About this Research Topic
Recent intensification of existing anthropogenic drivers and the emergence of new drivers suggest that impacts derived from environmental changes upon mangroves, coral reefs, seagrass beds and other less conspicuous, but nevertheless important, ecosystems along tropical coasts are still far from being understood. Mangroves, in particular, are of utmost importance to fully understand these impacts in the scenario of the Anthropocene, due to their pantropical distribution, their present advance towards higher latitudes as well as their mediating role in the continent-ocean materials transfer, which strongly influences adjacent coastal and shelf ecosystems.
Most literature deals with the response of the biological component of these ecosystems to regional or global changes. In our view, however, there is still a large gap regarding their geochemical and biogeochemical responses. Also, approaches taking into consideration the continuum between watersheds and the ocean and the processes involved in their continuity are particularly underdeveloped for tropical coastlines. This scenario calls for a joint effort to spread multidisciplinary research englobing the mosaic of natural ecosystems spreading the tropical belt worldwide.
This Research Topic in Frontiers in Earth Science aims to provide a comprehensive view of major alteration on the fluxes, transformation and the cycle of substances, with particular emphasis on the continent-ocean interface, but linking watershed processes and the oceanic receptor, which underlies the onset of environmental changes leading to eutrophication, minimum oxygen zones, pollution and biological crises.
Particular reference should be given to studies regarding the fate of carbon, nutrients and persistent pollutants; involving their biogeochemical cycles in estuaries, coastal waters and the continental shelf; the anthropogenic influence on the interaction between drainage basins and the continent-ocean interface and the impacts on the continental shelf; implications of global change to ecosystems functioning, conservation and sustainable development; the vulnerability of the continent-ocean interface and threats to society through food security and human occupation of the coastal zone.
Keywords: Anthropocene, Eutrophication, Pollution, Geochemistry, Regional and Global Changes