Hence, coastal ecosystems are often highly productive and provide essential ecosystem functions, including nutrient and carbon cycling and burial, as well as multiple ecosystem goods and services of value to humans. Biodiversity in these coastal environments, however, continues to be compromised by both local disturbances and broad-scale stressors such as eutrophication, habitat destruction, and species invasions, as well as by emerging stressors. The physical and biological complexity of coastal seascapes challenges our ability to generalize and predict future change. This session is dedicated to new insights that aim to resolve the complexity of coastal processes affecting our coastal ecosystems. This session will address the following questions:

  • New insights into physical drivers (waves, up- and downwelling, currents, sea-level changes, ice), projections for the future and their influence on coastal ecosystems.
  • The role of episodic and/or extreme events as drivers of change in coastal ecosystems.
  • Spatial and temporal heterogeneity of physical, biogeochemical, and contaminant fluxes and transformations across habitats in the coastal zone (including river inputs, groundwater discharges, non-point exchanges at the land-sea interface, resuspension, and sediment-water-atmospheric exchange), and habitat mosaics.
  • The distribution of biodiversity and associated ecosystem functions across coastal seascapes, benthic-pelagic coupling, coastal food-webs and links to environmental drivers including interactive and cumulative effects of stressors.
  • Geology of beaches and near-shore seafloor habitats, mapping studies and links to coastal processes, resilience and management (to be expanded).
  • Governance and socio-economic aspects including marine spatial planning; supporting ecosystem goods and services; handling conflicts of interest; etc.

Read the abstracts for the talks in Session 2 here