About this Research Topic
Coral reefs provide numerous ecosystem services, such as food and economic benefits through fisheries and tourism, to hundreds of millions of people. As the main builder of coral reefs, scleractinian corals interact with symbiotic dinoflagellates (Symbiodiniaceae) and other microbes, to form their holobiont to adapt to the shallow sea with stable water quality, relatively low nutrient level and good illumination.
For the establishment of the holobiotic relationships, mutual recognition among different partners is the first and crucial step, which can be mediated by the interaction between pattern recognition receptors and glycans. The coral holobiont can take in and assimilate inorganic nutrients from seawater to synthesize organic nutrients, and these nutrients flow within the holobiont and meet the requirement of each partner to maintain the holobiont homeostasis. Symbiotic Symbiodiniaceae and other microbes have the ability to assimilate inorganic carbon and nitrogen nutrients, respectively. Through nutrient cycling, distinct nutrient limitation would develop for the different partners, such as nitrogen limitation of symbiotic Symbiodiniaceae, which constitute several feedback loops to maintain the homeostasis in the coral holobiont. However, the intricate holobiotic relationships among corals, symbiotic Symbiodiniaceae and microbes are highly fragile and easily impacted by environmental changes, such as elevated seawater temperature and acidification, resulting in the occurrence of coral bleaching, and even death. Community constructs of symbiotic Symbiodiniaceae and microbes can dynamically alter in the holobiont when responding to environmental change, and further affect the susceptibility to coral bleaching. For example, thermotolerant Symbiodiniaceae clade as dominant species can promote the resilience of coral holobiont to high temperature.
This Research Topic will focus on studies (including e.g. original research, perspectives, minireviews, commentaries and opinion papers) that investigate and discuss:
1. Mutual recognitions among coral holobiont partners and the establishment processes of their relationships.
2. Exchange and flow mechanisms of key nutrients containing carbon, nitrogen, and phosphorus among coral holobiont partners.
3. Physiological regulation mechanism of coral holobiont responding to global and regional environment changes, such as elevated seawater temperature, acidification and eutrophication.
4. Effect mechanisms of symbiotic algae and microbes on the environmental adaptation and resilience of coral holobiont.
5. The maintentance of coral holobiotic relationships and the conversation of coral reefs ecosystem in the 21st century.
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