Biodiversity and Conservation of Coral Reefs

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

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 30 June 2024 | Viewed by 4343

Special Issue Editor


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Guest Editor
Heron Island Research Station, University of Queensland, Gladstone, QLD 4780, Australia
Interests: network modelling; marine ecosystems; bayesian networks; socioecological systems; coral reefs

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

As coral reefs across the globe develop a variable climate, major changes in their resilience have been observed. Despite being centres of biodiversity in the world’s oceans, species abundance variation at all trophic levels is the foundation of marine resilience. While conservation often focuses on short-term stress events, such as cyclone damage, bleaching or pollution, the capacity of coral reefs to recover is determined by processes such as the nutrient cycle and the establishment of feedback loops. All of these processes require high-level biodiversity to be healthy and active, and disruption due to anthropogenic activities can leave a coral reef highly vulnerable to long-term disturbance. The restoration of coral reefs is a potential solution. Overfishing and coastal developments are the main culprits, but alteration to a coral reef’s biodiversity can also be caused by subtle changes in anthropogenic activities.

This Special Issue of Diversity seeks papers that address the impact on conservation from the alteration or enhancement of coral reef biodiversity to protection and restoration. The research can be on a global or local scale and address a variety of time periods. Papers that acknowledge the cultural aspects of conservation and how it relates to biodiversity are particularly encouraged. This Special Issue seeks to present an updated linkage between biodiversity dynamics and conservation efforts as coral reefs struggle to survive in the twenty-first century.

Dr. Stuart Kininmonth
Guest Editor

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Keywords

  • coral reefs
  • marine biodiversity
  • conservation
  • climate change
  • resilience
  • restoration

Published Papers (2 papers)

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Research

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18 pages, 20827 KiB  
Article
Crambe insularis sp. nov. (Crambeidae: Poecilosclerida) a New Crambeid from the Eastern Tropical North Pacific: Morphological, Molecular and Ontogenetic Approach
by Eric Bautista-Guerrero, José Luis Carballo and Alma Paola Rodríguez-Troncoso
Diversity 2023, 15(5), 608; https://doi.org/10.3390/d15050608 - 29 Apr 2023
Viewed by 1533
Abstract
Specimens of Poecilosclerida taxa, collected from an insular coral community on the Pacific coast of Mexico, were identified as members of the family Crambeidae Lévi, 1963. They were associated with larvae and rhagon phases by using morphological characters, the nucleotide relationship and genetic [...] Read more.
Specimens of Poecilosclerida taxa, collected from an insular coral community on the Pacific coast of Mexico, were identified as members of the family Crambeidae Lévi, 1963. They were associated with larvae and rhagon phases by using morphological characters, the nucleotide relationship and genetic divergence of three independent loci, two mitochondrial (COI and 16S rDNA) and one ribosomal (28S rDNA C3–C5). Crambe insularis sp. nov. differs from the general skeletal architecture in the genus Crambe Vosmaer, 1880, by its reduced spiculation defined by the presence of ectosomal and choanosomal monactinal megascleres, and the absence of microscleres. Bayesian and Maximum–Likelihood analyses of three loci supported the clustering of larvae, rhagon and adult sponge, all closely related to Mediterranean Crambe crambe (type species of the genus Crambe), and with South American Crambe species (C. chilensis, C. maldonadoi and C. amarilla) as sister species. The larva of C. insularis sp. nov. corresponded to the typical parenchymella larvae poecilosclerid species but with the presence of subtylostyles and styles. Ontogenetic process about the larval and rhagon of this new crambeid are provided. The morphological characters and molecular affinities of Crambe insularis sp. nov. are similar to Monanchora genus, and the implications are further discussed. This is the first taxonomic and molecular study with an integrative approach that includes other diagnostic features such as larval and rhagon development for the description of new species in Porifera. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biodiversity and Conservation of Coral Reefs)
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Review

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12 pages, 956 KiB  
Review
A Review of Research on the Mustard Hill Coral, Porites astreoides
by Ryan G. Eagleson, Lorenzo Álvarez-Filip and John S. Lumsden
Diversity 2023, 15(3), 462; https://doi.org/10.3390/d15030462 - 21 Mar 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 2011
Abstract
Coral reefs are the most diverse habitat per unit area in the world’s oceans, supporting an estimated 1–3 million species in only 0.2% of its area. These ecosystems have suffered severe declines since the 1970s, largely as a result of climate change, ocean [...] Read more.
Coral reefs are the most diverse habitat per unit area in the world’s oceans, supporting an estimated 1–3 million species in only 0.2% of its area. These ecosystems have suffered severe declines since the 1970s, largely as a result of climate change, ocean acidification, pollution, disease, and overfishing. Porites astreoides is a shallow species that is able to thrive in a variety of environmental conditions and has been a clear ‘winner’ on Atlantic reefs in the last decades. This, coupled with its ease of identification and wide distribution, has caused P. astreoides to become a focal species in many scientific studies. Given the current and increasing significance of P. astreoides, this review sought to (i) identify the key life history traits that allowed this species to thrive under stressful conditions; (ii) compile aspects of its biology and ecology to understand its future contribution to Atlantic reefs, and (iii) identify knowledge gaps. To date, no comprehensive overview of the literature exists for P. astreoides. All articles available on Google Scholar up to the time of submission containing the terms ‘Mustard Hill Coral’, ‘Porites astreoides’, or ‘P. astreoides’ were examined for potential inclusion in this review. Papers were assessed based on whether they captured the most influential or widespread theories, represented an important trend in the research, or contained novel findings relevant to the understanding of this species. This review provides a scholarly resource and wide-ranging synthesis of P. astreoides on Atlantic reefs of today and the future. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biodiversity and Conservation of Coral Reefs)
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