Special Issue "Coral Reef Communities: Diversity, Roles, and Conservation"

A special issue of Journal of Marine Science and Engineering (ISSN 2077-1312). This special issue belongs to the section "Marine Biology".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (20 August 2020).

Special Issue Editor

Dr. Vianney Denis
Guest Editor
Institute of Oceanography, National Taiwan University, TAIWAN
Interests: reef organisms; physiological ecology; marine biodiversity; community ecology; coral reefs

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Coral reefs are composed of many communities, depicting groups of interacting organisms inhabiting a particular space and time. Though their existence is threatened and their future prospects may seem gloomy, several observations have suggested that some may actually do better than others. It emphasizes the need for greater recognition of the differences among coral reef communities, their dynamics, and the various roles they could play as our climate is changing. Those differences would further stress the importance of customized management actions for the community of interest in order to improve the prospects of conservation on these valuable ecosystems.

Accordingly, this Special Issue welcomes contributions that recognize the diversity, role, and conservation of all coral reef communities. This issue will acknowledge the ‘plurality’ of the coral reefs while highlighting similarities and dissimilarities with generally accepted concepts applying to their dynamics. Studies documenting the absence of significant changes in a given community or the increase or reef-builders in marginal communities are especially encouraged as they go against the worldwide trend of coral reef degradation, and are informative in many ways to comprehensively predict the future of these ecosystems.

Dr. Vianney Denis
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 papers will be 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. Journal of Marine Science and Engineering 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 1800 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.


  • Coral reefs
  • Differences
  • Disturbances
  • Climate change
  • Ecological shifts
  • Community ecology

Published Papers (1 paper)

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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
Coral Reef Community Changes in Karimunjawa National Park, Indonesia: Assessing the Efficacy of Management in the Face of Local and Global Stressors
J. Mar. Sci. Eng. 2020, 8(10), 760; https://doi.org/10.3390/jmse8100760 - 28 Sep 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1259
Karimunjawa National Park is one of Indonesia’s oldest established marine parks. Coral reefs across the park are being impacted by fishing, tourism and declining water quality (local stressors), as well as climate change (global pressures). In this study, we apply a multivariate statistical [...] Read more.
Karimunjawa National Park is one of Indonesia’s oldest established marine parks. Coral reefs across the park are being impacted by fishing, tourism and declining water quality (local stressors), as well as climate change (global pressures). In this study, we apply a multivariate statistical model to detailed benthic ecological datasets collected across Karimunjawa’s coral reefs, to explore drivers of community change at the park level. Eighteen sites were surveyed in 2014 and 2018, before and after the 2016 global mass coral bleaching event. Analyses revealed that average coral cover declined slightly from 29.2 ± 0.12% (Standard Deviation, SD) to 26.3 ± 0.10% SD, with bleaching driving declines in most corals. Management zone was unrelated to coral decline, but shifts from massive morphologies toward more complex foliose and branching corals were apparent across all zones, reflecting a park-wide reduction in damaging fishing practises. A doubling of sponges and associated declines in massive corals could not be related to bleaching, suggesting another driver, likely declining water quality associated with tourism and mariculture. Further investigation of this potentially emerging threat is needed. Monitoring and management of water quality across Karimunjawa may be critical to improving resilience of reef communities to future coral bleaching. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Coral Reef Communities: Diversity, Roles, and Conservation)
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