Identifying relationships between ecosystem attributes (diversity, functioning and services) and human pressures in salt marshes

In Progress: January 2014 -

Salt marsh ecosystems have been recognized as highly productive, diverse systems with multiple benefits to humans, including coastal defence via wave attenuation, nutrient cycling, carbon sequestration, habitat provisioning and biodiversity. However, salt marsh ecosystems are facing an increasing number of pressures such as cultural eutrophication, erosion and coastal development, which have been shown to have deleterious effects on ecosystem functioning leading to global loss of this important ecosystem. Despite their value, the global extent of salt marshes is decreasing due to human pressures, such as land reclamation, climate change and eutrophication, one of the primary drivers of change in salt marsh systems. In my thesis, I investigate the ecosystem status and functioning of salt marshes, particularly looking at factors affecting erosion control properties that provide coastal protection ecosystem services.Salt marsh ecosystems have been recognized as highly productive, diverse systems with multiple benefits to humans, including coastal defence via wave attenuation, nutrient cycling, carbon sequestration, habitat provisioning and biodiversity. However, salt marsh ecosystems are facing an increasing number of pressures such as cultural eutrophication, erosion and coastal development, which have been shown to have deleterious effects on ecosystem functioning leading to global loss of this important ecosystem. Despite their value, the global extent of salt marshes is decreasing due to human pressures, such as land reclamation, climate change and eutrophication, one of the primary drivers of change in salt marsh systems. I investigate the ecosystem status and functioning of salt marshes, particularly looking at factors affecting erosion control properties that provide coastal protection ecosystem services.

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