Skip to main content Accessibility help
Hostname: page-component-594f858ff7-jtv8x Total loading time: 0 Render date: 2023-06-06T03:58:13.853Z Has data issue: false Feature Flags: { "corePageComponentGetUserInfoFromSharedSession": false, "coreDisableEcommerce": false, "corePageComponentUseShareaholicInsteadOfAddThis": true, "coreDisableSocialShare": false, "useRatesEcommerce": true } hasContentIssue false

13 - A research agenda for coastal biodiversity conservation

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  05 June 2014

Julie L. Lockwood
Rutgers University, New Jersey
Brooke Maslo
Rutgers University, New Jersey
Brooke Maslo
Rutgers University, New Jersey
Julie L. Lockwood
Rutgers University, New Jersey
Get access



Coastal ecosystems make up 4% of the Earth’s land area and 11% of its oceans, but they house > 30% of the global human population (UNEP, 2006; Barbier, 2012). The settlement of coastal ecosystems is expected to increase exponentially over the next 100 years, with many people moving to “mega-cities” that are located near the coast (UNEP, 2006). Given these numbers, it should not be surprising that coastal habitats are disappearing at a very rapid rate (Barbier, 2012). This rate of loss will surely increase as the remaining coastal habitats are “squeezed” between rising sea levels on one side and development on the other (Jackson & McIlvenny, 2011; see also Chapters 3, 7, and 10). We can ill afford to lose these habitats given the substantial services they provide society (Barbier et al., 2011), and the growing recognition of this dilemma has directed much-needed attention on finding ways to accommodate people on coastlines without losing key services (Chan et al., 2006; Halpern et al., 2012). However, the role of biodiversity in this conservation dilemma has thus far been murky. We assembled this volume to begin to fill this gap in knowledge. The chapters within have detailed the species associated with key coastal habitats, their links to ecosystem services, and the influence of various stressors on their persistence. There are several cognizant themes that emerge from reading these chapters, some of which we reviewed in Chapter 1 (e.g. the need to conserve the connections between habitats). Here we broaden the discussion and highlight three research agendas that can serve as mileposts going forward.

Coastal Conservation , pp. 371 - 379
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2014

Access options

Get access to the full version of this content by using one of the access options below. (Log in options will check for institutional or personal access. Content may require purchase if you do not have access.)


Able, K. W., Manderson, J. P. & Studholme, A. L. (1998). The distribution of shallow water juvenile fishes in an urban estuary: The effects of manmade structures in the lower Hudson River. Estuaries, 21, 731–744.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Airoldi, L., Abbiati, M.Beck, M. W., et al. (2005). An ecological perspective on the deployment and design of low-crested and other hard coastal defence structures. Coastal Engineering, 52, 1073–1087.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Baird, R. C. (2005). On sustainability, estuaries, and ecosystem restoration: The art of the practical. Restoration Ecology, 13, 154–158.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Barbier, E. B. (2012). Progress and challenges in valuing coastal and marine ecosystem services. Review of Environmental Economics and Policy, 6, 1–19.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Barbier, E. B., Koch, E. W., Silliman, B. R., et al. (2008). Coastal ecosystem-based management with non-linear ecological functions and values. Science, 319, 321–323.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Barbier, E. B., Hacker, S. D., Kennedy, C., et al. (2011). The value of estuarine and coastal ecosystem services. Ecological Monographs, 81, 169–193.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Barnes, R. S. K. (2013). Distribution patterns of macrobenthic biodiversity in the intertidal seagrass beds of an estuarine system, and their conservation significance. Biodiversity and Conservation, 22, 357–372.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Bulleri, F. (2006). Is it time for urban ecology to include the marine realm?Trends in Ecology and Evolution, 21, 658–659.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Bulleri, F. & Chapman, M. G. (2010). The introduction of coastal infrastructure as a driver of change in marine environments. Journal of Applied Ecology, 47, 26–35.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Bulling, M. T., Solan, M., Dyson, K. E., et al. (2008). Species effects on ecosystem processes are modified by fauna responses to habitat composition. Oecologia, 158, 511–520.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Bulling, M. T., Hicks, N., Murray, L., et al. (2011). Marine biodiversity–ecosystem functions under uncertain environmental futures. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society, 365, 2107–2116.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Burke, L., Kura, Y., Kasem, K. et al. (2001). Coastal Ecosystems. Washington, DC: World Resources Institute.Google Scholar
Cardinale, B. J., Srivastava, D. S., Duffy, J. E., et al. (2006). Effects of biodiversity on the functioning of trophic groups and ecosystems. Nature, 443, 989–992.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Carey, M. P. & Wahl, D. H. (2011). Fish diversity as a determinant of ecosystem properties across multiple trophic levels. Oikos, 120, 84–94.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Chan, K. M. A., Shaw, M. R., Cameron, D. R., et al. (2006). Conservation planning for ecosystem services. PLoS Biology, 4, 2138–2152.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Chapman, M. G. & Blockley, D. J. (2009). Engineering novel habitats on urban infrastructure to increase intertidal biodiversity. Oecologia, 161, 625–635.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Condan, F. J., Aguzzi, F., Sarda, M., et al. (2012). Seasonal rhythm in a Mediterranean coastal fish community as monitored by a cabled observatory. Marine Biology, 159, 2809–2817.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Davies, T. W., Jenkins, S. R., Kingham, R., et al. (2011). Dominance, biomass and extinction resistance determines the consequences of biodiversity loss for multiple coastal ecosystem processes. PLoS ONE, 6, 1–11.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Dutertre, M., Hamon, D., Chevalier, C. & Ehrhold, A. (2013). The use of the relationship between environmental factors and benthic macrofaunal distribution in the establishment of a baseline for coastal management. ICES Journal of Marine Science, 70, 294–308.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Emmerson, M. C., Solan, M., Emes, C., Paterson, D. M. & Rafaelli, D. (2001). Consistent patterns and the idiosyncratic effects of biodiversity in marine ecosystems. Nature, 411, 73–77.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
French, P. W. (2001). Coastal Defences: Processes, Problems, and Solutions. London: Routledge.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Granek, E. F., Polasky, S., Kappel, C. V., et al. (2009). Ecosystem services as a common language for coastal ecosystem-based management. Conservation Biology, 24, 207–216.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Godbold, J. A., Bulling, M. T. & Solan, M. (2011). Habitat structure mediates biodiversity effects on ecosystem properties. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London, Series B, Biological Sciences, 278, 2510–2518.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Hale, S. S., Cote, Jr., M. P., Tedesco, M. A. & Searfoss, R. (2013). Management relevance of benthic biogeography at multiple scales in coastal waters of the northeast U.S.Environmental Management, 51, 862–873.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Halpern, B. S., Diamond, J., Gaines, S., et al. (2012). Near-term priorities for the science, policy and practice of coastal and marine spatial planning (CMSP). Marine Policy, 36, 198–205.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Haward, M. J., Davidson, M., Lockwood, M., et al. (2013). Climate change, scenarios and marine biodiversity conservation. Marine Policy, 38, 438–446.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Herkul, K., Kotta, J., Kutser, T. & Vahtmae, E. (2013). Relating remotely sensed optical variability to marine benthic biodiversity. PLoS ONE, 8, 1–8.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Hillebrand, H. & Mattheison, B. (2009). Biodiversity in a complex world: Consolidation and progress in functional biodiversity research. Ecology Letters, 12, 1405–1419.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Jackson, A. C. & McIlvenny, J. (2011). Coastal squeeze on rocky shores in northern Scotland and some possible ecological impacts. Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology, 400, 314–321.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Koch, E. W., Barbier, E. B., Silliman, B. R., et al. (2009). Non-linearity in ecosystem services: Temporal and spatial variability in coastal protection. Frontiers in Ecology and Environment, 7, 29–37.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Lohrer, A. M., Townsend, M., Rodil, I. F., Hewitt, J. E. & Thrush, S. F. (2012). Detecting shifts in ecosystem functioning: The decoupling of fundamental relationships with increased pollutant stress on sandflats. Marine Pollution Bulletin, 64, 2761–2769.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Martin, D., Bertasi, F., Colangelo, M. A., et al. (2005). Ecological impact of coastal defence structures on sediment and mobile fauna: Evaluating and forecasting consequences of unavoidable modifications of native habitats. Coastal Engineering, 52, 1027–1051.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Mcleod, E., Poulter, B., Hinkel, J., Reyes, E. & Salm, R. (2010). Sea-level rise impact models and environmental conservation: A review of models and their applications. Ocean and Coastal Management, 53, 507–517.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Naylor, L. A., Coombes, M. A., Venn, O., Roast, S. D. & Thompson, R. C. (2012). Facilitating ecological enhancement of coastal infrastructure: The role of policy, people and planning. Environmental Science and Policy, 22, 36–46.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Peh, K. S. H. & Lewis, S. L. (2012). Conservation implications of recent advances in biodiversity-functioning research. Biological Conservation, 151, 26–31.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Perkol-Finkel, S., Ferrario, F., Nicotera, V. & Airoldi, L. (2012). Conservation challenges in urban seascapes: Promoting the growth of threatened species on coastal infrastructures. Journal of Applied Ecology, 49, 1457–1466.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Piwowarczyk, J., Kronenberg, J. & Dereniowska, M. A. (2013). Marine ecosystem services in urban areas: Do the strategic documents of Polish coastal municipalities reflect their importance?Landscape and Urban Planning, 109, 85–93.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Ruesink, J. L., Lenihan, H. S., Trimble, A. C., et al. (2005). Introduction of non-native oysters: Ecosystem effects and restoration implications. Annual Review of Ecology, Evolution and Systematics, 36, 643–689.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Sheaves, M. (2009). Consequences of ecological connectivity: The coastal ecosystem mosaic. Marine Ecology Progress Series, 391, 107–115.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
UNEP, United Nations Environment Programme. (2006). Marine and Coastal Ecosystems and Human Well Being. A synthesis report based on the findings of the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment.
Weinstein, M. P. & Reed, D. J. (2005). Sustainable coastal development: The dual mandate and a recommendation for ‘commerce managed areas’. Restoration Ecology, 13, 174–182.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Zedler, J. B., Callaway, J. C. & Sullivan, G. (2001). Declining biodiversity: Why species matter and how their functions might be restored in Californian tidal marshes. Bioscience, 51, 1005–1017.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Save book to Kindle

To save this book to your Kindle, first ensure is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about saving to your Kindle.

Note you can select to save to either the or variations. ‘’ emails are free but can only be saved to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

Available formats

Save book to Dropbox

To save content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about saving content to Dropbox.

Available formats

Save book to Google Drive

To save content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about saving content to Google Drive.

Available formats