4030 Wetlands and Estuaries: How Things Will Change Where the Land Meets the Sea

Saturday, February 19, 2011: 9:00 AM
101 (Washington Convention Center )
J. Emmett Duffy , Virginia Institute of Marine Science, Gloucester Point, VA
Coastal wetlands and estuaries provide numerous valuable services to society, including fishery production, coastal protection, waste processing, recreation, and maintenance of biodiversity. On the border between land and sea, where human populations are concentrated, these systems are acutely sensitive to climate change and sea level rise, which interact with other stressors such as overfishing, invasive species, and eutrophication. Temperate wetlands and estuaries are especially vulnerable to climate change because they are generally dominated by one or a few foundation species of plants on which the entire ecological community and associated ecosystem services depend. This talk focuses on case studies illustrating how climate warming reshuffles species distributions and interactions, and how these alterations synergize with other human pressures to change vegetated coastal ecosystems and the economies that depend on them.