Special Issue "Coral Reef Biogeography, Ecology and Conservation under Climate Change and Human Disturbance"
Deadline for manuscript submissions: 15 December 2023 | Viewed by 366
Interests: hard coral taxonomy; coral identification; local coral identification guides; teaching coral ID; diversity; surveying and monitoring coral species; coral species biogeography; coral reef monitoring; coral reef ecology; coral reef fisheries; coral reef conservation; marine protected areas; extinction
Hard corals are the primary constructors of tropical coral reefs. Hard corals and coral reefs are impacted by a wide variety of human threats, including climate change, which is predicted to nearly extirpate them in the coming decades. Coral reefs are the most diverse shallow-water marine ecosystem and provide huge ecosystem services to humans. Corals actually have relatively low diversity compared with some other groups of organisms on coral reefs. The Indo-Pacific is the world’s largest biogeographic zone, in which the majority of coral species can be found. In spite of many decades of work on coral species and a few decades of work on coral biogeography, there is still much we do not know about coral diversity and biogeography. It appears that coral diversity is considerably higher than that currently recognized, and DNA sequencing can hopefully provide an independent guide as to what groups of individuals comprise a species, but most DNA results have conflicted with morphological characteristics. Species names are needed for communication and are virtually all based on skeleton morphology. Species identification and species names are necessary for ecological fieldwork, monitoring, communication, management and conservation. Some reef habitats are not as well documented in terms of their biogeographic patterns, such as reef flats and the mesophotic zones. We are in a time of rapid progress in most of these aspects, but there is much left to discover. Other groups of organisms on coral reefs, such as fish, molluscs, crustaceans, echinoderms, and sponges, have similar biogeographic patterns, and there are interesting opportunities to compare results between groups of organisms. In addition, the biogeography of these organisms has many interactions with other aspects of ecology, conservation, and the impacts of humans, and we invite contributions that explore these topics as well. We present this Special Issue, aiming to make progress on these and related issues for reef-building corals and other coral reef organisms.
Dr. Douglas Fenner
Manuscript Submission Information
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- monitoring coral reef species
- coral reef ecology
- threats to coral reef species
- coral reef extinction
- reef fish