Advertisement

Climatic Change

, Volume 90, Issue 1–2, pp 141–167 | Cite as

Regional assessment of climate change impacts on coastal and fluvial ecosystems and the scope for adaptation

  • J. A. Richards
  • M. Mokrech
  • P. M. Berry
  • R. J. Nicholls
Article

Abstract

Ecosystem changes in floodplains could be a major issue during the twenty-first century as designated habitat areas are affected by climate change and floodplain management options. As part of the RegIS project, a Regional Impact Simulator has been developed to investigate these potential changes. This paper presents the methodologies and results of biodiversity metamodels used within the Regional Impact Simulator for two regions of the UK: East Anglia and North West England. Potential impacts and adaptations to future climate and socio-economic scenarios are analysed for three habitat types in floodplains (saltmarsh, coastal grazing marsh and fluvial grazing marsh) and selected species. An important finding is that management choices, which can be linked to socio-economic futures have a greater potential impact on habitat viability than climate change. The choices society makes will therefore be key to protection and conservation of biodiversity. The analyses also show that coastal grazing marsh is the most vulnerable habitat to sea-level rise, although there is a scope for substituting losses with fluvial grazing marsh. These results indicate that these methods provide a useful approach for assessing potential biodiversity changes at the regional scale, including the effect of different policies.

Keywords

Sediment Availability Coastal Squeeze Grazing Marsh Regional Impact Simulator Regional Stewardship 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. Berry PM, Dawson TP, Harrison PA, Pearson RG, Butt N (2003) The sensitivity and vulnerability of terrestrial habitats and species in Britain and Ireland to climate change. J Nat Conserv 11:15–23CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Crooks S, Pye K (2000) Sedimentological controls on the erosion and morphology of saltmarshes: implications of flood defence and habitat recreation. In: Pye K, Allen JR (eds) Coastal and estuarine environments: sedimentology, geomorphology and geoarchaeology. Geological Society, London, pp 207–222Google Scholar
  3. Dawson RJ, Dickson ME, Nicholls RJ, Hall JW, Walkden MJA, Stansby P, Mokrech M, Richards J, Zhou J, Milligan J, Jordan A, Pearson S, Rees J, Bates P, Koukoulas S, Watkinson A (2008) Integrated analysis of risks of coastal flooding and cliff erosion under scenarios of long term change. Clim Change 3:89–102Google Scholar
  4. Dixon MJ, Tawn JA (1997) Spatial analyses for the UK coast. Conditions EOES, Proudman Oceanographic Laboratory, Birkenhead, p 217Google Scholar
  5. English Nature (2004) Coastal squeeze, saltmarsh loss and special protection areas. In: Environment Agency (ed) Specialist term consultancy: geomorphology. Environment Agency, Peterborough, p 82Google Scholar
  6. Evans E, Ashley R, Hall JW, Penning-Rowsell E, Saul AJ, Sayers PB, Thorne C, Watkinson A (2004) Foresight – future flooding scientific summary: future risks and their drivers, vol 1. Office of Science and Technology, LondonGoogle Scholar
  7. Fielding AH, Bell JF (1997) A review of methods for the assessment of prediction errors in conservation presence/absence models. Environ Conserv 24:38–49CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Gardiner S, Hanson S, Nicholls R, Zhang Z, Jude S, Jones A, Richards J, Williams A, Spencer T, Cope S, Bradbury A, McInnes R, Ingleby A Dalton H (2007) The habitats directive, coastal habitats and climate change – case studies from the South Coast of the UK. International Conference on Coastal Management, CardiffGoogle Scholar
  9. Harrison PA, Berry PM, Butt N, New M (2006) Modelling climate change impacts on species’ distributions at the European scale: Implications for conservation policy. Environ Sci Policy 9:116–128CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Henriques C, Holman IP, Audsley E, Pearn K (2008) An interactive multi-scale integrated assessment of future regional water availability for agricultural irrigation in East Anglia and North West England. Clim Change (this issue)Google Scholar
  11. Holman IP, de Vries TT (eds) (2005) Development of a metamodel tool for regional integrated climate change management (RegIS2). Final report, Defra project no. CC0362. Defra, London, p 173Google Scholar
  12. Holman IP, Rounsevell MDA, Shackley S, Harrison PA, Nicholls RJ, Berry PM, Audsley E (2005a) A regional, multi-sectoral and integrated assessment of the impacts of climate and socio-economic change in the UK: I methodology. Clim Change 71:9–41CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Holman IP, Nicholls RJ, Berry PM, Harrison PA, Audsley E, Shackley S, Rounsevell MDA (2005b) A regional, multi-sectoral and integrated assessment of the impacts of climate and socio-economic change in the UK: II results. Clim Change 71:43–73CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Holman IP, Rounsevell MDA, Cojacaru G, Shackley S, McLachlan C, Audsley E, Berry PM, Fontaine C, Harrison PA, Henriques C, Mokrech M, Nicholls RJ, Pearn KR, Richards JA (2008) The concepts and development of a participatory regional integrated assessment tool. Clim Change (this issue)Google Scholar
  15. Hoozemans FMJ, Marchand M, Pennekamp HA (1993) A global vulnerability analysis: vulnerability assessment for population. Coastal wetlands and rice production on a global scale, 2nd edn. Delft Hydraulics, Delft, The NetherlandsGoogle Scholar
  16. Hughes RG, Paramor OAL (2004) On the losses of saltmarsh in south-east England and methods for their restoration. J Appl Ecol 41:440–448CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Hulme M, Jenkins GJ (1998) Climate change scenarios for the UK: scientific report. UKCIP technical report no. 1. Climatic Research Unit, UKCIP, Norwich, p 80Google Scholar
  18. Hulme M, Jenkins GJ, Lu X, Turnpenny JR, Mitchell TD, Jones RG, Lowe J, Murphy JM, Hassell D, Boorman P, McDonald R, Hill S (2002) Climate change scenarios for the United Kingdom: The UKCIP02 scientific report. Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research, School of Environmental Sciences, University of East Anglia, NorwichGoogle Scholar
  19. Lee EM (2001) Coastal defence and the Habitats Directive: predictions of habitat change in England and Wales. Geogr J 167:39CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Lorenzoni I, Jordan A, Hulme M, Turner K, O’Riordan T (2000) A co-evolutionary approach to climate change impact assessment: part I. Integrating socio-economic and climate change scenarios. Glob Environ Change 10:57–68CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. MAFF (1999) Flood and Coastal Defence Project appraisal guidance: economic appraisal (FCDPAG3). Ministry of Agriculture Fisheries and Food, London, p 102Google Scholar
  22. McFadden L, Spencer T, Nicholls RJ (2007) Broad-scale modelling of coastal wetlands: what is required? Hydrobiolgica 577:5–15CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Mokrech M, Nicholls RJ, Richards JA, Henriques C, Holman IP, Shackley S (2008) Regional impact assessment of flooding under future climate and socio-economic scenarios for East Anglia and North West England, UK. Clim Change (this issue)Google Scholar
  24. Nicholls RJ (2004) Coastal flooding and wetland loss in the 21st Century: changes under the SRES climate and socio-economic scenarios. Glob Environ Change 14:69–86CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Nicholls RJ, Wilson T (2001) Integrated impacts on coastal areas and river flooding. In: Holman IP, Loveland PJ (eds) Regional climate change impacts and response studies in East Anglia and North West England (RegIS). MAFF Project no. CC0337. MAFF, London, pp 54–103Google Scholar
  26. Nicholls RJ, Hoozemans FMJ, Marchand M (1999) Increasing flood risk and wetland losses due to global sea-level rise: regional and global analyses. Glob Environ Change 9:S69–S87CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Nicholls RJ, Dredge A, Wilson T (2000) Shoreline change and fine-grained sediment input: Isle of Sheppey Coast, Thames Estuary, UK. In: Pye K, Allen JRL (eds) Coastal and estuarine environments: sedimentology, geomorphology and geoarchaelogy, vol 175. Geological Society of London, London, pp 305–315Google Scholar
  28. Nicholls RJ, Richards JA, Mokrech M, Bates PD, Dawson RJ, Hall JW, Walkden MJA, Dickson M, Jordan A, Milligan J (2005) Assessing coastal flood risk at specific sites and regional scales: regional assessment of coastal flood risk. Tyndall Research Project T2.46. Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research, Norwich, pp 1–81Google Scholar
  29. Nicholls RJN, Wong PP, Burkett V, Codignotto J, Hay J, McLean R, Ragoonaden S, Woodroffe CD (2007) Coastal systems and low-lying areas. In: Nicholls RJN, Wong PP, Burkett V, Codignotto J, Hay J, McLean R, Ragoonaden S, Woodroffe CD (eds) IPCC WGII fourth assessment report. IPCC, GenevaGoogle Scholar
  30. Orford JD, Pethick J (2006) Challenging assumptions of future coastal habitat development around the UK. Earth Surf Processes Landf 31:1625–1642CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Paramor OAL, Hughes RG (2004) The effects of bioturbation and herbivory by the polychaete Nereis diversicolor on loss of saltmarsh in south-east England. J Appl Ecol 41:449–463CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Pearson RG, Dawson TP, Berry PM, Harrison PA (2002) SPECIES: a spatial evolution of climate impact on the envelope of species. Ecol Model 154:289–300CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Pontee NI (2003) Designing sustainable estuarine intertidal habitats. ICE Proc 156(3):157–167Google Scholar
  34. Shackley S, Deanwood R (2003) Constructing social futures for climate-change impacts and response studies: building qualitative and quantitative scenarios with the participation of stakeholders. Clim Res 24:71–90CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Shackley S, Wood R (2001) The RegIS socio-economic scenarios. In: Holman IP, Loveland PJ (eds) Regional climate change impact and response studies in East Anglia and North West England (RegIS). MAFF, London, pp 31–53Google Scholar
  36. Shackley S, Wood R, Hornung M, Hulme M, Handley J, Darier E, Walsh M (1998) Changing by degrees: the impacts of climate change in the north west of England. “Climate Change in the North West” Group, London, p 63Google Scholar
  37. Shennan I, Horton B (2002) Holocene land- and sea level changes in Great Britain. J Quat Sci 17:511–526CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Stoddart DR, Reed DJ, French JR (1989) Understanding salt-marsh accretion, Scolt Head Island, Norfolk, England. Estuaries 12(4):228–238CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Taylor JA, Murdock AP, Pontee NI (2004) A macroscale analysis of coastal steepening around the coast of England and Wales. Geogr J 170:179–188CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Van der Wal D, Pye K (2004) Patterns, rates and possible causes of saltmarsh erosion in the Greater Thames area (UK). Geomorphology 61:373–391CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Watkinson A, Nicholls RJ, Sear D, Ledoux L (2007) Environmental impacts of future flood risk. In: Thorne C, Evans E, Penning-Rowsell E (eds) Future flood and coastal erosion risks. Thomas Telford, London, pp 29–46Google Scholar
  42. Wolters M, Bakker JP, Bertness MD, Jefferies RL, Möller I (2005) Salt-marsh erosion and restoration in south-east England: squeezing the evidence requires realignment. J Appl Ecol 42:844–851CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • J. A. Richards
    • 1
  • M. Mokrech
    • 2
  • P. M. Berry
    • 3
  • R. J. Nicholls
    • 2
  1. 1.ABP Marine Environmental Research, ABPmerSouthamptonUK
  2. 2.School of Civil Engineering and the EnvironmentUniversity of SouthamptonSouthamptonUK
  3. 3.Environmental Change InstituteOxford University Centre for the EnvironmentOxfordUK

Personalised recommendations