[Coral-List] Theme section on mesophotic coral ecosystems in Coral Reefs journal

Gal Eyal galeyal at mail.tau.ac.il
Wed Feb 10 07:31:49 EST 2016

Dear listers,

We would like to draw your attention to the new editorial paper on
mesophotic coral reefs (MCEs). It will be the opening paper for a Theme
section containing 11 papers in the coming issue 35 (1) of *Coral Reefs.*
Free access: http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s00338-016-1410-7

*Theme section on mesophotic coral ecosystems: advances in knowledge and
future perspectives *by Yossi Loya, Gal Eyal, Tali Treibitz, Michael P.
Lesser and Richard Appeldoorn

The Second International Mesophotic Coral Ecosystems (MCEs) workshop was
held in Eilat, Israel, October 26–31, 2014. Here we provide an account of:
(1) advances in our knowledge of MCE ecology, including the central
question of the potential vertical connectivity between MCEs and
shallow-water reefs (SWRs), and that of the validity of the deep-reef
refugia hypothesis (DRRH); (2) the contribution of the 2014 MCE workshop to
the central question presented in (1), as well as its contribution to novel
MCE studies on corals, sponges, fish, and crabs; and (3) gaps, priorities,
and recommendations for future research stemming from the workshop. Despite
their close proximity to well-studied SWRs, and the growing evidence of
their importance, our scientific knowledge of MCEs is still in its infancy.
During the last five years, we have witnessed an ever-increasing scientific
interest in MCEs, expressed in the exponential increase in the number of
publications studying this unique environment. The emerging consensus is
that lower MCE benthic assemblages represent unique communities, either of
separate species or genetically distinct individuals within species, and
any significant support for the DRRH will be limited to upper MCEs.
Determining the health and stability of MCEs, their biodiversity, and the
degree of genetic connectivity among SWRs and MCEs, will ultimately
indicate the ability of MCEs to contribute to the resilience of SWRs and
help to guide future management and conservation strategies. MCEs deserve
therefore management consideration in their own right. With the
technological advancements taking place in recent years that facilitate
access to MCEs, the prospects for exciting and innovative discoveries
resulting from MCE research, spanning a wide variety of fields, are immense..


Gal Eyal
Department of Zoology, Tel-Aviv University
Address: The Interuniversity Institute for Marine Sciences in Eilat,
P.O.B:469, Zip:88103, Israel
Mobile: +972-(0)50-7384422
Office: +972-(0)8-6360119
Fax: +972-(0)8-6374329 (For Gal Eyal - Tel Aviv University)
E-mail: Galeyal at mail.tau.ac.il, Gal4596 at gmail.com
Web: http://www.mceisrael.com/

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