[Coral-List] ICRS 2016 ­ Session 27: The Role of Macro-invertebrates on Coral Reefs

Deborah Gochfeld gochfeld at olemiss.edu
Fri Dec 11 09:23:55 EST 2015

Dear Coral-Listers,

We invite you to submit abstracts for oral and poster presentations for Session 27: The Role of Macro-invertebrates on Coral Reefs


Abstract Deadline: 15 January 2016

Session Description:
Coral reefs have undergone dramatic declines in recent decades, and an important challenge in reef science is determining what future reefs might look like. Phase shifts to alternative states may alter which taxa prevail under changing environmental conditions.  Although algae have increased in abundance on reefs, benthic macro-invertebrates such as sponges and octocorals have emerged as dominant taxa on many coral reefs.  However, the factors controlling their success are largely unknown.  While these taxa can act as ecosystem engineers, it is unclear how their dominance will affect ecosystem services. Sponges and octocorals provide food and habitat for a diversity of associated species; they can either stabilize or degrade the reef matrix, and some macro-invertebrates play significant roles in benthic-pelagic coupling via filtration of large quantities of bacterioplankton, or couple photoautotrophic gains of energy to higher trophic levels via their symbiotic algae or cyanobacteria. As coral reef scientists work with managers and stakeholders to mitigate and remediate impacts to coral reef communities caused by climate change and other anthropogenic stressors, it is particularly relevant and timely to investigate the roles of these taxa as both positive and negative influences on coral reef resilience. The goal of this session is to examine current data on the biology and ecology of macro-invertebrates on coral reefs to assess the current state of the field and to identify areas for future studies.

For information relevant to abstract submissions, see:

The deadline for manuscript submissions is 22 January 2016.  For more details see:

We look forward to your submission, and to seeing you in Hawaii.

Marc Slattery, University of Mississippi
Georgios Tsounis, California State University Northridge
Deborah Gochfeld, University of Mississippi
Howard R. Lasker, University at Buffalo

Deborah Gochfeld, Ph.D.
Principal Scientist
National Center for Natural Products Research
P.O. Box 1848
University of Mississippi
University, MS 38677-1848

Phone: 662-915-6769
Fax: 662-915-7062
Email: gochfeld at olemiss.edu

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