[Coral-List] Two coral sessions during the 2009 ASLO Meeting in Nice, France (Jan 2009)

Cornelia Maier connymaier at yahoo.de
Wed Jul 23 04:09:08 EDT 2008

Two coral sessions are being convened during the 2009 ASLO Aquatic Sciences Meeting, in Nice, France from Jan 25-30: 

1)	Coral reefs and coral communities in a changing environment 
2)	Environmental factors and mechanisms leading to coral bleaching

Abstracts will be due by 3 October 2008. For questions, please directly contact the respective session convenors. We look forward to your contributions and meeting you in Nice in January 2009!

1) Coral reefs and coral communities in a changing environment.

Conveners: Conny Maier: maier at obs-vlfr.fr; Bernhard Riegl: rieglb at nova.edu, Justin B. Ries: jries at whoi.edu, Christian Wild: c.wild at lrz.uni-muenchen.de

Anthropogenic changes in the chemistry and temperature of seawater constitute a major threat to the survival of tropical, temperate and cold-water coral reefs and coral communities. CO2-induced ocean acidification and warming along with terrestrial runoff and pollution negatively affect health, growth and calcification of corals. However, the extent to which these indirect and direct anthropogenic stresses will interact and impact corals and coral-based ecosystems is not well understood. The differential responses of distinct coral ecotypes and other carbonate accreting or eroding reef organisms need better study. Also, little is known how function and diversity of coral-associated fauna, flora and microbes will be affected by environmental change. Scleractinian corals follow common principles and mechanisms with regards to ecological functioning and framework building. Nevertheless, individual species have adapted to a wide range of latitudes and depths
 via distinct morphologies, calcification rates, physiologies, and symbioses. Such differences may bring about and explain variable responses to environmental change. We therefore wish to approach the topic on a broad basis, across both the ecosystem and the individual, to better understand what controls changes and phase shifts in coral communities. We encourage contributions from multiple disciplines, particularly those incorporating ecological, physiological, microbiological, geochemical, sedimentological, palaeontological, and palaeo-proxy perspectives. 

2) Environmental Factors and Mechanisms Leading to Coral Bleaching 

Convenors: J. Malcolm Shick: shick at maine.edu, Mark L. Wells: mlwells at maine.edu, Charles G. Trick: trick at uwo.ca, and Walter C. Dunlap: wdunlap at aims.gov.au 

The extent of coral bleaching is increasing worldwide. Although the specific causes of bleaching are unclear, they often are attributed broadly to global climate change.  Indeed there are demonstrated linkages between bleaching and the combined effect of elevated temperature and bright sunlight, but details of this linkage are not definitive.  Spatial patterns of unbleached corals within otherwise bleached reef systems indicate that other synergistic factors are essential for bleaching to occur. These synergistic considerations include biological factors (e.g., zooxanthella diversity) and conceivably also physical or chemical processes.  But while there is a considerable literature describing laboratory and field studies on bleaching relationships in the context of the physiology and community structure of corals and their symbiotic zooxanthellae, there has been less emphasis on how physical and chemical oceanographic processes might exacerbate coral
 bleaching.  This session aims both to highlight the diversity of biological, physical and chemical mechanisms associated with coral bleaching and to encourage discussion of additional environmental and oceanographic changes that contribute to coral bleaching.

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