[Coral-List] New review/meta-analysis on the responses of coral microbiomes to stress

Rebecca Vega Thurber rvegathurber at gmail.com
Fri Aug 18 11:52:48 EDT 2017

Hi Coral Listers,
   We recently had published a review/meta-analysis on how coral bacterial
communities respond to three major stressors: climate change, pollution,
and overfishing. This work synthesized the work of over 45 studies from the
last couple years and across several coral species and locations. We found
strong patterns in the data. If you are interested I have pasted the
abstract of this work below and provided the link to the open access
article.  On behalf of the co-authors, we hope that it will be useful for
coral folk who are interested in the microbiome and how it may affect coral
resilience to local and environmental stressors.  If you have questions
please don't hesitate to ask. -Becky


*Responses of Coral-Associated Bacterial Communities to Local and Global

   - Abstract: The microbial contribution to ecological resilience is still
   largely overlooked in coral reef ecology. Coral-associated bacteria serve a
   wide variety of functional roles with reference to the coral host, and
   thus, the composition of the overall microbiome community can strongly
   influence coral health and survival. Here, we synthesize the findings of
   recent studies (*n* = 45) that evaluated the impacts of the top three
   stressors facing coral reefs (climate change, water pollution and
   overfishing) on coral microbiome community structure and diversity.
   Contrary to the species losses that are typical of many ecological
   communities under stress, here we show that microbial richness tends to be
   higher rather than lower for stressed corals (i.e., in ~60% of cases),
   regardless of the stressor. Microbial responses to stress were
   taxonomically consistent across stressors, with specific taxa typically
   increasing in abundance (e.g., *Vibrionales, Flavobacteriales,
   Rhodobacterales, Alteromonadales, Rhizobiales, Rhodospirillales*, and
   *Desulfovibrionales*) and others declining (e.g., *Oceanosprillales*).
   Emerging evidence also suggests that stress may increase the microbial beta
   diversity amongst coral colonies, potentially reflecting a reduced ability
   of the coral host to regulate its microbiome. Moving forward, studies will
   need to discern the implications of stress-induced shifts in microbiome
   diversity for the coral hosts and may be able to use microbiome community
   structure to identify resilient corals. The evidence we present here
   supports the hypothesis that microbial communities play important roles in
   ecological resilience, and we encourage a focus on the microbial
   contributions to resilience for future research.

Dr. Rebecca Vega Thurber
Associate Professor of Microbiology
Oregon State University
454 Nash Hall
Corvallis OR  97331-3804, U.S.A
541-737-1851 (office) 541-737-0496 (FAX)
rvegathurber at gmail.com;Rebecca.Vega-Thurber at oregonstate.edu
<Rebecca.Vega.Thurber at oregonstate.edu>

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