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Coastal Ecosystems

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Part of the Encyclopedia of Earth Sciences Series book series (EESS)

Synonyms

Coastal zone; Littoral ecosystems

Definition

Coastal ecosystems are typically found at a physical region extending from the edge of the continental shelf to the intertidal and nearshore terrestrial area. They include saline, brackish, and freshwaters, as well as coastlines and the adjacent lands that can extend to the entire coastal watershed. Globally, coastal ecosystems comprise a wide array of nearshore terrestrial, intertidal, benthic, and pelagic marine ecosystems.

Introduction

Coastal ecosystems, by virtue of their position at the interface between truly terrestrial and oceanic ecosystems, belong to the most dynamic and productive ecosystems on Earth. They are among the most important ecosystems, providing numerous ecological, economic, cultural, and aesthetic benefits and services. Although they comprise only 20 % of all land area, coastal areas are now the home of nearly half of the global population (Burke et al., 2001). Increased coastal population and intense...

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  • DOI: 10.1007/978-0-387-36699-9_19
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Correspondence to Xiaojun Yang .

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© 2014 Springer Science+Business Media New York

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Yang, X. (2014). Coastal Ecosystems. In: Njoku, E.G. (eds) Encyclopedia of Remote Sensing. Encyclopedia of Earth Sciences Series. Springer, New York, NY. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-0-387-36699-9_19

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