This book provides an integrated view of Atlantic coastal Patagonian ecosystems, including the physical environment, biodiversity and the main ecological processes, together with their derived ecosystem services and anthropogenic impacts. It focuses on the key components of the aquatic ecosystem, covering the lower levels (plankton) to the top predators like large mammals and birds, before turning to human beings as consumers and shapers of coastal marine resources.
The book then presents an overview of how organisms that constitute the aquatic food webs have changed through time and how they likely will soon change due to global change processes and anthropogenic pressures. In this regard it offers a wealth of information such as long-term patterns in physical / atmospheric processes, biodiversity and the distribution of marine organisms, as well as the results of experimental studies designed to understand their responses under future scenarios shaped by both climate change and anthropogenic pressures. The book also covers various aspects of the past, present and potential future relationship of human beings with Patagonian coastal environments, including the utilization of sea products, tourism, and growth of cities.
E. Walter Helbling is a CONICET researcher at the Estación de Fotobiología Playa Unión. He holds an M. Sc. and PhD from the Scripps Institution of Oceanography (UCSD, USA) and his interests are centred on the ecophysiology of plankton and the photobiology of aquatic systems in relation to global change. He was part of the Environmental Effects Assessment Panel, which provided information and guidelines for policymakers regarding the impact of ultraviolet radiation and global change-related matters. He has been a visiting professor in China, Europe and South America, as well as an associate editor of the journals Photochemistry and Photobiology and Latin American Journal of Aquatic Research.
Maite Narvarte is a CONICET researcher and professor at the Universidad Nacional del Comahue. Her work focuses on marine conservation, providing information for environmental conservation decision-making. She has authored many peer-reviewed articles and governmental reports, covering topics from the factors contributing to the unsustainability of Patagonian shellfisheries to the role of coastal gregarious species as ecosystem engineers, relevant in reducing risks to coastal protection and habitat quality.
Raul González is a CONICET researcher and professor at the Universidad Nacional del Comahu. His research mainly focuses on fisheries, including fish biology/ecology, stock assessment, ecosystem indicators and sustainability. He was the Director of the Almirante Storni Institute of Marine Biology and Fisheries, a member of the Advisory Commission on Biodiversity and Sustainability of the Argentine Ministry of Science and Technology, and a member of the Livestock and Fisheries Technology Commission of the National Agency for Scientific and Technological Promotion.
Virginia E. Villafañe is a CONICET researcher at the Estación de Fotobiología Playa Unión. She holds an M. Sc. in Marine Biology from Scripps Institution of Oceanography and a PhD from the University of Groningen, the Netherlands. Her research focuses on the effects of increased ultraviolet-B levels on phytoplankton, as well as stressors related to global change. She has been studying the impacts of these variables on diverse aspects of plankton metabolism in various marine and freshwater environments, e.g. Antarctica, high-altitude lakes, cenotes, southern China, and the Barents and Baltic Seas, for the past several years.