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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: Climate

SCI-202: Climate Impacts on Coastal Ecosystems: Observations and Predictions

Convener:Raymond Najjar (najjar@meteo.psu.edu)

SCI-004: Climate Change Adaptation: Research to Inform Managing for Resilience.

Conveners: Amanda Babson (babson.amanda@epa.gov), Jordan West (west.jordan@epa.gov) and John Wilson (wilson.john@epa.gov)

Under changing climatic conditions, many valued estuarine ecosystem services are at risk. For estuaries to survive, we must adjust our management strategies and fill the research gaps that inform those decisions. The science and management to minimize risk and maximize resilience are taking shape. Questions for this session include: How do we measure resilience? How do we apply general adaptation guidelines to place specific management? How do we incorporate information on impacts to evaluate adaptation options? Can we anticipate thresholds? How do we adjust monitoring efforts to evaluate adaptation strategies? Which actions do we prioritize in the face of uncertainty?

SCI-027: Dynamics of Mangrove-Saltmarsh Ecosystems in the Face of Climate Change.

Conveners: Ilka Feller (felleri@si.edu) and Samantha Chapman (samantha.chapman@villanova.edu)

This session will explore how changes in climate, sea level, and nutrients affect the structure and function of coastal wetlands along latitudinal and tidal-elevation gradients. Current research is documenting an ongoing climate-driven poleward migration of mangroves along coastlines in Australia, New Zealand and the USA in Florida and Texas where they are encroaching on areas historically dominated by salt marshes. At the same time, coastal wetlands are also migrating landward with sea level rise, and nutrient loads are increasing. This session will focus on how interactions among these stresses alter the biotic composition and biogeochemistry of mangroves and saltmarshes.

SCI-016: Effects of Increased Salinity on Estuarine and Coastal Ecosystems.

Conveners: Jennifer  Culbertson (culbertsonj@uncw.edu), Courtney Hackney (c.hackney@unf.edu), Martin Posey (poseym@uncw.edu) and Maurice Crawford (mcrawford@mail.ecsu.edu)

The recent increase in drought occurrences throughout the United States has provided an opportunity to examine the effects of increased salinity on coastal brackish and freshwater ecosystems. These occurrences are important on a local scale but also provide crucial baseline data for global scale questions related to sea level rise and its impact on coastal ecosystems. Effects on these brackish and freshwater systems include the examination of the benthic communities, sediment biogeochemistry, microbial ecology, plant communities, hydrology and animal population dynamics.

SCI-003: Interactive Effects of Climate Change and Other Stressors on Coastal Ecosystems.

Conveners: Carol Auer (carol.auer@noaa.gov) and Alan Lewitus (alan.lewitus@noaa.gov)

Global climate change poses additional stresses on coastal environments already impacted by anthropogenic activities. Rising sea levels are already eroding shorelines, drowning wetlands and threatening built environments. Additional sea level rise and more intense storm surge would further affect coastal ecosystems, with low-lying and subsiding areas most vulnerable. Climate change is predicted to increase spring runoff and coastal water temperatures, which could increase the frequency and magnitude of nutrient-driven hypoxic and harmful algal bloom events. Rising water temperatures and ocean acidification (due to increasing atmospheric carbon dioxide) could threaten coral reef ecosystems, resulting in major die-offs and limited recovery. Also, the prevalence and impacts of invasive species are predicted to increase under climate change scenarios. Forecasting how coastal ecosystems and communities adapt to these interconnected issues will allow their integration into existing planning and decision-making frameworks. This session will present research on the interactive effects of climate change with other coastal ecosystem stressors, with an emphasis on the development of forecasting models for management application.

© 2009 Coastal & Estuarine Research Federation
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