Marine Science Faculty Publications

A Review of Symbiotic Gorgonian Research in the Western Atlantic and Caribbean with Recommendations for Future Work

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Octocorallia, Gorgonian, Caribbean, Bioindicators, Resilience, Symbiotic

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While scleractinian coral populations continue to diminish throughout the Caribbean, gorgonian corals are showing signs of resilience and in some areas are thriving. Despite their prominence on reefs, gorgonian species are notoriously difficult to field identify and as such have been underrepresented in most monitoring efforts. However, with reports of increased resistance to elevated temperatures, ocean acidification, and nutrient enrichment, there is now a growing interest in the ecological and physiological mechanisms that contribute to their success in changing environmental conditions. Here, we compile widely scattered taxonomical, biological, and ecological research on shallow-water symbiotic gorgonians in the wider Caribbean into a comprehensive resource document that can be used by researchers and managers to inform and promote future studies. Each section provides a brief summary of past research, accessible bibliography, and suggestions for future work.

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Citation / Publisher Attribution

Coral Reefs, v. 39, p. 239-258