Direct and Indirect Effects of Estuarine Reclamation on Nutrient and Metal Fluxes in the Global Coastal Zone
We demonstrate that land reclamation in estuaries is resulting in very large-scale loss of intertidal area and disconnection of stored sediment with the water column. This process is not just causing loss of estuarine ecosystem services, it is also having a major deleterious impact on the ability of estuaries to retain nutrients and trace metals. The global scale of loss of estuarine wetlands and subtidal sediments has reached the point where the impact of this loss of estuarine retention is likely to be affecting coastal seas worldwide and possibly global element cycles.
KeywordsEstuary Fluxes Nutrients Carbon Trace metals Managed realignment
We thank the many students and colleagues who have collaborated in our work on coastal systems. This work is supported in part by the Shelf Sea Biogeochemistry Programme supported by NERC and DEFRA. We thank two reviewers for helpful comments that greatly improved this manuscript. We acknowledge the friendship, support, scholarship and joie de vivre of Tom Church which has illuminated our work and play over 35 years.
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