Stream 1: Environment
Joseph M. Smoak1, Christian J. Sanders2 and Pere Masque3
- 1University of South Florida, Environmental Science, USA
- 2National Marine Science Centre, School of Environment, Science and Engineering, Southern Cross University, Australia
- 3School of Science, Centre for Marine Ecosystems Research, Edith Cowan University, Australia
Over the past several millennia coastal vegetated ecosystems (i.e., seagrass meadows, mangrove forests, salt marshes) have expanded under relatively stable climate and sea-level conditions. These systems are highly valued for the ecosystem services they provide including habitat, storm protection and carbon sequestration. However, they are particularly vulnerable to climate change and increasing local anthropogenic pressures along coastal regions and within drainage basins. While many of these changes are gradual, they can be punctuated by extreme events (i.e., low frequency, high impact), such as cyclones, droughts or heat wave events, that can have profound and lasting influence on these systems. Coastal wetlands may also provide an opportunity to mitigate climate change, if migration to higher latitudes and habitat switching (i.e., marsh to mangrove) increases carbon burial. Climate change, anthropogenic pressures and extreme events all must be considered in any management activity which seeks to enhance the resilience of coastal ecosystems. This session invites contributions that focus on predicting future vulnerability of coastal wetlands by examining changes in primary productivity, soil surface elevation, soil accretion, biogeochemistry, migration and habitat switching, and water and salinity levels as well as modeling approaches.