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ECSA 56 - Coastal Systems in Transition

4 September 2016 to 7 September 2016
Bremen, Germany

Humans are drivers of and affected by global change. Human-induced global climate and regional environmental change dramatically modify the structures and functions of coastal systems driving them into a new system state. The altered resource potentials and ecosystem services then, in turn, significantly affect the livelihoods of the population. Distinguishing between natural and anthropogenic control factors and quantifying their impacts is a major challenge in the investigation of hydrodynamic, sedimentological, biogeochemical, ecological and socioeconomic processes in the coastal zone. Inter- and transdisciplinary efforts are required to gain a profound understanding of these "novel" systems, which provides the basis for a sustainable management. In this context three key questions arise:

1. How can we assess system states?
2. How can we distinguish between natural controls and anthropogenic impact?
3. How can we manage coastal systems sustainably?


1. Changing physical settings and processes
• Coastal morphodynamics affected by engineering structures and sea level rise
• From measuring to modelling hydro- and sediment dynamics
• Impact of extreme events on coastal systems
• Monitoring with coastal ocean observing systems

2. Biogeochemical processes and fluxes at the land – sea interface
• Role of aquaculture for the pollution of coastal waters
• From catchment to coast: effects of land use change and hydrological   regulations
• Carbon and nitrogen cycling in benthic and pelagic ecosystems
• Impact of ocean acidification on coastal systems
• Blue carbon: assessing the role and carbon storage potential of coastal wetlands

3. Shifting ecosystem structures and functions
• Biodiversity in coastal systems in low vs. high latitudes and "Old World vs. New World"
• Role of functional and response diversity to changes for ecosystem resilience
• Linkages between estuaries, mangroves, seagrass beds and coral reefs
• Stress responses and resilience: from molecular to ecosystem level

4. The human dimension: impact, management, governance
• Resource use patterns and management and implications for the environment
• Participatory management approaches in coastal zone management
• Marine and coastal spatial planning/Decision support
• Valuing marine ecosystem services
• Governing the commons: institutions for the sea/Marine Governance

Conference Chair: Dr Tim Jennerjahn


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