About this Research Topic
The term ‘Anthropocene’ has been suggested as the next epoch (denoting the current geological age), and is viewed as the period where human activity is the dominant influence on climate and the environment. Arguably, the most prevalent and visible effects of this anthropogenic activity are manifest at the poles and the tropics. With regard to the tropics, observed anthropogenic impacts on coral reef ecosystems are particularly alarming and coral reefs have often been referred to as ‘canaries in the coal mine’ for the marine biome. Recent increases in mass bleaching events brought about by the effects of El Nino and elevated sea surface temperatures highlight a worrying trend. In fact, studies now suggest that some reefs may begin to experience annual severe bleaching episodes as early as 2043.
For this topic, we seek to compile a broad range of manuscripts which both detail the responses of corals and other reef associated organisms to the multitude of stressors to which they are increasingly exposed and strategies to promote their survival in the twenty-first century and beyond. This Research Topic is linked to the European Coral Reef Symposium, to be held in December 2017 at Oxford, UK.
We welcome contributions that address or explore:
• Documented responses of corals and coral reef associated organisms to variations in contemporary environmental conditions;
• Experimental manipulations simulating future climate scenarios;
• Modelling efforts (forecasting and/or hindcasting) that provide insights into future trends or past episodes;
• Ecological investigations that provide new insights into mechanisms and processes that underlie coral reef resistance and resilience to both pulse and press disturbances;
• Microbiome, pathobiome, genetic, transcriptomic, proteomic, metabolomics studies;
• Conservation strategies - either those being currently employed, or future plans to manage and mitigate such effects (reef restoration, human-assisted evolution, coral probiotics, etc.);
• Social-economic studies focusing on the continued use of reefs in the 21st century.
Keywords: Reef organisms, health state, climate change, coral reef conservation
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.