About this Research Topic
Coastal areas are systems with high risk of pronounced modification in view of the growing human population and urbanization leading to increased eutrophication. Thus, there is an increase in the interest of marine microbiologists for eutrophic coastal areas, thanks also to the development of High-Throughput Sequencing (HTS) tools. Microbial communities in coastal eutrophic systems are comprised of a variety of different evolutionary groups from all domains of life with diverse morphological features, sizes, physiology, functions, trophic preferences, distribution, ecology, evolutionary traits, genetic content, and responses to environmental variability. They play irreplaceable roles, either as the pelagic primary producers of these highly productive systems, key players in biogeochemical cycles, food webs and ecosystem functioning, active participants in complex processes and interactions, and perpetrators of harmful episodes, such as harmful algal blooms, red tides and toxic phenomena, which can directly affect human activities, health and the local economy.
The microbial communities of coastal eutrophic systems are used as biological indicators of the water quality and thus, they are targeted in conservation and restoration plans. Our understanding of their responses both to bottom up and top down eutrophication pressures and the synergistic climate change effects is a key research field to comprehend the complex ongoing processes that shape marine coastal ecosystem properties. Key questions for current and future research include the following: What is the diversity of coastal microbial communities? What are their key traits? How do they respond to increased environmental pressures and stressors because of growing eutrophication? How these responses can further be transmitted to fish? What are the effects of microbial harmful incidents on protected marine areas, beaches, ecosystem health and urban coastal societies?
Recent advances in HTS accompanied with the technological innovations of classical tools, such as microscopy, have given researchers the equipment and the motivation to attempt to answer these questions on the complex and diverse life of marine microbes in coastal eutrophic areas. This Research Topic provides a platform to highlight new research and significant advances related to the microbial communities of these anthropogenically highly influenced systems. Specifically, themes of the research and review papers of the current issue could include (but not be limited to):
· Coastal microbial biodiversity
· Ecology of coastal microbial populations and communities
· Coastal microbial biogeochemistry
· Life cycles and key traits of coastal microbes
· Genomic and metagenomic properties of microbial communities
· Meta-analysis of sequencing data
· Coastal blooms, red tides and water quality
· Conservation of marine coastal habitats
Keywords: Plankton, eutrophication, urbanization, ecology, microbiome
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