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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: Ecosystems

SCI-035: Ecosystem Engineers in the Coastal and Estuarine Environment.

Conveners: Lora Harris (harris@cbl.umces.edu) and Evamaria Koch (koch@hpl.umces.edu)

Ecosystem engineers may be defined as those organisms that modify their chemical or physical environment in ways that create feedbacks affecting system stability or resiliency. Examples range from submerged or emergent vegetation that capture particles and influence water clarity or sediment accretion, to bivalves that similarly influence hydrodynamic processes by creating large reefs, to burrowing organisms that modify benthic-pelagic coupling of nutrient fluxes. This session will explore the ecosystem engineer concept in the coastal or estuarine environment with case studies, conceptual or theoretical frameworks, and applications in restoration and/or management contexts.

SCI-068: The Linkage between Biodiversity and Ecosystem Functions: Regional Perspectives.

Conveners: Masahiro Nakaoka (nakaoka@fsc.hokudai.ac.jp) and Masakazu Hori (mhori@affrc.go.jp)

Recent ecological experiments conducted at small spatial scales demonstrated that biodiversity measured at various biotic levels (i.e., genetic, species and functional diversity) is positively related to functions of ecosystems. However, little is known about whether the relationship holds at broader spatial scales, such as in comparisons at regional scales. The main objective of this session is to investigate possible linkages among environmental factors, biodiversity and ecosystem functions in coastal habitats, especially focusing on studies conducted in different habitats in various part of the world. We will discuss how we can utilize the observed BEF relationships towards adaptive management of coastal ecosystems.

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