Mesophotic Coral Reefs are unique and understudied ecosystems that occur from ~30-150m under gradients of light, nutrients, and biotic pressures. These reefs are typically further offshore from anthropogenic stressors and below the depth limits of most natural stressor events, and the habitat available for the development of MCRs has been variably estimated at three to ten times the known areal extent of shallow coral reefs (<30 m). As such, MCRs have been increasingly studied in the context of a refugia for a variety of shallow reef species, many with broad depth distributions, which have been impacted by these stressors. However, there is also evidence that some MCR species have distinct populations with unique molecular and physiological adaptations along a shallow to deep depth gradient. While MCRs have been the subject of opportunistic exploration and sampling to date, over the last 5 years there has been a maturation of science within these ecosystems to address fundamental questions on the ecology, physiology, and evolutionary biology of species living within this steep gradient of abiotic factors. The theme of the 2nd MCRE GRC will be the changing scientific questions and techniques, that are rapidly transforming our understanding of MCR processes and their broader role in coral reef biomes.
The conference will consist of nine sessions, on the topics listed below. The conference chair is currently developing their preliminary program, which will include the names of the invited speakers and discussion leaders for each of these sessions. The preliminary program will be available by May 21, 2020. Please check back for updates.
- Abiotic Processes
- Biotic Processes
- Reproductive Connectivity
- Genetic Connectivity
- Biodiversity Transitions at the 60m Isobath
- Climate Change
- Management and Conservation