SCI-055: Arid and Seasonally Arid Estuaries.
Worldwide, countless estuaries experience intermittent freshwater inflow. Estuaries characterized by arid periods (times when freshwater inflow is not dominant) include systems referred to as coastal lagoons, rias, esteros, or inverse/negative/hypersaline estuaries. While recognizing geomorphological, hydrodynamic, biogeochemical and ecological characteristics that are similar to the "classic" wet estuaries, the focus will be on distinguishing characteristics. Given that the majority of the earth's climates include a dry season in which the local hydrological balance is net evaporative, and noting increasing dewatering of estuaries by human activities, low-inflow estuaries are increasingly common. This session will inform a more cosmopolitan definition of estuaries.
SCI-023: Ecology of Estuarine Bivalves: Merging Science with Mariculture and Restoration.
Bivalve shellfish provide important ecological functions and services in estuaries, and recent interest in domestic aquaculture and shellfish restoration activities suggests the potential for an expanded role in the future. In this session we invite researchers, mariculture investigators, and shellfish restoration practitioners to present the results of current studies that focus on the ecological role of bivalves, the influence of bivalve restoration projects, and/or the effects of bivalve mariculture operations in estuarine systems. We ask the participants to provide regional context for management of shellfish populations and will collectively seek to find common ground between disciplines.
SCI-017: Jellyfish Blooms in Changing Coastal and Estuarine Ecosystems.
Jellyfish are dominant planktivores in many ecosystems and are well-known for forming periodic and massive blooms. Concerns that jellyfish populations are increasing worldwide have stimulated discussion about possible causes. Factors including climate change, overfishing, eutrophication, ocean acidification, hypoxia, and species introductions may favor jellyfish populations over other planktivores. This session seeks to understand the causes of jellyfish blooms in coastal oceans and estuaries and whether climatic or anthropogenic changes have led the proliferation of blooms. Contributors are encouraged to focus on comparisons among systems and the effects that these blooms have had on other components of the ecosystem including humans.
SCI-085: Larval Dispersal, Transport and Recruitment.
Convener: Alan Shanks (email@example.com)
Many coastal marine organisms (invertebrates and fishes) produce larvae that go through their development in the plankton. Their dispersal, shoreward transport, and eventual settlement and recruitment can all be affected by coastal currents. This session will investigate the relationship between the oceanography of the continental shelf and coastal waters and the dynamics of the larval life history stage.
SCI-042: Long-term Trends in Marine Birds in Relation to Environmental Change.
Marine birds are numerous and conspicuous organisms in the marine ecosystem. They breed on coastal areas or offshore islands, and spend most of their lives at sea, where they obtain most of their food by traveling some distance over its surface. There is compelling evidence suggesting that climate change may be affecting marine birds around the globe. In this session, we will examine long-term changes in marine birds and their association with anthropogenic and climate change.
SCI-015: Microbes: A Synthesis of Diversity, Gene Expression and Ecological Function.
Microbes are the engines of ecology in coastal and estuarine ecosystems, catalyzing essential biogeochemical reactions and serving as central members of microbial food webs. Recent studies provide compelling evidence that microbial communities change dramatically along environmental gradients, yet the driving mechanisms and ecological impacts of these changes remain poorly understood. These complex processes are further affected by far-reaching environmental perturbations such as ocean acidification and sea level rise that are creating and restructuring gradients as a result of global climate change. This session brings together researchers focusing on all aspects of microbial ecology, with an emphasis on relationships between environmental gradients and the structure and function of microbial communities. Topics will include metabolic activity, functionality, phylogenetic diversity and gene expression. We invite presentations focused on microbial responses to physical and/or chemical gradients in coastal and estuarine ecosystems (e.g., salinity, temperature, circulation) and how these responses may be influenced by longer-term climate induced variability.
SCI-061: Sandy Beaches and their Surf-zones: Marine Deserts or Coastal Oases. (Poster Only)
Although sandy beaches and their surf-zones comprise over 50% of the world's coastline, these environments are one of the least studied. This lack of attention has been due, in part, to sampling challenges and the past belief that these environments are biologically homogeneous and present low biodiversity. Recent studies have shown that these environments present a heterogeneous and diverse benthic and pelagic fauna that is important ecologically and economically. Presentations in this session should focus on: faunal descriptions, factors regulating community structure, benthic-pelagic coupling, the role of invasive species, anthropogenic impacts, the potential effects of climate change, and new sampling techniques.
SCI-030: See Sessions SCI-105, SCI-106, SCI-107 and SCI-108
The session SCI-030 Seagrass Ecosystem Health in a Global Perspective has been broken into four seagrass sessions: SCI-105 Seagrass Assessment: Think globally, monitor locally; SCI-106: Seagrass Ecological Health: Diagnosing the canary; SCI-107: Seagrass Management and Policy: Proactive sustainability; and SCI-108: Seagrass Physiological Stress: In sickness and in health. See below for descriptions of each session.
SCI-105: Seagrass Assessment: Think globally, monitor locally.
To protect critical seagrass habitat, methods must be developed that expeditiously identify signs of a stressed ecosystem so that effective resource protection can occur. We solicit presentations that address issues of effective monitoring at local and global scales. How are these methods applied at different scales? What are the strengths and weaknesses of monitoring programs and what do they cost?
SCI-106: Seagrass Ecological Health: Diagnosing the canary.
What ecological characteristics indicate healthy seagrass? Despite substantial research, there continues to be a paucity of knowledge on how seagrass responds physiologically and ecologically to changes to its environment. We solicit presentations on indicators of seagrass ecosystem health, how these indicators work and what they are able to tell us.
SCI-107: Seagrass Management and Policy: Proactive sustainability.
Conveners: William Dennison (firstname.lastname@example.org)
To manage and protect seagrass, science must be delivered more effectively and consistently to government and resource agencies. How do monitoring results get incorporated into management and policy? We solicit presentations on protection of the seagrass resource worldwide through effective management and policy.
SCI-108: Seagrass Physiological Stress: In sickness and in health.
What physiological characteristics indicate healthy seagrass? This session will focus on seagrass plant physiology and its connection to the health of the seagrass ecosystem. To provide an update on what we know about stress at the plant level, we solicit a broad range of input on multiple species globally.
SCI-072: Shallow Photic Systems in a Changing World: Geographical variability.
Structure and function of shallow photic systems vary by climate zone, tidal range, residence time, and anthropogenic influence. This session, one of two related sessions, focuses on geographical variability in function and response to anthropogenic stressors such as eutrophication, climate change and invasive species. Key questions include: How do structure and function vary with geography and climate? Can we expect different responses to stressors across climatic zones? How important are different shallow-water habitats to total ecosystem function? This interdisciplinary session will include biogeochemists, microbial and benthic ecologists, modelers and physical oceanographers.
SCI-002: Shallow Photic Systems in a Changing World: Vulnerability and resilience to disturbance.
Given the diverse array of habitat types and autotrophs in shallow photic systems, predicting the response to disturbance is difficult. This second of two related sessions focuses on vulnerability and resilience to disturbance. Key questions related to these systems include: What regional or general characteristics influence vulnerability and/or resilience? What commonalities exist in response to eutrophication, climate change, storm events, invasive species and other stressors? What non-linearities (including thresholds) exist in the trajectories of decline and recovery? This interdisciplinary session will include biogeochemists, microbial and benthic ecologists, modelers and physical oceanographers.
SCI-057: Synthesis of Estuarine Shallow Water Research, Modeling and Monitoring.
Shallow water regions of estuaries are at the interface between nutrient and sediment loads from the watershed and the estuary, and contain key living resources including submerged aquatic vegetation, benthic macroalgae and oysters. This session surveys the ongoing multiyear synthesis of shallow water research, modeling and monitoring that is expanding our understanding of shallow water processes.
SCI-050: The Role of Sediments in Seagrass Ecology, Management and Restoration.
Light is well recognized as the main parameter limiting seagrass and SAV distribution. In recent years, sediments have emerged as a secondary parameter that can also have major effects on seagrass and SAV distribution, but the mechanisms by which this occurs are not well understood. Sediments can affect seed dispersal via seabed roughness, germination via burial and sediment anoxia, seedling establishment via sediment erosion/deposition, and growth via nutrient availability and sulfide toxicity. Understanding the role sediments play in seagrass ecology and distribution is essential for effective seagrass restoration and management. Global changes are altering the flux of sediment into seagrass habitats via altered rainfall and sediment runoff patterns as well as hardening of shorelines. Successful seagrass restoration depends on the ability to identify restoration sites that possess the suite of characteristics optimum for survival and growth. This session will focus on mechanisms by which sediments affect all life stages of seagrasses and possible thresholds in sediment characteristics limiting to seagrasses.
SCI-028: Urbanized Tidal Rivers in a Changing World.
Large, urbanized tidal rivers are typical highly altered systems that are far from “natural.” This session examines the present conditions of these systems, the important ecological values and ecosystem services they provide, and the future of these values based on current trends of human population growth, global climate change, and natural resource management.
SCI-047: Zooplankton Dynamics in Estuarine and Coastal Systems.
Zooplankton are widely recognized as a vital link between the primary production of phytoplankton and fish recruitment in estuarine and coastal food webs. This session brings together a cross-section of zooplankton research conducted in estuarine and coastal systems. Contributions focused on biogeography, phenology, community composition, and food web dynamics are welcomed. Particular emphasis will be on zooplankton response to environmental forcing, in particular climate variability and eutrophication. Environmental forcing alters the spatial and temporal location of zooplankton and their predators and prey, so we welcome contributions on the consequences of species composition, distribution, and abundance changes. Papers may be focused on laboratory experiments or in situ observations, and may be from an individual zooplankter or zooplankton population perspectives.