About this Research Topic
Marine Ecosystems are widely recognized as extremely important for regulating the climate and chemistry of the whole biosphere, for providing food and natural substances to an increasing world population mainly distributed on the coasts, for contributing to the development of novel applications in biotechnology, and finally, for human well-being in general. But they are among the most vulnerable and, nowadays, most rapidly degrading ecosystems in the Anthropocene era. Among marine ecosystems, except for a few taxa like scleractinian corals, very little is known about the functionality of ecosystems provided by calcifying plants and animals such as green (chlorophytes, i.e. dasycladales, bryopsydales) or red (rhodophytes) algae, bryozoans, foraminifera, calcifying bacteria communities, calcifying sponges and sessile mollusks. As a consequence, many of them are not included in conservation measures nor indicated as ‘key ecosystems’ despite the ecological potential they have.
The main goal of this topic is to expand our knowledge on the functions and services provided by neglected reef-forming organisms and provide multi-purpose data that can be used to encourage their conservation as well as tools for promoting sustainable policy strategies. Through a multilayer approach based on multi-disciplinary inputs, from ecology to physiology and ecological economics, this Research Topic will gather a collection of papers aiming to evaluate the contributions of marine calcifying ecosystems in providing services and building resilience in marine communities that are vulnerable to climate change. Approaches from species to ecosystems, focusing on physiological and ecological functions related to ecosystem services, will help to understand biological and ecological data via an ecological economics lens. Such a collection of papers will provide a valuable tool for identifying and quantifying the role and services provided by still neglected ecosystems on human welfare and to highlight their potential in Ecosystem-Based Adaptation Strategies.
In this Research Topic, we welcome in-field, laboratory, theoretical and methodological studies focused on bioconstructional non-scleractinian ecosystems and their services (i.e. regulating, supporting, cultural services, and more) under climate change. Fundamental, experimental, and conservation studies based on species physiological responses related to the functioning of complex calcifying ecosystems, the mapping of these ecosystems and their monitoring are welcome, to highlight their peculiarity and the appropriate methodologies for studying them and evaluating related services.
We encourage the submission of studies using ecological economic interpretations of biological and ecological data, with for proving the importance of these ecosystem through socio-economic lens. This proposed issue aims to give biogenic reefs an identity by highlighting and quantifying the functions and services they provide.
Keywords: Bioconstructional Ecosystems, Climate Change, Physiological Responses, Conservation, Ecosystem Services
Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.