Special Issue "Coral Reef Biogeography, Ecology and Conservation under Climate Change and Human Disturbance"

A special issue of Diversity (ISSN 1424-2818). This special issue belongs to the section "Marine Diversity".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 15 December 2023 | Viewed by 366

Special Issue Editor

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Washington, DC, USA
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

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

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
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Diversity is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2600 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.


  • Scleractinia
  • Millepora
  • Heliopora
  • Tubipora
  • diversity
  • taxonomy
  • identification
  • biogeography
  • monitoring coral reef species
  • coral reef ecology
  • threats to coral reef species
  • coral reef extinction
  • reef fish
  • echinoderms
  • molluscs
  • crustacea
  • sponges

Published Papers

This special issue is now open for submission.
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