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Increasing anthropogenic pressure on the sea and alteration of coastscapes challenge the functioning of marine ecosystems and long-term reliance on blue economies, especially for developing southern economies. The structural hardening of shores can result in ecological disruptions, with cascading effects on the wellbeing and livelihoods of marginalised groups who depend on marine resources. Mitigation, adaptation and rehabilitation options for coastal developments should include innovative, socially responsible solutions to be used to modify shorelines and ensure long-term functionality of metropolitan coastal ecosystems. Nature-based innovations are being developed to improve surrogacy for natural marine ecosystems. The co-creation of nature-based structures, entailing partnerships between scientists and a local rural community is currently being considered in South Africa and we present this regional case study as a transdisciplinary framework for research in nature-based, ecological engineering of coastal systems. Novel transdisciplinary approaches include ecomusicological interventions, where traditional cultural expressions (TCEs) create opportunities for transgressive pedagogy. This step aims to ensure that the knowledge gathered through nature-based scientific research remains a part of community developed Indigenous knowledge systems. The merging of innovative, eco-creative approaches and TCEs has the potential to sustainably and ethically improve the functioning and diversity of coastal urban habitats. This review tackles the potential of transdisciplinary settings to transform urban coastlines using “low-tech” engineering and Indigenous eco-creative innovations to pedagogy, to benefit the people and biological communities as well as reduce social and gender inequalities.
Previous studies have inferred that the side effects of physical disturbance associated with bait-collecting for the sandprawn Callianassa kraussi are more deleterious than the actual removal of the prawns. The present study was specifically designed to disentangle the side-effects of trampling and disturbance associated with using suction pumps for bait-collecting. Separate areas were sucked over with a prawn pump at three different intensities, and the prawns collected from these areas subsequently returned to them. A parallel treatment involved trampling the sediment at levels comparable to the 'sucking' intensities, without removing the prawns. The responses of the meiofauna, macrofauna and microflora were assessed six weeks after this disturbance.
Prawn densities were depressed six weeks following both sucking and trampling but recovered by 32 weeks. The meiofauna responded positively to some of the disturbance treatments; macrofaunal numbers on the other hand, declined in most treatment areas, and similarity analysis and multidimensional scaling showed that macrofaunal community composition in the most-disturbed areas was distinct from that in other areas. Chlorophyll levels were reduced at the more intensely-disturbed sites.
The results corroborate the conclusion that trampling per se has almost the same effect as sucking for prawns, on both the prawns and on the associated biota. This has important implications in terms of managing the use of lagoonal and estuarine ecosystems.
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