Key Questions for Research and Conservation of Mesophotic Coral Ecosystems and Temperate Mesophotic Ecosystems

Joseph A. Turner, Dominic A. Andradi-Brown, Andrea Gori, Pim Bongaerts, Heidi L. Burdett, Christine Ferrier-Pagès, Christian R. Voolstra, David K. Weinstein, Tom C. L. Bridge, Federica Costantini, Erika Gress, Jack Laverick, Yossi Loya, Gretchen Goodbody-Gringley, Sergio Rossi, Michelle L. Taylor, Nuria Viladrich, Joshua D. Voss, Joel Williams, Lucy C. WoodallGal Eyal

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Mesophotic coral ecosystems (MCEs) and temperate mesophotic ecosystems (TMEs) have received increasing research attention during the last decade as many new and improved methods and technologies have become more accessible to explore deeper parts of the ocean. However, large voids in knowledge remain in our scientific understanding, limiting our ability to make scientifically based decisions for conservation and management of these ecosystems. Here, we present a list of key research and conservation questions to enhance progress in the field. Questions were generated following an initial open call to MCE and TME experts, representing a range of career levels, interests, organizations (including academia, governmental, and nongovernmental), and geographic locations. Questions were refined and grouped into eight broad themes: (1) Distribution, (2) Environmental and Physical Processes, (3) Biodiversity and Community Structure, (4) Ecological Processes, (5) Connectivity, (6) Physiology, (7) Threats, and (8) Management and Policy. Questions were ranked within themes, and a workshop was used to discuss, refine, and finalize a list of 25 key questions. The 25 questions are presented as a guide for MCE and TME researchers, managers, and funders for future work and collaborations.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationCoral Reefs of the World
PublisherSpringer International Publishing
Number of pages15
ISBN (Print)9783319927343
StatePublished - May 23 2019

Bibliographical note

KAUST Repository Item: Exported on 2020-10-01
Acknowledgements: We thank the organizers of ECRS 2017 for allowing us to host the workshop supporting this study at the conference. We also thank the following people for submitting/ranking questions and/or participating in the workshop: Marco Abbiati (University of Bologna); Amkieltiela (WWF-Indonesia); Russ Babcock (CSIRO); Yehuda (Hudi) Benayahu (Tel Aviv University); Or Ben-Zvi (Tel Aviv University); Marzia Bo (University of Genova); Lorenzo Bramanti (LECOB-CNRS); Patrick Cabaitan (University of the Philippines); Carlo Cerrano (Università Politecnica delle Marche); Martina Coppari (University of Genoa); Jill Darrell (Natural History Museum); Stephane De Palmas (Academia Sinica); Vianney Denis (National Taiwan University); Henry Duffy (Blue Ventures); Estradivari (WWF-Indonesia); Dan Exton (Operation Wallacea); Fikri Firmansyah (WWF-Indonesia); Sarah Groves (NOAA); Elizabeth Gugliotti (College of Charleston/NOAA); Alejandro Henao Castro (Colombia National Natural Parks System); Scott F. Heron (NOAA); Daniel Holstein (Louisiana State University); Kaleonani Hurley (University of Hawaiʻi); Nir Keren (HebrewU); Rebecca Klaus (Senckenberg Research Institute); Netanel Kramer (Tel Aviv University); Hedouin Laehtice (CRIOBE); Cristina Linares (University of Barcelona); Michelle Linklater (New South Wales Office of Environment and Heritage); Guy Marley (University of the West Indies); Catherine Mitchell (IMBRSEA); Benjamin Neal (Bigelow Lab); Stephanie A. Norman (Marine-Med: Marine Research, Epidemiology & Veterinary Medicine); Pamela Ortega (Coral Reef Alliance); Gonzalo Perez-Rosales Blanch (CRIOBE); Purwanto (University of Papua); Hanna Rapuano (Tel Aviv University); Marjorie L. Reaka (University of Maryland); Rebecca Rlao (Freelance); Ed Roberts (James Cook University); Brian Roy Rosen (Natural History Museum); Joana Ruela Boavida (Center of Marine Sciences, CCMAR); John W. Runcie (University of Sydney, Aquation Pty Ltd); Giovanni Santangelo (University of Pisa); Nick Schizas (University of Puerto Rico); Edy Setyawan (Independent researcher/consultant); Tom Shlesinger (Tel Aviv University); Paris Stefanoudis (Nekton Foundation); Michael Studivan (Florida Atlantic University); Raz Tamir (Tel Aviv University); Geogios Tsounis (California State University); Nuria Viladrich Canuda (CSIC Barcelona); Ernesto Weil (University of Puerto Rico); and Mikolaj Zapalski (University of Warsaw). Additionally JT, EG, and GE would like to thank ICRS for their student travel grants to attend the ECRS conference. JT would also like to acknowledge funding from BHP and the Ningaloo Outlook Program for their support. Lastly, we are grateful for thoughtful comments on this manuscript from nine reviewers (Sam Kahng, Yehuda Benayahu, Richard Appeldoorn, Heather Spalding, Anthony Montgomery, Shirley A. Pomponi, and three anonymous reviewers) and the editor Kimberly Puglise. GE has received funding for this project from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation program under the Marie Skłodowska-Curie grant agreement No. 796025.


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