Estimating ecotoxicological effects of chemicals on tropical reef-building corals; a systematic review protocol
Tropical coral reefs cover only ca. 0.1% of the Earth’s surface but host an outstanding biodiversity and provide important ecosystem services to millions of people living nearby. They are currently threatened by global (e.g., climate change) and local (e.g., chemical pollution) stressors that interact in different ways. While global stressors cannot be mitigated by local actions alone, local stressors can be reduced through ecosystem management. A systematic map on the impacts of chemicals arising from anthropogenic activities on tropical reef-building corals, which are the main engineer species of reef ecosystems, was published in 2021. This systematic map gathered an abundant literature (908 articles corresponding to 7937 studies), and identified four well-represented subtopics, amenable to relevant full syntheses. Here, we focused on one of the four subtopics: we aimed to systematically review the evidence on the ecotoxicological effects of chemicals on tropical reef-building corals.
The evidence will be identified from the recent systematic map on the impacts of chemicals arising from anthropogenic activities on tropical reef-building corals. Especially, all studies in the map database corresponding to the knowledge cluster “evidence on the ecotoxicological effects of chemicals on corals” will be selected. To identify the evidence produced since then, a search update will be performed using a subset of the search string used for the systematic map, and titles, abstracts and full-texts will be screened according to the criteria defining the selected cluster of the map. In addition, as the eligibility criteria for the systematic review are narrower than those used to define the cluster in the systematic map, additional screening will be carried out. The included studies will then be critically appraised and a low, medium, or high risk of bias will be assigned to each study. Data will be extracted from studies and synthesised according to a strategy depending on the type of exposure and outcome. Synthesis will be mainly quantitative but also narrative, aiming to identify toxicity thresholds of chemicals for corals.
Contamination, Hazard assessment, Hermatypic, Pollution, Scleractinian, Toxicity endpoints