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Climate Change and Coastal Ecosystems: Long-Term Effects of Climate and Nutrient Loading on Trophic Organization

Series: CRC Marine Science

By: Robert J Livingston(Author), Michael J Kennish(Preface By), Edwin W Cake, Jr.(Foreword By)

532 pages, 8 plates with colour illustrations; b/w illustrations, tables

CRC Press

Hardback | Nov 2014 | #213993 | ISBN-13: 9781466568426
Availability: Usually dispatched within 6 days Details
NHBS Price: £93.99 $123/€107 approx

About this book

Based upon a four-decade longitudinal study of river-estuarine systems in the Northeast Gulf of Mexico, Climate Change and Coastal Ecosystems provides a detailed comparative analysis of the long-term data with specific references to similarities and differences in system response to nutrient loading (natural and anthropogenic) and long-term climatological cycles. It includes specific references to noted changes in the climate of the study regions over the four decades of field operations. The unique database will allow a totally new approach to the differentiation of anthropogenic processes relative to natural conditions in a series of river-estuarine systems.

"The data compilation is impressive by any measure, and thus the book will be useful as a reference volume for researchers working on riverine, estuarine, and coastal marine systems. It is an excellent addition to the scientific literature [...] I commend Skip for the tremendous amount of effort that he has expended on the production of this book, as well as his other published volumes. The multifaceted nature of the book, inclusive of the huge amount of data compiled, is testimony to Skip's long and illustrious career as a leading aquatic scientist in the United States."
– From the Series Editor Preface, Michael J. Kennish, Institute of Marine and Coastal Sciences, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, New Jersey, USA

"Occasionally, a book is published that has the potential to change the way we think about estuaries and how dependent we are on them and how we have altered them in the recent past. This is one such book [...] The Livingston Team has significantly expanded our knowledge of the ongoing and now recognized impacts of global Climate Change in coastal ecosystems – not just the visible rise of sea level and the alteration of habitats, but the invisible and difficult to discern changes in faunal and floral assemblages and the trophic alterations within various habitats [...] This long-term, comprehensive study of estuaries should serve as a model for future and continuing studies of estuaries in Florida and elsewhere [...] This treatise is recommended as a source book for all estuarine students, scientists, and coastal resource managers who claim an interest in the health and well-being of coastal ecosystems under their purview and management. Finally, this estuarine treatise contains an up-to-date bibliography of estuarine publications and reports that will serve the reader as a new beginning point for future research and studies. It also contains the methods and materials that Team Livingston used in assessing the health and trophic organization of Florida's estuaries. Methods and procedures have changed over the past 43 years and new ones will be developed in the future; however, without some understanding of the historic trends in estuarine research reported by Team Livingston, future research may not be comparable to that of the recent past."
– From the Foreword, Edward W. "Ed" Cake, Jr., Ph.D., Chief Science Officer & Biological Oceanographer, Gulf Environmental Associates, Ocean Springs, Mississippi, USA

"Robert J. Livingston is well known for his long-term, ecosystem-based research on freshwater, estuarine, and marine systems in the southeastern United States [...] The information presented in Section II is unique for several reasons. First, and most importantly, it is quite rare to have such an extensive database including biotic and abiotic responses within a single system, much less three separate systems. Second, the contribution is significant because of the focus on trophic organization and the influence of physicochemical characteristics on trophic dynamics. Finally, interpretation of anthropogenic disturbance (e.g., nutrients) within the context of long-term climate change is a refreshing departure from previous studies that fail to consider these important interactions [...] This is an incredibly powerful story of how three very different systems that are influenced by different combinations of anthropogenic stressors responded to long-term changes in climate."
– Will Clements, Department of Fish, Wildlife, and Conservation Biology, Colorado State University, USA

"A comprehensive science book based on 45 years of Gulf Coast research at Florida State University, this volume documents the long-term effects of climate change on rivers, estuaries, and coasts (where both most wildlife and most human beings live). The first half of the book gives a technical narrative review of the issues. It looks at how climate change affects the severity of human impacts on coastal environments, and the effects of eutrophication, which causes algal blooms and destroys fisheries. The second half of the book concentrates on the data, gathered over four decades at locales including Apalachee Bay, the Appalachicola River and Estuary, and Pensacola Estuary. A final chapter in this otherwise technical book looks at omissions and misrepresentations of the facts by regional news media in the Gulf Coast area. The book's conclusions are concise: after an unprecedented synthesis of decades of rigorous biological, chemical, geological, and weather study, the results show that healthy resource-based regional economies depend on conservation planning, and they cannot be easily restored if ecological damage is done. The model of success in this study, the Appalachicola Estuary, is losing its fisheries due to the results of climate change, and action based on an informed knowledge of climate change is needed to respond and prevent further damage. Constant misrepresentation of the facts of conservation economics and climate change is doing serious harm to both wildlife and people in the Gulf Coast."
– Ringgold, Inc. Book News, February 2015


Part I
- Overview
- Introduction
- Coastal Ecosystems
- Ecosystem Research
- Studies in the Northeast Gulf of Mexico
- Methods

Part II
- Long-Term Habit Conditions
- Regional Background
- Rainfall and River Flows: Long-Term Changes
- Nutrient Loading: Natural versus Anthropogenic Inputs
- Dredged Passes to the Gulf: Comparative Effects
- Methods
- Stratification Comparisons: Dissolved Oxygen
- Biological Impacts

Part III
- Trophic Response to Long-Term Climate Changes
- Climatological Impacts on Gulf Estuaries
- Apalachee Bay
- Background
- Rainfall and River Flows
- Climatological Conditions and Nutrient Loading
- Trends of Water Quality
- Climatic Effects on Phytoplankton
- Submerged Aquatic Vegetation
- Fishes
- Invertebrates
- Conclusions
- Apalachicola Estuary
- Background
- River–Bay Linkages
- Population Distributions in the Bay
- Rainfall and River Flows
- Oysters
- Fishes and Invertebrates
- Long-Term Drought Effects on Bay Fisheries
- Conclusions
- Perdido Estuary
- Background
- Physical Structure of Perdido Estuary
- River Flows
- Salinity Stratification and Dissolved Oxygen
- Effects of Climate on Nutrient Loading
- Nutrient Limitation Experiments
- Climatological Control of Plankton Blooms
- Secondary Productivity and Trophic Organization
- Mediomastus ambiseta
- Streblospio benedicti
- Callinectes sapidus
- Leiostomus xanthurus
- Micropogonias undulatus
- Rangia cuneata
- Conclusions

Part IV
- Impacts of Anthropogenic Nutrient Loading
- Estuarine Response to Urban Nutrient Loading
- Choctawhatchee Estuary
- Background
- River Flow and Nutrient Loading
- Salinity Stratification and Dissolved Oxygen
- Sediment and Water Quality Factors
- Plankton Distributions
- Infaunal Macroinvertebrates and Fishes
- Discussion
- Pensacola Estuary
- Background
- River Flows and Nutrient Loading
- Sediment and Water Quality
- Salinity Stratification and Dissolved Oxygen
- Chlorophyll a
- Plankton Assemblages and Blooms
- Animal Population Distribution and Trophic Organization
- Statistical Analyses
- Discussion

Part V
- Comparative Analysis of Gulf Ecosystems
- Trophic Organization
- Interacting Processes
- Background
- Sediment Comparisons
- Salinity/Depth Relationships
- Comparison of FII Trophic Indices
- Apalachicola Model

Part VI
- Information Dissemination
- Omission and Misrepresentation by Regional News Media

Part VII
- Closing
- Conclusion
- Appendices
- Index

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Robert J. Livingston is currently professor emeritus in the Department of Biological Science at Florida State University (Tallahassee, Florida). His interests include aquatic ecology, pollution biology, field and laboratory experimentation, and long-term ecosystem-level research on freshwater, estuarine, and marine systems. Over the past 43 years, Livingston’s research group has conducted a series of studies in areas from Maine to Mississippi. Dr. Livingston is the author of over 170 scientific papers and has written or edited eight books on the subject of aquatic ecology. He has been the principal investigator for more than 100 projects since 1970.

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