Coastal Wetlands: a synthesis

Wolanski, Eric, Brinson, Mark M., Cahoon, Donald R., and Perillo, Gerardo M.E. (2009) Coastal Wetlands: a synthesis. In: Perillo, Gerardo M.E., Wolanski, Eric, Cahoon, Donald R., and Brinson, Mark M., (eds.) Coastal Wetlands: an integrated ecosystem approach. Elsevier, Amsterdam, The Netherlands, pp. 1-62.

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Abstract

Our understanding of the functioning of coastal wetland ecosystems has grown rapidly over the past decade. We have gained insight into the roles of geomorphic processes, hydrologic dynamics, biotic feedbacks, and disturbance agents in creating and molding a variety of coastal wetland ecosystems across climatic gradients. The variety is expressed not so much in the more obvious differences in vegetation cover, but rather how physical processes both facilitate and constrain a diversity of plant and animal communities. At one level, coastal wetlands are the product of tidal forces and freshwater inputs at the margin of continents. At another level, biotic factors exert feedback controls through biofilms, bioturbation of sediments, the buffeting of currents and waves, organic enrichment of sediments, and the closing of nutrient cycles. Few ecosystems provide us with such clear examples of feedback controls. Still, much remains to be learned and understood. What we do understand about the structure and functioning of coastal wetlands should provide the theoretical underpinnings for effective management in protecting them for their many contributions to ecosystem goods and services. And what we do not understand should compel us to focus our attention and energies toward seeking optimal solutions to some of the most perplexing and urgent problems facing natural resource management.

Item ID: 10968
Item Type: Book Chapter (Research - B1)
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ISBN: 978-0-444-53103-2
Date Deposited: 10 May 2010 01:37
FoR Codes: 05 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES > 0501 Ecological Applications > 050102 Ecosystem Function @ 50%
05 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES > 0502 Environmental Science and Management > 050205 Environmental Management @ 50%
SEO Codes: 96 ENVIRONMENT > 9605 Ecosystem Assessment and Management > 960506 Ecosystem Assessment and Management of Fresh, Ground and Surface Water Environments @ 50%
96 ENVIRONMENT > 9609 Land and Water Management > 960903 Coastal and Estuarine Water Management @ 50%
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