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Conservation of Scottish estuaries

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  05 December 2011


Dave Raffaelli
Affiliation:
Culterty Field Station, University of Aberdeen, Newburgh, Ellon, Aberdeenshire AB4 0AA, Scotland, U.K.

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Synopsis

This paper reviews the physical and biological characteristics of Scottish estuaries. A case is made for the conservation of a range of habitats, including sand dunes, saltmarshes and intertidal flats, although it is recognised that the large-scale protection of estuarine intertidal areas may depend more on their perceived importance as feeding areas for shorebirds and fish, rather than their very real intrinsic value. Contamination by metals and hydrocarbons, organic enrichment by sewage, agricultural run-off, land-claim and sea-level rise are identified as major threats posed to Scottish estuaries. Land-claim and sea level rise both lead to large-scale and permanent loss of intertidal area and they are considered the most pressing conservation problems.


Type
Research Article
Copyright
Copyright © Royal Society of Edinburgh 1992

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