Coastal Exam 4


Terms in this set (...)

Applied Ecology
Application of ecological principles to management and other real world issues
Disciplines within applied ecology include:
- Natural resource management/protection
- Habitat management/conservation/protection
- Habitat restoration
- Management of invasive species
- Conservation of biodiversity
- Endangered species management
Ecosystem Functions
Characteristic exchanges/processes within an ecosystem
Examples of Ecosystem Functions:
- Energy and nutrient exchanges
- Decomposition
- Production of biomass
Consists of all biological (living = biotic) and non-living (physical = abiotic) components of a given area
All organisms (living, biotic) in a given area
A single species living as a part of the community
Ecosystem services
Ecosystem functions that benefit humankind; human valuation of natural ecosystem properties or functions
The concept of "ecosystem services" = anthropocentric
Ecosystem SERVICES are directly dependent on
Four categories of ecosystem services:
1. Provisioning services
2. Regulating services
3. Cultural services
4. Supporting services
Provisioning services
Products obtained from ecosystems
- Food, water, and other life-sustaining materials
- Are the most easily recognized and valued by society
- Direct
- Short-term impacts
Regulating services
Benefits obtained from the regulation of ecosystem processes
- Control of climate, floods, disease, wastes, water quality
- Direct
- Short-term impacts
Cultural service
Nonmaterial benefits people obtain from ecosystems
- Social, spiritual, recreational, educational, cultural aesthetic experiences
- Direct
- Short-term impacts
Supporting service
Those that are necessary for the production of all other ecosystem services
- Indirect
- Long term benefits
Most Gulf landings are estuarine
Species that use estuaries during some stage of their life cycle
Top three gulf examples of provisioning services
- Shrimp
- Atlantic Menhaden
- Crabs
- Spawn at sea but inhabit Spartina alterniflora or Juncus spp. marshes in the postlarval stage (no longer planktonic); move back offshore as they mature
- Prefer muddy substrate rich in organic matter and decaying vegetation
- Fishery is most productive in areas with extensive estuarine marshes, like the Mississippi Delta
- Gulf shrimp landings worth
$2.2 billion from 2000‐2004
Atlantic menhaden (Brevoortia spp.)
Transported inshore as larvae, spend early developmental stages in estuaries
- Consume plankton
- Important prey item for larger predators
- Used as bait, protein meal, fertilizer, food additives
- Gulf worth $346 million from 2000‐2004
Blue crabs (Callinectes sapidus)
- Spawn nearshore; eggs and larvae develop in estuaries; settle into benthic stage in estuaries; move back offshore as they mature
- Prefer seagrass habitats; therefore, fishery is most productive in areas with extensive seagrass beds
- Worth $343 million from 2000‐2004
What are the economic benefits of the commercial seafood industry?
- Income
- Employment
Since many important fisheries rely on estuarine wetlands for support...
Intact wetlands = $$$
Examples of regulating services:
1. Water purification
2. Climate regulation
3. Natural hazard regulation
Plant-mediated improvement of water quality
‐ Plants slow down water movement through wetlands
When water movement is slower, there is more time for:
1. Volatilization
2. Adsorption
3. Settlement
4. Direct plant uptake
5. Microbial processes
Evaporation from a dissolved state to a gaseous state
Binding to the sediment
Slow water movement through stands of plants allows particulate matter and adhered contaminants to settle out
Direct plant uptake
Plants and bacteria can metabolize nutrients (especially nitrogen and phosphorus) and sometimes contaminants
Microbial processes
Microorganisms transform ammonium into nitrate (nitrification) and then N2 gas (denitrification), which removes nutrients from the water
Carbon is sequestered when the rate of _______ is ________ the rate of ________
- Carbon assimilation
- Greater than
- Carbon loss
Blue Carbon
Carbon sequestered in the vegetation and soils of nearshore vegetated coastal habitats like mangroves, seagrasses, salt marshes
- 10,000 m2
- 2.471 acres
- __________ sediments "hold" carbon
- Less loss back out into atmosphere
Traditional rule of thumb: each 2.7 miles of marsh ____________ storm surge by 1 foot
Energy dispersal
Plants break up energy of waves
Water storage
- Example: Hurricane Katrina (2005)
- Storm surge entered marshes in about 12-24 hours, but it took more than 4 days for the water to drain
Actual inland extent of the storm surge is complicated, impacted by many factors:
- Geometry of shore
- Vegetation type
- Slope of ocean floor
- Size, speed, direction & duration of storm
The wind speed is usually greatest in the ______ quadrant of a hurricane
North East
Buffers function on small and large scales:
- Spatial
- Temporal
Spatial - Small Scales
Individual beach/dune systems or individual barrier islands
Spatial - Larger Scales
Barrier island systems and bays
- Day-to-day prevention of erosion
- Occasional protection against catastrophic erosion & flooding
Why do dunes, wetlands, and other coastal plant communities provide this erosion protection?
The plants' roots are the root of the solution
Examples of cultural services:
- Aesthetic
- Spiritual
- Educational
- Recreational
ex. Bird watching
ex. Sport-fishing
Examples of supporting services:
- Nutrient cycling
- Soil formation
- Primary production
- Photosynthesis
- Water cycling
Which of the following terms are characterized as "ecosystem FUNCTIONS"?

- Nature
- Money
- Food
- Photosynthesis
- Food webs
- Nutrient cycles
- Photosynthesis
- Food webs
- Nutrient cycles
Which of the following terms are characterized as "ecosystem SERVICES"?

- Nature
- Money
- Food
- Photosynthesis
- Food webs
- Nutrient cycles
- Nature
- Money
- Food
- Photosynthesis
- Food webs
- Nutrient cycles