Coral reefs are one of the most diverse marine ecosystems on Earth and one of the richest in terms of species interactions. Scleractinian corals are usually the most likely to provide numerous different habitats and to support many symbiotic relationships. However, many other invertebrate groups, such as sponges, bryozoans, and other cnidarians, establish strict symbiotic relationships with other marine organisms. Despite the nature of these relationships-as well as the factors that drive their establishment-being unclear in most cases, a few studies have already shown that some associations may increase the resistance of their hosts to external disturbances. Thus, the potential ability of each member of these diverse symbiotic assemblages to influence the fitness and long-term survival of their hosts bring the coral-associated fauna to the top of the list of coral reef studies. Unfortunately, the widespread degradation of coral reef ecosystems may threaten the existence of the intimate relationships that may go unrecognized complicating our understanding of the intricate networks connecting the fates of reef species. Therefore, this unprecedented loss of biodiversity calls for synergic conservation and monitoring actions aimed at significantly increasing our efforts to search for and describe as much of the diversity of coral-associated organisms as possible, shedding new light on the complex, elusive mechanisms controlling coral reef functioning.

Montano, S. (2020). The extraordinary importance of coral-associated fauna. DIVERSITY, 12(9) [10.3390/D12090357].

The extraordinary importance of coral-associated fauna

Montano, S
2020

Abstract

Coral reefs are one of the most diverse marine ecosystems on Earth and one of the richest in terms of species interactions. Scleractinian corals are usually the most likely to provide numerous different habitats and to support many symbiotic relationships. However, many other invertebrate groups, such as sponges, bryozoans, and other cnidarians, establish strict symbiotic relationships with other marine organisms. Despite the nature of these relationships-as well as the factors that drive their establishment-being unclear in most cases, a few studies have already shown that some associations may increase the resistance of their hosts to external disturbances. Thus, the potential ability of each member of these diverse symbiotic assemblages to influence the fitness and long-term survival of their hosts bring the coral-associated fauna to the top of the list of coral reef studies. Unfortunately, the widespread degradation of coral reef ecosystems may threaten the existence of the intimate relationships that may go unrecognized complicating our understanding of the intricate networks connecting the fates of reef species. Therefore, this unprecedented loss of biodiversity calls for synergic conservation and monitoring actions aimed at significantly increasing our efforts to search for and describe as much of the diversity of coral-associated organisms as possible, shedding new light on the complex, elusive mechanisms controlling coral reef functioning.
Articolo in rivista - Articolo scientifico
Biodiversity; Coral reefs; Global change; Impacts; Scleractinian; Symbiosis
English
16-set-2020
2020
12
9
357
open
Montano, S. (2020). The extraordinary importance of coral-associated fauna. DIVERSITY, 12(9) [10.3390/D12090357].
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/10281/289283
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