Tracking the rapid loss of tidal wetlands in the Yellow Sea

Murray, Nicholas, Clemens, Robert S, Phinn, Stuart R, Possingham, Hugh P, and Fuller, Richard A (2014) Tracking the rapid loss of tidal wetlands in the Yellow Sea. Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment, 12. pp. 267-272.

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Abstract

In the Yellow Sea region of East Asia, tidal wetlands are the frontline ecosystem protecting a coastal population of more than 60 million people from storms and sea-level rise. However, unprecedented coastal development has led to growing concern about the status of these ecosystems. We developed a remote-sensing method to assess change over ~4000 km of the Yellow Sea coastline and discovered extensive losses of the region’s principal coastal ecosystem – tidal flats – associated with urban, industrial, and agricultural land reclamations. Our analysis revealed that 28% of tidal flats existing in the 1980s had disappeared by the late 2000s (1.2% annually). Moreover, reference to historical maps suggests that up to 65% of tidal flats were lost over the past five decades. With the region forecast to be a global hotspot of urban expansion, development of the Yellow Sea coastline should pursue a course that minimizes the loss of remaining coastal ecosystems.

Item ID: 60169
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1540-9309
Copyright Information: © The Ecological Society of America
Funders: Australian Research Council (ARC), Queensland Department of Environment and Resource Management, Commonwealth Department of Environment and Heritage, Queensland Wader Study Group, Port of Brisbane Corporation
Projects and Grants: ARC Linkage grant LP100200418
Date Deposited: 05 Sep 2019 04:12
FoR Codes: 05 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES > 0502 Environmental Science and Management > 050202 Conservation and Biodiversity @ 100%
SEO Codes: 96 ENVIRONMENT > 9605 Ecosystem Assessment and Management > 960501 Ecosystem Assessment and Management at Regional or Larger Scales @ 100%
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