About this Research Topic
In this Research Topic we want to set the stage for significant advances in all aspects of transitional ecosystems ecology. Transitional ecosystems (estuaries, lagoons, coastal lakes) are complex human–environmental systems where environmental, economic and social issues call for new integrated management perspectives. Anthropogenic impacts and the need for systematic conservation planning have further motivated the analysis of patterns and processes at regional scales.
Transitional ecosystems offer a wide range of societal benefits, some are commercial and can be readily valued in monetary terms, for example shellfish and finfish harvested for human consumption, whilst others are non-commercial, for example intrinsic biological diversity and filtration functions. Additionally, the ecosystem services approach ensures that all the values of the ecosystem are captured, and these can be valued using a variety of means, including monetary, non-monetary and biological.
The complexity of transitional ecosystems is further increased by the various economic activities which take place in them nowadays, acting as drivers of change with different degrees of (un)sustainability. The most important among them are tourism, fishing, aquaculture, industrial activities, maritime shipping and port, development of urban areas and related activities, and agriculture. The combination of past interventions, physical forcing functions and present activities is responsible for several issues which threaten transitional ecosystems.
The Research Topic will include manuscripts on the following themes:
1. Transitional ecosystems evolution, Functioning & Climatic changes
- Main drivers of coastal lagoon evolution
- Alternative methods to improve coastal lagoons functioning
- Ecological and biogeochemical modelling of coastal lagoons functioning and impacts.
- Long term coastal observations of global change (including climate change and climatic variability)
- Historical reconstruction of global change impacts (including land use change, pollution, sea-level rise)
2. Biodiversity & Water quality
- Biodiversity patterns across gradients
- Biological indicators and water quality assessment
- WFD implementation in transitional waters
- Effects of human impacts to ecosystem resilience
3. Fisheries and Aquaculture
- Impacts of fisheries and aquaculture on coastal lagoons
- Alternative strategies and methodologies for sustainable fisheries and aquaculture activities
- Key ecosystem processes supporting biological resources
4. Goods and services, Conservation, Management & Sustainable use
- Ecosystem services and coastal management
- Social, cultural and historical values of coastal lagoons
- Interconnections between lagoons and Marine Protected Areas
- Energy production in coastal environments
- Blue growth and blue infrastructures
- Blue carbon stocks and its potential economic impact in aquatic riverine and underwater ecosystems (e.g. seagrasses)
Keywords: Biodiversity, Ecosystem Services, Water Quality, Transitional Waters, Climate Change
Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.