Maintaining ecological resilience on a regional scale: Coastal saline lagoons in a Northern European marine protected area

Authors: Herbert, R.J.H., Bone, J., Whetter, T. and Ross, K.

Pages: 631-647

Publisher: Elsevier

To ensure ecological resilience to environmental change, Marine Protected Area networks will require a proactive response to new conditions that will maintain ecosystem functionality, connectivity and adaptive capacity. Coastal lagoons are a Priority Habitat for conservation in Europe and protected in many regions, yet they are especially vulnerable to the potential impacts of climate change and specifically rising sea levels. As relatively small and closed environments, the risk of extinction of specialised benthic invertebrates and algal species is high and the rate of recolonisation of biota following disturbances may be low. Here we report on a variety of approaches and cases studies aimed at maintaining ecosystem resilience in Poole Harbour Special Protection Area (SPA) on the south coast of England by (i) creating new lagoon habitats (ii) restoring undesignated, degraded and polluted lagoons (iii) identifying and survey new coastal lagoon habitats. Although sea level rise presents considerable challenges for the conservation of these habitats, new managed realignment projects and set-back schemes offer significant opportunities for the creation of lagoons. A principle of continual review, monitoring and pro-active spatial planning needs to be extended to the design of other regional and national coastal MPA networks to maintain ecosystem integrity and resilience.

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Authors: Herbert, R.J.H., Ross, K., Whetter, T. and Bone, J.

Pages: 631-647

ISBN: 9780081026991

DOI: 10.1016/B978-0-08-102698-4.00032-0

© 2020 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved. To ensure ecological resilience to environmental change, Marine Protected Area networks will require a proactive response to new conditions that will maintain ecosystem functionality, connectivity and adaptive capacity. Coastal lagoons are a Priority Habitat for conservation in Europe and protected in many regions, yet they are especially vulnerable to the potential impacts of climate change and specifically rising sea levels. As relatively small and closed environments, the risk of extinction of specialised benthic invertebrates and algal species is high and the rate of recolonisation of biota following disturbances may be low. Here we report on a variety of approaches and cases studies aimed at maintaining ecosystem resilience in Poole Harbour Special Protection Area (SPA) on the south coast of England by (i) creating new lagoon habitats (ii) restoring undesignated, degraded and polluted lagoons (iii) identifying and survey new coastal lagoon habitats. Although sea level rise presents considerable challenges for the conservation of these habitats, new managed realignment projects and set-back schemes offer significant opportunities for the creation of lagoons. A principle of continual review, monitoring and pro-active spatial planning needs to be extended to the design of other regional and national coastal MPA networks to maintain ecosystem integrity and resilience.

The data on this page was last updated at 05:30 on November 25, 2020.