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The resilience of coastal ecosystems: A functional trait‐based perspective / Davide De Battisti
Journal of Ecology
Swansea University Author: Davide De Battisti
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1. Coastal ecosystems provide important services to human population, such asnurseries for fish, carbon storage and coastal protection. However, the pressurefaced by these systems due to global changes will strongly challenge the capacityof coastal ecosystems to persist. Therefore, it is crucial to...
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1. Coastal ecosystems provide important services to human population, such asnurseries for fish, carbon storage and coastal protection. However, the pressurefaced by these systems due to global changes will strongly challenge the capacityof coastal ecosystems to persist. Therefore, it is crucial to understand the resilienceof coastal ecosystems.2. Here, I propose that combining a resilience framework based on ecosystemproperties with the functional trait response–effectframework would allow researchersand managers to quantify the resilience of coastal ecosystems. I placeemphasis on salt marsh and sand dunes because of the higher availability of studiesfor these systems.3. First, I introduce the resilience framework based on ecosystem properties and,second, I show how adopting a functional trait perspective in this frameworkwould allow researchers to link how environmental changes influence ecosystemproperties. In turn, measuring the changes in ecosystem properties would allowresearchers to measure the resilience of the system.4. Synthesis. I reviewed several types of disturbances (e.g. storms and sea-levelrise)that are threatening the persistence of coastal ecosystems, with an emphasis onsalt marshes and sand dunes. Applying this resilience framework reveals, for instance,that the same suite of traits (e.g. plant density and stiffness) increase marshresistance to multiple threats (e.g. storms and sea-levelrise); yet, these traits varyalong environmental gradients (e.g. along estuaries) and, therefore, the resilienceof marshes vary accordingly. Overall, this framework would allow researchers togather crucial insights on the resilience of coastal ecosystems and to set referencemarks for measuring their resilience under environmental changes.
climate change; Coastal ecosystems; environmental gradients; functional traits; plant economic spectrum; recovery; resistance; sea level rise
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