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The Western and Central Africa Land–Sea Interface: A Vulnerable, Threatened, and Important Coastal Zone Within a Changing Environment

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The Land/Ocean Interactions in the Coastal Zone of West and Central Africa

Part of the book series: Estuaries of the World ((EOTW))

Abstract

The primary objective of this book, focusing on Western and Central African coastal areas, is to provide up-to-date scientific information and discuss quantitative data about selected estuaries and coastal ecosystems. As a volume of the series “Estuaries of the World” (EOTW), it is aiming at offering a better understanding of Land–Ocean Interactions in the Coastal Zone (LOICZ) in this region, including processes, functioning, and impacts in a changing environment. Although it focuses on estuarine and related coastal ecosystems, it includes consideration of the freshwater systems that feed these coastal environments. Indeed, the importance of the Western and Central African coastal areas cannot be overemphasized, with regard to both human and ecosystem needs, and watersheds have to be considered as influencing them directly and indirectly. Moreover, this up-to-date information and data discuss estuaries, deltas, and coastal lagoons, as well as their recent changes and evolution, and the implications of these changes in regard to managing these coastal waters. The content of this book also contributes to the global research analysis and synthesis agenda of the LOICZ especially on its primary focus related to river mouth systems, including estuaries and deltas. This book illustrates several themes organized around the concept of ecosystem services and benefits within estuaries, coastal, and marine areas in West and Central Africa, with six main objectives: (1) Introducing the framework of current studies, including factors related to oceanographic, geologic, geomorphologic, physicochemical and biogeochemical components of these ecosystems; (2) Emphasizing the need to study natural and human-induced impacts on the functioning and sustainability of estuaries and other coastal systems, with possible options for managing them for sustainable use; (3) Facilitating recognition by coastal scientists and managers of the unique features of estuaries and other relevant coastal environments in Africa, while also enhancing existing knowledge regarding the associated ecosystem services; (4) Encouraging young researchers, scientists, and advanced students to undertake holistic, integrated studies on estuaries and coastal areas in their regions, using an ecosystems assessment approach and ecosystem-based management; and (5) Providing professionals, students, and the general public with readily accessible and understandable scientific articles and papers on the economic and ecological importance of estuaries and other related coastal ecosystems in Africa.

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Notes

  1. 1.

    Large Marine Ecosystems encompass waters from river basins and estuaries to the seaward boundaries of continental shelves and margins of coastal currents and water masses (Sherman 1994).

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Diop, S., Fabres, J., Pravettoni, R., Barusseau, JP., Descamps, C., Ducrotoy, JP. (2014). The Western and Central Africa Land–Sea Interface: A Vulnerable, Threatened, and Important Coastal Zone Within a Changing Environment. In: Diop, S., Barusseau, JP., Descamps, C. (eds) The Land/Ocean Interactions in the Coastal Zone of West and Central Africa. Estuaries of the World. Springer, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-06388-1_1

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