Special Issue "The Future of Coral Reefs: Research Submitted to ICRS 2021/2, Bremen, Germany"

A special issue of Oceans (ISSN 2673-1924).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 September 2022) | Viewed by 5579

Special Issue Editors

Prof. Dr. Christian Wild
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Guest Editor
Marine Ecology Department, Faculty of Biology and Chemistry, University of Bremen, 28359 Bremen, Germany
Interests: ecophysiology; biogeochemistry; microbial ecology
Prof. Dr. Peter Schupp
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
1. Institute for Chemistry and Biology of the Marine Environment (ICBM), Carl von Ossietzky University Oldenburg, Schleusenstraße 1, 26382 Wilhelmshaven, Germany
2. Helmholtz Institute for Functional Marine Biodiversity at the University of Oldenburg (HIFMB), Ammerländer Heerstrasse 231, 26129 Oldenburg, Germany
Interests: coral reproduction and restoration; phase shifts in benthic communities; coral and sponge microbial symbiosis
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals
Prof. Dr. Rupert Ormond
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Guest Editor
Centre for Marine Biodiversity & Biotechnology, Heriot-Watt University, Edinburgh, EH14 4AS, UK
Interests: coral reefs; reef fish; sharks; reef fisheries; corals; marine conservation; marine protected areas
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals
Dr. Sebastian Ferse
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Leibniz Centre for Tropical Marine Research (ZMT), 28359 Bremen, Germany
Interests: conservation; social-ecological systems
Dr. Leila Chapron
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
School of Earth Sciences, Ohio State University, Columbus, OH 43210, USA
Interests: coral bleaching; biogeochemistry; paleoceanography
Dr. Ronald Osinga
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Marine Animal Ecology Group, Wageningen University and Research, Droevendaalsesteeg 1, Wageningen, The Netherlands
Interests: sponges; corals; ecophysiology; reef restoration; integrated aquaculture

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Second Special Issue linked to the Bremen ICRS.

In connection with the 14th International Coral Reef Symposium (ICRS 2020, https://www.icrs2020.de/), originally planned to be held in Bremen, Germany, in July 2020, arrangements were made with the journal Oceans to produce a Special Issue associated with the conference, to which conference delegates could submit papers based on their oral presentations or posters.

However, due to the coronavirus epidemic, the conference was postponed. A virtual conference was held as the 14th ICRS online in July 2021, while an in-person meeting (15th ICRS) is now expected to take place in July 2022 in Bremen, Germany.

Nevertheless, to provide attending delegates with an appropriate outlet for their material, a first Special Issue (entitled “The Future of Coral Reefs: Research Submitted to ICRS 2020/21”) based on papers submitted by July 2021 is in the process of publication in Oceans. Twelve accepted manuscripts will published online as they are finalized (https://www.mdpi.com/journal/oceans/special_issues/coral_reefs) by 8 November 2021 (more will come later), thus ensuring publication of 2020/21 manuscripts in the near future.

However, since the follow-up in-person meeting is now to take place in July 2022, it has been agreed that a second Special Issue will be published in 2021/22 in Oceans. This sister volume will retain the same name and continue to reflect the conference themes. Manuscripts for this second volume need to be submitted by 30 September 2022.

Oceans is an open access journal that normally charges authors a fee (https://www.mdpi.com/journal/oceans). However, MDPI have agreed with the organizers of the 14th and 15th ICRSs to publish papers prepared for ICRS2021 virtual and ICRS2022 in-person free of any charge. This is a unique opportunity for participants of the 14th and 15th to publish their work in an international, open access, and peer-reviewed journal for free.

Instructions for submission may be found at https://www.mdpi.com/journal/oceans/instructions. All submissions will be subject to standard reviewing procedures to ensure quality standards of writing and accuracy. Oceans has no restrictions on the length of manuscripts, and hence short papers based on either oral presentations or posters will be considered.

This second volume will be edited by Oceans editors in cooperation with an editorial support team, led by Prof. Dr. Christian Wild, chair of 14th and 15th ICRS.

Authors whose first language is not English are encouraged to submit manuscripts, but they need to have their text checked by a native English speaker or make use of MDPI’s English editing service (https://www.mdpi.com/authors/english). Only manuscripts which are well written in quality scientific English will be considered and sent out for review.

Prof. Dr. Christian Wild
Prof. Dr. Peter Schupp
Prof. Dr. Rupert Ormond
Dr. Sebastian Ferse
Dr. Leila Chapron
Dr. Ronald Osinga
Guest Editors

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. Oceans is an international peer-reviewed open access quarterly 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 1000 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.

Published Papers (4 papers)

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Research

Article
Using Colour as a Marker for Coral ‘Health’: A Study on Hyperspectral Reflectance and Fluorescence Imaging of Thermally Induced Coral Bleaching
Oceans 2022, 3(4), 547-556; https://doi.org/10.3390/oceans3040036 - 29 Nov 2022
Viewed by 207
Abstract
Rising oceanic temperatures create more frequent coral bleaching events worldwide and as such there exists a need for rapid, non-destructive survey techniques to gather greater and higher definition information than that offered by traditional spectral based monitoring systems. Here, we examine thermally induced [...] Read more.
Rising oceanic temperatures create more frequent coral bleaching events worldwide and as such there exists a need for rapid, non-destructive survey techniques to gather greater and higher definition information than that offered by traditional spectral based monitoring systems. Here, we examine thermally induced laboratory bleaching of Montipora capricornis and Montipora confusa samples, utilising hyperspectral data to gain an understanding of coral bleaching from a spectral standpoint. The data revealed several characteristic spectral peaks that can be used to make health determinations. The fluorescence peaks are attributed to fluorescent proteins (FPs) and Chlorophyll-a fluorescence. The reflectance peaks can be attributed to Chlorophyll absorption and accessory pigments such as Peridinin and Diadinoxanthin. Each characteristic spectral peak or ‘marker’ allows for observation of each aspect of coral health and hence, simultaneous monitoring of these markers using hyperspectral imaging techniques provides an opportunity to better understand the processes occurring during bleaching and the rates at which they occur relative to one another. Full article
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Article
Using Stable Isotope Analyses to Assess the Trophic Ecology of Scleractinian Corals
Oceans 2022, 3(4), 527-546; https://doi.org/10.3390/oceans3040035 - 14 Nov 2022
Viewed by 337
Abstract
Studies on the trophic ecology of scleractinian corals often include stable isotope analyses of tissue and symbiont carbon and nitrogen. These approaches have provided critical insights into the trophic sources and sinks that are essential to understanding larger-scale carbon and nitrogen budgets on [...] Read more.
Studies on the trophic ecology of scleractinian corals often include stable isotope analyses of tissue and symbiont carbon and nitrogen. These approaches have provided critical insights into the trophic sources and sinks that are essential to understanding larger-scale carbon and nitrogen budgets on coral reefs. While stable isotopes have identified most shallow water (<30 m) corals as mixotrophic, with variable dependencies on autotrophic versus heterotrophic resources, corals in the mesophotic zone (~30–150 m) transition to heterotrophy with increasing depth because of decreased photosynthetic productivity. Recently, these interpretations of the stable isotope data to distinguish between autotrophy and heterotrophy have been criticized because they are confounded by increased nutrients, reverse translocation of photosynthate, and changes in irradiance that do not influence photosynthate translocation. Here we critically examine the studies that support these criticisms and show that they are contextually not relevant to interpreting the transition to heterotrophy in corals from shallow to mesophotic depths. Additionally, new data and a re-analysis of previously published data show that additional information (e.g., skeletal isotopic analysis) improves the interpretation of bulk stable isotope data in determining when a transition from primary dependence on autotrophy to heterotrophy occurs in scleractinian corals. Full article
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Article
Environmentally-Driven Variation in the Physiology of a New Caledonian Reef Coral
Oceans 2022, 3(1), 15-29; https://doi.org/10.3390/oceans3010002 - 06 Jan 2022
Viewed by 1655
Abstract
Given the widespread threats to coral reefs, scientists have lost the opportunity to understand the basic biology of “pristine” corals whose physiologies have not been markedly perturbed by human activity. For instance, high temperature-induced bleaching has been occurring annually since 2014 in New [...] Read more.
Given the widespread threats to coral reefs, scientists have lost the opportunity to understand the basic biology of “pristine” corals whose physiologies have not been markedly perturbed by human activity. For instance, high temperature-induced bleaching has been occurring annually since 2014 in New Caledonia. Because most corals cannot withstand repeated years when bleaching occurs, an analysis was undertaken to showcase coral behavior in a period just before the onset of “annual severe bleaching” (ASB; November 2013) such that future generations might know how these corals functioned in their last bleaching-free year. Pocillopora damicornis colonies were sampled across a variety of environmental gradients, and a subset was sampled during both day and night to understand how their molecular biology changes upon cessation of dinoflagellate photosynthesis. Of the 13 environmental parameters tested, sampling time (i.e., light) most significantly affected coral molecular physiology, and expression levels of a number of both host and Symbiodiniaceae genes demonstrated significant diel variation; endosymbiont mRNA expression was more temporally variable than that of their anthozoan hosts. Furthermore, expression of all stress-targeted genes in both eukaryotic compartments of the holobiont was high, even in isolated, uninhabited, federally protected atolls of the country’s far northwest. Whether this degree of sub-cellular stress reflects cumulative climate change impacts or, instead, a stress-hardened phenotype, will be unveiled through assessing the fates of these corals in the wake of increasingly frequent marine heatwaves. Full article
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Article
Different Physiology in the Jellyfish Cassiopea xamachana and C. frondosa in Florida Bay
Oceans 2021, 2(4), 811-821; https://doi.org/10.3390/oceans2040046 - 03 Dec 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 2141
Abstract
The jellyfish Cassiopea xamachana and C. frondosa co-occur within some habitats in the Florida Keys, but the frequency with which this occurs is low. It is hypothesized that the symbiosis with different dinoflagellates in the Symbiodiniaceae is the reason: the medusae of C. [...] Read more.
The jellyfish Cassiopea xamachana and C. frondosa co-occur within some habitats in the Florida Keys, but the frequency with which this occurs is low. It is hypothesized that the symbiosis with different dinoflagellates in the Symbiodiniaceae is the reason: the medusae of C. xamachana contain heat-resistant Symbiodinium microadriaticum (ITS-type A1), whereas C. frondosa has heat-sensitive Breviolum sp. (ITS-type B19). Cohabitation occurs at depths of about 3–4 m in Florida Bay, where the water is on average 0.36 °C cooler, or up to 1.1 °C cooler per day. C. frondosa tends not to be found in the warmer and shallower (<2 m) depths of Florida Bay. While the density of symbionts is about equal in the small jellyfish of the two species, large C. frondosa medusae have a greater density of symbionts and appear darker in color compared to large C. xamachana. However, the number of symbionts per amebocyte are about the same, which implies that the large C. frondosa has more amebocytes than the large C. xamachana. The photosynthetic rate is similar in small medusae, but a greater reduction in photosynthesis is observed in the larger medusae of C. xamachana compared to those of C. frondosa. Medusae of C. xamachana have greater pulse rates than medusae of C. frondosa, suggestive of a greater metabolic demand. The differences in life history traits of the two species were also investigated to understand the factors that contribute to observed differences in habitat selection. The larvae of C. xamachana require lower concentrations of inducer to settle/metamorphose, and they readily settle on mangrove leaves, submerged rock, and sand compared to the larvae of C. frondosa. The asexual buds of C. xamachana are of a uniform and similar shape as compared to the variably sized and shaped buds of C. frondosa. The larger polyps of C. frondosa can have more than one attachment site compared to the single holdfast of C. xamachana. This appears to be an example of niche diversification that is likely influenced by the symbiont, with the ecological generalist and heat-resistant S. microadriaticum thriving in C. xamachana in a wider range of habitats as compared to the heat-sensitive symbiont Breviolum sp., which is only found in C. frondosa in the cooler and deeper waters. Full article
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