About this Research Topic
Coral reefs represent one of the most important ecosystems on earth, both economically and in terms of natural resources. But the future of coral reefs is uncertain due to ongoing environmental change like ocean warming, ocean acidification and other anthropogenic processes that cause severe pressure on coral reefs worldwide. Several studies predict the extinction of coral reefs due to enhanced bleaching, ocean acidification or deteriorating water conditions in general. Other studies question the vulnerability of corals to ocean acidification or discuss their potential to adapt to environmental change as an evolutionary mechanism to cope with the ongoing disturbances. In order to better assess the future of corals under changing environmental conditions, we need to improve our understanding of these organisms and the environmental conditions they are going to face.
Mathematical models represent a very powerful tool not only to make predictions about an uncertain future but also to test different hypotheses and synthesize our already existing knowledge. We therefore call for contributions from all scientists working on corals or coral reefs to contribute to this Research Topic by submitting a manuscript in which you use a mathematical model to improve our understanding of corals, coral reefs, or related processes that directly or indirectly help to improve our assessment of the future of coral reefs. We are interested in research on corals on different scales of organization: from gene regulation, bio-mineralization, physiology, colony up to the reef scale.
Please highlight the real power of your modeling study by emphasizing what the “added value” of the mathematical model is. For example, specify what conclusions you obtain from your model that could not be obtained from direct measurements or that could potentially be tested by direct measurements.
We would like to use this research topic to create a platform for modellers to present their research to a broader audience of non-modellers. So, when you write your manuscript, please bear in mind an audience of coral reef scientists working in the field or in the lab. This research topic should increase the information exchange of theoreticians and practical scientists and increase the dialogue between different approaches to one and the same research topic, namely, understanding the challenges that coral reefs face in our today’s ocean and in the future.
Keywords: Coral, mathematical modeling, biogeochemistry, physiology, ecology, biomineralization
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.