Climate change is one of the most severe dangers for mankind worldwide. Besides the temperature increase, the sea level will rise and flood wide coastal areas, which is already remarkable today. The effects will be dramatic, in particular, at coasts with low elevation gradients such as at the German coasts of the North and Baltic Seas. The impact will be not only severe for coastal people, but still more for the unique coastal ecosystems, which harbour many plant and animal species that are already endangered today.
This book focuses on the coastal terrestrial ecosystems of the German North and Baltic Seas. It describes the reactions of plants and animals (i.e. spiders, carabid beetles, bees and nematodes) on the future temperature and sea level increase. The combination of field and experimental studies is unique for Europe and for many parts of the world. It not only studies the actual elevation gradients and the climatic and saline gradients from West to East but also the historical changes to document processes at coastal ecosystems that were already passed. In contrast to many books that studied the marine processes with similar backgrounds, this book concerns the terrestrial coastal ecosystems that were overall rarely studied and, in particular, never studied under this specific viewpoint.
Prof. Dietrich Mossakowski is a retired Professor of Evolutionary Biology at the former Institute for Ecology and Evolutionary Biology of the University of Bremen, Germany. His scientific research focused on the morphology, phylogeny, and phylogeography of carabid beetles, and the ecology of raised bogs and salt marshes.
Prof. Ulrich Irmler is a retired Professor of the Institute of Ecosystem Research at the University of Kiel, Germany. His research focused on soil biology, entomology, and nature conservation. He was involved in several research projects on the salt marshes of Lower Saxony and Schleswig-Holstein and the beaches of Schleswig-Holstein. Furthermore, his research interests included tropical ecology (Brazil), as well as forest, grassland, and organic farming ecology.