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Coastal and Estuarine Research Federation 20th Biennial ConferenceEstuaries and Coasts in a Changing World1-5 November 2009, Portland, Oregon, USA

Topic: Change

SCI-201: Watershed and Climate Change Effects on Coastal Ecosystems

Convener: William Benson (benson.william@epa.gov)

SCI-001: Coastal and Estuarine Tipping Points.

Conveners: Susan Adamowicz (susan_adamowicz@fws.gov) and David Burdick (dburdick@cisunix.unh.edu)

This session will focus on the point at which natural coastal ecosystems are stressed to a degree from which they cannot recover. We all have witnessed such situations, and the session is intended to provide an opportunity to explore and discuss both the specific and larger issues of Tipping Points. Oral presentations will explore:  1) Examples of coastal/estuarine tipping points  2) Potential causes  3) Human responses and outcomes.

SCI-064: Ecological Baselines: How has Oregon's Ocean Changed Over Time?

Convener: John Meyer (john.meyer@science.oregonstate.edu)

As Oregon considers effective management strategies under current and potential future uses of the Territorial Sea (e.g., fishing, tourism, marine reserves, wave energy development, offshore aquaculture), it is important to understand if and how Oregon's nearshore ocean ecosystems have changed over time. Documenting specific changes will help policy makers and the public better appreciate Oregon's current ocean and coastal conditions and likely future status, helping provide critical background for appropriate management actions. This session will explore which components of Oregon's ocean have changed over time, the associated drivers of change, and the implication these changes have on the long-term sustainability of Oregon's marine ecosystems.

SCI-054: Effects of Variation in Physicochemical Parameters on Biological Productivity.

Conveners: Megan La Peyre (mlapey@lsu.edu) and Shannon Martin (shmartin@agcenter.lsu.edu)

In large river environments, flow regimes are characterized by variation in their magnitude, frequency, timing, predictability, duration and rate of change of conditions. The re-engineering of many of the world's large rivers has altered cycles of flow such that few exhibit their historic range of flow variability, marked especially by changed frequencies and magnitudes of extreme events. In downstream estuaries of large rivers, these altered flow regimes have profound impacts on means and variation in primary physicochemical attributes which ultimately may also affect key ecosystem processes, such as biological productivity. This session will examine the effects of altered physicochemical attributes (i.e., salinity, temperature, nutrients) on nekton and plant growth and reproduction, examining the impacts of changes in frequencies, magnitudes, means and ranges of key attributes.

SCI-075: Human Impacts on Biogeochemical Processes along the Land-to-Sea Continuum.

Conveners: Fredrick Prahl (fprahl@coas.oregonstate.edu), Tawnya Peterson (petersont@stccmop.org) and Joe Needoba (needobaj@stccmop.org)

We seek presentations that provide concise reports on specific biogeochemical processes occurring along the land-to-sea continuum. The main objective is to identify key challenges currently limiting the ability to quantify the impact of human change on targeted biogeochemical processes and ultimately, when viewed in broad perspective, to help refine existing "best management practices" for watersheds.

SCI-095: Natural and Anthropogenic Changes in Estuaries: An Historical Perspective.

Conveners: Stefan Talke (stalke@u.washington.edu), David Jay (djay@cecs.pdx.edu), Christopher Sommerfield (cs@udel.edu) and Robert Chant (chant@marine.rutgers.edu)

Snapshots of an estuary taken a century apart would often reveal large human and climate-induced changes in estuarine structure and function. These changes may occur rapidly or occur so slowly that they are overlooked. We invite abstracts and propose a dialog on: 1) estuarine impacts of bathymetric and habitat alterations, (2) climate and hydrological change, (3) change from other natural or anthropogenic processes (e.g. channel maintenance), and (4) methods to evaluate these changes. Relevant impacts include changes to tides, waves, circulation, mixing, salinity distribution, sediment transport, erosion, morphology, habitat distribution, and other aspects of the structure and function of estuaries.

SCI-036: Phytoplankton Time Series: Evaluating Environmental Changes and Anthropogenic Impacts.

Conveners: Paul Harrison (harrison@ust.hk), James Cloern (jecloern@erf.org), Tom Malone (malone@hpl.umces.edu) and Kedong Yin (k.yin@griffith.edu.au)

Coastal ecosystems are subject to the effects of both climate change (e.g., ocean warming and acidification) and human activities (e.g., land-based inputs of nutrients and fishing). Evidence is growing that changing patterns in phytoplankton species composition and biomass and in species-specific phenologies on seasonal, interannual and decadal time scales can be sensitive indicators of one or both of these drivers of change. This session aims to compare and contrast long term (>10 years) phytoplankton time series and associated environmental parameters to determine if ecosystems from different parts of the world share common trends and to identify phytoplankton indicators of global climate changes and the impacts of human activities.

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