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Coastal ecosystem under anthropogenic pressure: impact on ecosystem structure and services
Convener: Nathalie Gypens  | Co-Convener: Marilaure Grégoire 
 / Fri, 12 Apr, 10:30–12:00  / Room G5
 / Attendance Fri, 12 Apr, 17:30–19:00  / Green Posters

Coastal and shelf areas are vulnerable ecosystems under the dual influence of human activities (e.g. eutrophication, pollution, overfishing) and climate change that can modify ecosystem structure and impact goods and services provided by these ecosystems but also global biogeochemical cycles. The consequences for the coastal areas are diverse: decrease of water quality with notably the occurrence of harmful (toxic or not) algal bloom (HAB) with the undesirable effect of overgrowth and shading of seaweeds and seagrasses, increased occurrence of (benthic) hypoxic events which may be catastrophic for the benthic biota and may change the sediment biogeochemistry, water acidification, direct toxic effects on fish and shellfish and affect the climate throughout the exchange with the atmosphere of greenhouse gases

Most regions are affected by multiple drivers which complexifies the translation of human activities into impacts on ecosystem functioning and the definition of management strategies for preserving the Good Environmental Status (GES) of the area. The highly dynamic nature of the coastal zone, the interplay between terrestrial and marine processes, the interactions between the pelagic and benthic part add to the complexity requiring taking account for the whole river-ocean continuum but also the interaction between the planktonic and the benthic ecosystems.

The session is open to observational, modelling and theoretical based studies that investigate the impacts of drivers (e.g. eutrophication, pollution, climate change) on the biogeochemistry, ecosystem functioning and food web structure of coastal and shelf areas. We encourage contributions dealing with the development of tools that are able for instance to describe change in ecosystem structure (plankton diversity and adaptation), to explore the link between pressures and ecological changes, to connect the information provided by marine models to the Good Environmental Status of the area, to summarize the information provided by multivariate data sets and complex models into environmentally understandable quantities (e.g. indicators). Contributions dealing with the use of microorganisms as environmental proxies are also encouraged. This session is interdisciplinary and aims to gather natural scientists (e.g. experimentalists, modellers, statisticians) and socio-economists in order to promote the dialogue.