal pathogen at Great Astrolabe Reef sites (Fiji) increased from zero percent in 1992 to 100 percent in 1993, which indicates that the pathogen may be in an early stage of virulence and dispersal. Because of the important role played by coralline algae in reef building, this pathogen, designated coralline lethal orange disease (CLOD), has the potential to greatly influence coral reef ecology and reef-building processes.