Skip to main content
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Corallimorph infestation on coral reef

2017 (approx.)

Detailed Description

Coral reefs are prone to phase shifts where they quickly transition from coral-dominated to a uniformity of other organisms, typically algae. The Palmyra Atoll National Wildlife Refuge in the Central Pacific is a unique case where a transition from corals to corallimorphs occurred. Corallimorphs are a type of invasive anemone that typically thrives in coral reefs that have been degraded by environmental or man-made disturbances. USGS scientists discovered the Palmyra corallimorph infestation at a shipwreck site in 2008. 


Public Domain.