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Event All at Sea? Synergies between past and present coastal processes and ecology

Coastal zones are dynamic systems. They are high-energy environments exhibiting rapid spatial and temporal change and are constantly evolving. The complex interaction of physical processes operating on both short (e.g. tides, fluvial input of nutrients and sediment) and longer-term timescales (e.g. climate & sea level change) form the driving force for many of the biological, chemical and sedimentological processes that occur in these systems. Coastal zones are unique in their steep gradation of conditions (e.g. salinity) which produce distinctive ecological communities.

In recent years human impact has seriously altered many of these coastal systems resulting in issues such as eutrophication, over-exploitation of resources and pollution catching media attention. Such major anthropogenic changes make it increasingly difficult to understand the already complex natural physical processes and ecological changes operating within the coastal zone. These complex issues must be dealt with before we can begin to use these archives as palaeo-records for understanding the past, for which they offer great potential to integrate the independent terrestrial and marine records of past climatic and environmental change. By understanding the past in these terms we can provide valuable context for investigating recent and future change.

This conference aims to address the following questions:

1. How do physical, biological and chemical processes in the coastal zone impact ecological communities and how do these communities change and evolve over time?

2. Can we successfully isolate natural environmental change from human impact in modern and recent coastal systems?

3. How can we most effectively apply complex contemporary ecological information to improve our interpretation of palaeo-records?

4. How can we integrate complex contemporary ecological data with time-averaged palaeo-data to improve policy and management of coastal ecological systems and future predictions under changing climate?

This conference will be composed of four sessions entitled:

1. The contemporary coastal zone: physical, biological and chemical impacts on ecology.

2. Assessment of the strength of climatic and environmental change inferences from palaeoecological investigations.

3. Formation of the palaeo-record in high-energy environments: chronology, taphonomy and diagenesis

4. Integrating contemporary and palaeo datasets from the coastal zone: synthesis and visions for the future.

Contact information Email:
Event type Conference
File link
Geographical coverage United Kingdom
Address Loughborough University
Organizer Dr D. B. Ryves, Professor N. J. Anderson & Dr P. Wood
Target audience International
Duration 2 days
Period [22/04/2010 - 23/04/2010]
Status Confirmed
Working language(s) ENGLISH