Seagrass meadows globally as a coupled social–ecological system: implications for human wellbeing

Cullen-Unsworth, Leanne C., Nordlund, Lina Mtwana, Paddock, Jessica, Baker, Susan, McKenzie, Len, and Unsworth, Richard K.F. (2014) Seagrass meadows globally as a coupled social–ecological system: implications for human wellbeing. Marine Pollution Bulletin, 83 (2). pp. 387-397.

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Abstract

Seagrass ecosystems are diminishing worldwide and repeated studies confirm a lack of appreciation for the value of these systems. In order to highlight their value we provide the first discussion of seagrass meadows as a coupled social–ecological system on a global scale. We consider the impact of a declining resource on people, including those for whom seagrass meadows are utilised for income generation and a source of food security through fisheries support. Case studies from across the globe are used to demonstrate the intricate relationship between seagrass meadows and people that highlight the multi-functional role of seagrasses in human wellbeing. While each case underscores unique issues, these examples simultaneously reveal social–ecological coupling that transcends cultural and geographical boundaries. We conclude that understanding seagrass meadows as a coupled social–ecological system is crucial in carving pathways for social and ecological resilience in light of current patterns of local to global environmental change.

Item ID: 34873
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1879-3363
Keywords: ecosystem services, human wellbeing, seagrass meadows, coupled social–ecological system, ecological systems, social processes
Date Deposited: 26 Aug 2014 23:46
FoR Codes: 05 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES > 0502 Environmental Science and Management > 050209 Natural Resource Management @ 50%
06 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 0602 Ecology > 060205 Marine and Estuarine Ecology (incl Marine Ichthyology) @ 50%
SEO Codes: 96 ENVIRONMENT > 9605 Ecosystem Assessment and Management > 960501 Ecosystem Assessment and Management at Regional or Larger Scales @ 50%
96 ENVIRONMENT > 9608 Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity > 960808 Marine Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity @ 50%
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