Coastal wetlands: their processes, interactions and future
Co-organized as BG6.12/HS11.48/OS2.19
Convener: Jonathan Dale | Co-conveners: Helen Brooks, James Pollard, Ruth Reef, Mark Schuerch
| Thu, 11 Apr, 16:15–18:00
Room G2
| Attendance Fri, 12 Apr, 08:30–10:15
Hall X2

Coastal wetland ecosystems, such as salt marshes, mangroves, seagrasses and tidal flats, are under increasing pressure and threat from natural and anthropogenic processes such as land claim, altered sediment regimes, increased storm magnitude and frequency, and relative sea level rise. Consequently, these ecosystems are declining globally, with evidence of degradation and isolation across the full variety of coastal wetland habitats. These environments provide numerous ecosystem services, including flood risk mediation, biodiversity provision and climate change mitigation through carbon storage. There is, therefore, a need to understand current processes and interactions in these environments, and how these may change in the future due to both natural and anthropogenic influences. This is particularly the case in ‘managed’ and restored wetlands, where tidal and/or riverine regimes are re-introduced and coastal wetlands allowed to migrate inland in response to sea level rise for the provision of the desired ecosystem services to be preserved and/or restored.
This session will bring together studies of coastal wetland ecosystems within open coast, estuarine, lagoon and delta environments, to enhance the understanding of the services provided, interactions between hydrodynamic conditions, sediment and ecology, and best future management practices. Studies of all processes occurring within coastal wetlands are invited. This includes, but is not exclusive to, sediment dynamics, hydrology, hydrodynamics, morphological characterisation, geotechnical analysis, ecological change and evolution, impact of climate change, sea level rise, anthropogenic and management implications. Multidisciplinary approaches and studies of wetland restoration and habitat loss compensation schemes are particularly encouraged, along with global to regional assessments of wetland migratory potential; studies on wetland migration dynamics and the characteristics and functions of restored wetlands; and governance and policy contexts for wetland migration. This session aims to enhance our understanding of wetland management, processes, interactions and the wetlands’ ability to migrate inland, allowing for improvement of our ability to quantify the responses of coastal wetlands and their ecosystem services to future sea level rise and anthropogenic activity.