Gal Eyal

Gal Eyal
Bar Ilan University | BIU · Faculty of Life Sciences

M.Sc., Ph.D.
Looking for MSc & PhD students, and postdocs interesting in spatial, vertical & temporal dynamics in marine ecosystems

About

97
Publications
24,034
Reads
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1,209
Citations
Citations since 2017
66 Research Items
1117 Citations
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Introduction
I'm conducting research on Mesophotic Coral Ecosystems, Coral Reefs, Rocky Reefs, Ecology, Physiology, Adaptation, and Ecosystem Dynamics using palaeoecological, ecological, biological, and technological tools.
Additional affiliations
July 2021 - present
The University of Queensland
Position
  • PostDoc Position
Description
  • Sustainable Urban Seascape of Moreton Bay (SUSMB) - Program 1: Ecosystem Dynamics & Biodiversity
October 2018 - October 2021
The University of Queensland
Position
  • Fellow
Description
  • Past and present mesophotic coral ecosystems as a predictor for survival of coral reefs in an era of climate change
October 2017 - September 2018
Tel Aviv University
Position
  • Fellow
Education
October 2012 - September 2017
Tel Aviv University
Field of study
  • Ecology and physiology of mesophotic scleractinian corals at Eilat (northern Red Sea)
October 2010 - September 2012
Tel Aviv University
Field of study
  • Ecology and taxonomy of mesophotic communities in Israel (Red Sea and Mediterranean)
October 2005 - July 2008
Ruppin Academic Center
Field of study
  • School of Marine Sciences

Publications

Publications (97)
Article
Full-text available
Corals and their photosymbionts experience inherent changes in light along depth gradients, leading them to have evolved several well-investigated photoacclimation strategies. As coral calcification is influenced by light (a process described as LEC—‘light-enhanced calcification’), studies have sought to determine the link between photosynthesis an...
Article
Full-text available
With shallow coral reefs suffering from an ongoing rapid decline in many regions of the world, the interest in studies on mesophotic coral ecosystems (30–150 m) is growing rapidly. While most photoacclimation responses in corals were documented within the upper 30 m of reefs, in the present study we transplanted fragments of a strictly mesophotic s...
Article
Full-text available
Mesophotic ecosystems (MEs) are characterized by the presence of light-dependent organisms, found at depths ranging from ~30 to 150 m in temperate, subtropical and tropical regions. These communities occasionally create massive reef structures with diverse but characteristic morphologies, which serve as the framework builders of those ecosystems. I...
Article
Full-text available
Mesophotic coral ecosystems (MCEs) are characterized by the presence of photosynthetically active organisms such as corals and algae, and associated communities at depths ranging from 30 to 150 m in tropical and subtropical regions. Due to the increased awareness of the potential importance of these reefs as an integral part of coral reef ecosystem...
Article
Climate change is degrading coral reefs around the world. Mass coral bleaching events have become more frequent in recent decades, leading to dramatic declines in coral cover. Mesophotic coral ecosystems (30-150 m depth) comprise an estimated 50-80 % of global coral reef area. The potential for these to act as refuges from climate change is unresol...
Article
Full-text available
Unlabelled: Increasing ocean temperatures threaten coral reefs globally, but corals residing in habitats that experience high thermal variability are thought to be better adapted to survive climate-induced heat stress. Here, we used long-term ecological observations and in situ temperature data from Heron Island, southern Great Barrier Reef to inv...
Article
Full-text available
Studying chronobiology in reef-building corals is challenging due to the tightly coupled symbiosis with their photo-synthetic algae, Symbiodiniaceae. Although symbiosis requires metabolic synchronization and coordination of cellular processes in the holobiont, the cross-talk between the host and symbiont's clocks is still puzzling. Here, we use the...
Preprint
Full-text available
Mesophotic coral communities are increasingly gaining attention for the unique and distinct biological species they host, exemplified by the numerous mesophotic fish species that continue to be discovered. In contrast, many of the photosynthetic scleractinian corals observed at mesophotic depths are assumed to be depth-generalists, with very few sp...
Article
Full-text available
High-latitude habitats have become increasingly recognized as a potential climate refuge for coral communities, supporting both tropical and sub-tropical corals. Despite the increasing interest in the ecology of high-latitude corals, our current knowledge of their temporal dynamics is limited, especially within urbanized settings. Here, we examined...
Article
Full-text available
Fluorescence is highly prevalent in reef-building corals, nevertheless its biological role is still under ongoing debate. This feature of corals was previously suggested to primarily screen harmful radiation or facilitate coral photosynthesis. In mesophotic coral ecosystems (MCEs; 30-150 m depth) corals experience a limited, blue-shifted light envi...
Preprint
Full-text available
Ocean warming is increasing the incidence, scale, and severity of global-scale coral bleaching and mortality, culminating in the third global coral bleaching event that occurred during record marine heatwaves of 2014-2017. While local effects of these events have been widely reported, the global implications remain unknown. Analysis of 15,066 reef...
Article
In the Eastern Tropical Pacific (ETP), Mesophotic Coral Ecosystems (MCEs) are limited by oceanographic conditions and are thought to be mostly absent. However, considering the currently discussed more flexible approach to define mesophotic boundaries, based on light availability, we performed a systematic search to assess their current state of kno...
Article
As many degrading shallow reefs suffer from recruitment failure, mesophotic coral ecosystems have been suggested as a potential source of coral propagules promoting the recolonization of these reefs. However, whether mesophotic coral populations can repopulate shallower reefs is currently debatable. Here, we compared the response of corals settled...
Article
Full-text available
Sesoko Station, Okinawa, has been the site of many significant advances in coral reproductive research and it continues to be a preferred destination for both Japanese and international researchers. Consequently, there are decades of spawning observations, which we present and explore here with the aim of making it easier to predict when species sp...
Article
Reefs are biogenic structures that result in three-dimensional accumulations of calcium carbonate. Over geological timescales, a positive balance between the production and accumulation of calcium carbonate versus erosional and off-reef transport processes maintains positive net accretion on reefs. Yet, how ecological processes occurring over decad...
Article
The crown-of-thorns starfish (COTS) is a coral predator that is widely distributed in Indo-Pacific Oceans. A previous phylogenetic study using partial mitochondrial sequences suggested that COTS had diverged into four distinct species, but a nuclear genome-based analysis to confirm this was not conducted. To address this, COTS species nuclear genom...
Article
Full-text available
The mesophotic coral Alveopora allingi from the northern Gulf of Eilat/Aqaba, Red Sea, is affected by year-round partial coral-bleaching events. During these events, the migration of Symbiodiniaceae takes place from the coral-host mesoglea to the developed oocytes in bleached parts of colonies of A. allingi but not in the non-bleached parts. Additi...
Article
Antecedent topography such as relic reef terraces as well as biogenic carbonate relief-forming deposits ~30–150 m deep, referred to as mesophotic reefs, provide structural support for diverse mesophotic coral ecosystems (MCEs) that may serve as coral refuges for select light-dependent species. Although terraces at mesophotic depths are found global...
Article
Full-text available
Mesophotic coral ecosystems (MCEs) are light-dependent coral-associated communities found at 30-150 m depth. Corals inhabiting these deeper reefs are often acclimatized to a limited and blue-shifted light environment, enabling them to maintain the relationship with their photosynthetic algal symbionts (family Symbiodiniaceae) despite the seemingly...
Article
Full-text available
Coral reefs are the epitome of species diversity, yet the number of described scleractinian coral species, the framework-builders of coral reefs, remains moderate by comparison. DNA sequencing studies are rapidly challenging this notion by exposing a wealth of undescribed diversity, but the evolutionary and ecological significance of this diversity...
Preprint
Full-text available
The mesophotic coral Alveopora allingi from the northern Gulf of Eilat/Aqaba, Red Sea, is affected by year-round partial coral-bleaching events. During these events, the migration of Symbiodiniaceae takes place from the coral-host mesoglea to the developed oocytes in bleached parts of colonies of A. allingi but not in the nonbleached parts. Additio...
Article
Full-text available
n an endeavor to study natural systems at multiple spatial and taxonomic resolutions, there is an urgent need for automated, high-throughput frameworks that can handle plethora of information. The coalescence of remote-sensing, computer-vision, and deep-learning elicits a new era in ecological research. However, in complex systems, such as marine-b...
Article
Full-text available
Coral bleaching, as one of the major threats to the well-being of coral reefs worldwide, has been extensively studied. However, corals from mesophotic coral ecosystems (MCEs), found at 30 to 150 m depth and considered as a potential refuge, have not yet been well studied experimentally under thermal stress. As mesopho-tic corals are also highly flu...
Article
Full-text available
The discovery of multi-species synchronous spawning of scleractinian corals on the Great Barrier Reef in the 1980s stimulated an extraordinary effort to document spawning times in other parts of the globe. Unfortunately, most of these data remain unpublished which limits our understanding of regional and global reproductive patterns. The Coral Spaw...
Article
Full-text available
The vast majority of scleractinian corals are either simultaneous hermaphrodites or gonochoric. Exceptions to these are rare. Nevertheless, species belonging to the family Fungiidae are known to exhibit a wide variety of reproductive strategies. We examined the reproductive ecology of the mushroom coral Fungia fungites in Okinawa. Our study was con...
Preprint
Full-text available
Coral reefs are the epitome of species diversity, yet the number of described scleractinian coral species, the framework-builders of coral reefs, remains moderate by comparison. DNA sequencing studies are rapidly challenging this notion by exposing a wealth of undescribed diversity, but the evolutionary and ecological significance of this diversity...
Article
Full-text available
Background: Population outbreaks of the crown-of-thorns starfish (Acanthaster planci sensu lato; COTS), a primary predator of reef-building corals in the Indo-Pacific Ocean, are a major threat to coral reefs. While biological and ecological knowledge of COTS has been accumulating since the 1960s, little is known about its associated bacteria. The a...
Article
Full-text available
Population size structure provides information on demographic characteristics, such as growth and decline, enabling post-hoc assessment of spatial differences in susceptibility to disturbance. Nevertheless, very few studies have quantified size data of scleractinian corals along a shallow-mesophotic gradient, partly because of previously inaccessib...
Article
Full-text available
Aim Coral reefs shift between distinct communities with depth throughout the world. Yet, despite over half a century of research on coral reef depth gradients, researchers have not addressed the driving force of these patterns. We present a theoretical, process‐based model of light’s influence on the shallow to mesophotic reef transition as a singl...
Article
Most studies to date on the various life-history aspects of scleractinian corals (e.g. reproduction, connectivity, and physiology) have focused on their innate habitats. However, comprehensive data on the ability of both shallow and mesophotic corals to contend in the coming decades with the different environmental conditions they may encounter due...
Article
Full-text available
The recognition of the microbiota complexity and their role in the evolution of their host is leading to the popularization of the holobiont concept. However, the coral holobiont (host and its microbiota) is still enigmatic and unclear. Here, we explore the complex relations between different holobiont members of a mesophotic coral Euphyllia paradi...
Preprint
Full-text available
Background: Population outbreaks of the crown-of-thorns starfish (Acanthaster planci sensu lato ; COTS), a primary predator of reef-building corals in the Indo-Pacific Ocean, are major concerns in coral reefs management. While biological and ecological knowledge on COTS has been accumulated since the 1960s, little is known about their associated ba...
Article
Full-text available
The growth in human population along coastal areas is exposing marine environments to increasing anthropogenic light sources. Despite the potential effects of this modern phenomenon, very few studies have examined its implications for corals. Here, we present a long-term study of coral early life stages under light pollution conditions at night. Co...
Article
Full-text available
Mesophotic coral ecosystems (MCEs) and temperate mesophotic ecosystems (TMEs) occur at depths of roughly 30–150 m depth and are characterized by the presence of photosynthetic organisms despite reduced light availability. Exploration of these ecosystems dates back several decades, but our knowledge remained extremely limited until about a decade ag...
Article
Robotic advances and developments in sensors and acquisition systems facilitate the collection of survey data in remote and challenging scenarios. Semantic segmentation, which attempts to provide per‐pixel semantic labels, is an essential task when processing such data. Recent advances in deep learning approaches have boosted this task's performanc...
Article
Full-text available
Abstract Light quality is a crucial physical factor driving coral distribution along depth gradients. Currently, a 30 m depth limit, based on SCUBA regulations, separates shallow and deep mesophotic coral ecosystems (MCEs). This definition, however, fails to explicitly accommodate environmental variation. Here, we posit a novel definition for a reg...
Article
Full-text available
The profound mutualistic symbiosis between corals and their endosymbiotic counterparts, Symbiodiniaceae algae, has been threatened by the increase in seawater temperatures, leading to breakdown of the symbiotic relationship—coral bleaching. To characterize the heat-stress response of the holobiont, we generated vital apo-symbiotic Euphyllia paradiv...
Chapter
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 ab...
Chapter
The mesophotic coral ecosystems (MCEs) of Eilat, in the Northern Red Sea, are among the best-studied worldwide, as demonstrated by the high number of publications from the region. Nonetheless, Eilat’s MCEs remain relatively unexplored compared to its shallow reefs. Its MCEs host diverse benthic communities that are potentially linked ecologically t...
Chapter
Coral sclerochronology is a powerful tool for understanding environmental and ecological changes on coral reefs. Geochemical, isotopic, and skeletal density banding analyses along the major growth axis of massive coral skeletons from tropical shallow-water reefs have been used successfully to reconstruct decadal- to centennial-scale histories of cl...
Preprint
Full-text available
Light quality is a crucial physical factor driving coral distribution along depth gradients. Currently, a 30 m depth limit, based on SCUBA regulations, separates shallow and deep mesophotic coral ecosystems (MCEs). This definition, however, fails to explicitly accommodate environmental variation. Here, we posit a novel definition for a regional or...
Article
Full-text available
Mesophotic coral ecosystems (MCEs) have historically been considered more stable than shallow reefs and thus suggested to provide refuge to coral reef communities against natural and anthropogenic impacts. Despite this assumption, a growing body of literature has shown that deep reefs are not immune to natural disturbance. Here, based on our in sit...
Article
Full-text available
Euphyllia paradivisa is a strictly mesophotic coral in the reefs of Eilat that displays a striking color polymorphism, attributed to fluorescent proteins (FPs). FPs, which are used as visual markers in biomedical research, have been suggested to serve as photoprotectors or as facilitators of photosynthesis in corals due to their ability to transfor...
Article
Full-text available
Sex change has been widely studied in animals and plants. However, the conditions favoring sex change, its mode and timing remain poorly known. Here, for the first time in stony corals, we report on a protandrous (youngest individuals are males) repetitive sex change exhibited by the fungiid coral Herpolitha limax across large spatial scales (the c...
Article
Full-text available
Due to increasing frequency of disturbances to shallow reefs, it has been suggested that Mesophotic Coral Ecosystems (MCEs, 30–150 m depth) may serve as a refuge for corals and a source of larvae that can facilitate the recovery of shallow degraded reefs. As such, they have received increased attention in the past decade, yet remained understudied...
Data
Electronic supplementary material (ESM) 1; Dataset in Dryad: https://datadryad.org/review?doi=doi:10.5061/dryad.b6k0275
Article
Full-text available
The detrimental effects of invasive lionfishes (Pterois volitans and Pterois miles) on western Atlantic shallow reefs are well documented, including declines in coral cover and native fish populations, with disproportionate predation on critically endangered reef fish in some locations. Yet despite individuals reaching depths >100 m, the role of me...