Introducing the Mangrove Microbiome Initiative: Identifying microbial research priorities and approaches to better understand, protect, and rehabilitate mangrove ecosystems
bySarah M Allard, Matthew T Costa, Ashley N Bulseco, Véronique Helfe, Laetitia G E Wilkins, Carlos M. Duarte, et.al
Allard, S. M., Costa, M. T., Bulseco, A. N., Helfer, V., Wilkins, L. G., Hassenrück, C., Duarte, C.M., ... & Bowman, J. (2020). Introducing the mangrove microbiome initiative: identifying microbial research priorities and approaches to better understand, protect, and rehabilitate mangrove ecosystems. Msystems, 5(5).
Mangrove ecosystems provide important ecological benefits and ecosystem services, including carbon storage and coastline stabilization, but they also suffer great anthropogenic pressures. Microorganisms associated with mangrove sediments and the rhizosphere play key roles in this ecosystem and make essential contributions to its productivity and carbon budget. Understanding this nexus and moving from descriptive studies of microbial taxonomy to hypothesis-driven field and lab studies will facilitate a mechanistic understanding of mangrove ecosystem interaction webs and open opportunities for microorganism-mediated approaches to mangrove protection and rehabilitation. Such an effort calls for a multidisciplinary and collaborative approach, involving chemists, ecologists, evolutionary biologists, microbiologists, oceanographers, plant scientists, conservation biologists, and stakeholders, and it requires standardized methods to support reproducible experiments. Here, we outline the Mangrove Microbiome Initiative, which is focused around three urgent priorities and three approaches for advancing mangrove microbiome research.