Coastal Ecosystem Processes, written by the renowned marine scientist Daniel Alongi, describes how pelagic and benthic food webs, from beaches and tidal flats to the continental edge, process energy and matter. This volume focuses on recent advances and new developments on how food webs are closely intertwined with the geology, chemistry, and physics of coastal seas. Dr. Alongi presents a process-functional approach as a way of understanding how the energetics of coastal ecosystems rely not only on exchanges within and between food chains, but how such functions are influenced by terrigenous and atmospheric processes.
There is a need for documentation and an awareness of just how necessary, yet delicate, is the interplay of biological and physical forces between coastal ocean, land, and the atmosphere. Marine scientists today need to make informed management decisions about sustainable development and conservation of these fragile ecosystems. Coastal Ecosystem Processes provides present and future marine scientists the latest coastal ecosystem information to make the right decisions concerning the ecology of our oceans.
Table of Contents
Beaches and Tidal Flats
Food Chains, Energy, and Carbon Flow
Linkages to Physical Processes
Mangroves and Salt Marshes
Global Trends in Plant Biomass and Primary Production
Factors Limiting Plant Production and Growth
Food Webs and Decomposition Processes
Seaweed and Seagrass Ecosystems
Standing Crop and Primary Productivity
Photosynthesis and Whole-Plant Carbon Balance
The Role of Grazers
Detritus and Mineralization Processes
Carbon Balance: Export and Links to Adjacent Systems
Sources of Carbon Production
The Fate of Organic Matter
Nitrogen and Phosphorus: Cycles and Limitation
The Coral Factory: Carbon and Energy Budgets
Systems-Level Perspectives: Models and Budgets
The Role of Coral Reefs in the Tropical Biosphere
The Coastal Ocean I. The Coastal Zone
The Coastal Ocean Defined
What Is an Estuary?
Hydrographic Classification of Coastal Systems
Coastal Plain Estuaries, Tidal Lagoons, and Bays (Types IV, V, and VI)
Coastal Lagoons (Type VII)
River-Dominated Systems (Types I, II, and III)
The Coastal Ocean II. The Shelf Proper and Shelf Edge
Along- and Across-Shelf Gradients
Processes at the Shelf Edge
Nutrient Cycles and Global Change in the Coastal Ocean
Global Estimates of Fishery Yields to Humans
Degradation and Conservation
A Glimpse at the Global Problem
Habitat Modification and Destruction
Restoration Attempts: Problems and Progress
Sustainability: Implications for Management
Conservation: Tools and Impediments
Global Climate Change: Coastal Implications
A Final Remark
"This will be a useful reference book, particularly because of the inclusion of the tropical literature. It would be very appropriate as a textbook for graduate marine ecology courses, particularly ones that focus on comparative ecology."
--Jane M. Caffrey, The Quarterly Review of Biology, Vol. 75, No. 2
"…a balanced approach to the topic…appropriate as a reference for marine ecologists and as a text for advanced courses in coastal ecology."
--C. E. Tanner, St. Mary's College of Maryland
"There is an enormous amount of information in the book and Alongi has done an excellent job bringing together the recent literature."
-Ecological Engineering, Vol. 16, 2001