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Coastal Ecosystem Processes

Coastal Ecosystem Processes, written by the renowned marine scientist Daniel Alongi, describes how pelagic and benthic food webs, from beaches and tidal flats to the continental edge, process energy and matter. This volume focuses on recent advances and new developments on how food webs are closely intertwined with the geology, chemistry, and physics of coastal seas. Dr. Alongi presents a process-functional approach as a way of understanding how the energetics of coastal ecosystems rely not only on exchanges within and between food chains, but how such functions are influenced by terrigenous and atmospheric processes. There is a need for documentation and an awareness of just how necessary, yet delicate, is the interplay of biological and physical forces between coastal ocean, land, and the atmosphere. Marine scientists today need to make informed management decisions about sustainable development and conservation of these fragile ecosystems. Coastal Ecosystem Processes provides present and future marine scientists the latest coastal ecosystem information to make the right decisions concerning the ecology of our oceans.
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Table of Contents

Introduction Beaches and Tidal Flats Introduction Food Chains, Energy, and Carbon Flow Nitrogen Cycling Linkages to Physical Processes Mangroves and Salt Marshes Introduction Global Trends in Plant Biomass and Primary Production Factors Limiting Plant Production and Growth Food Webs and Decomposition Processes Nitrogen Flow Outwelling Seaweed and Seagrass Ecosystems Introduction Standing Crop and Primary Productivity Photosynthesis and Whole-Plant Carbon Balance Limiting Factors The Role of Grazers Detritus and Mineralization Processes Ecosystem Budgets Carbon Balance: Export and Links to Adjacent Systems Coral Reefs Introduction Sources of Carbon Production The Fate of Organic Matter Nitrogen and Phosphorus: Cycles and Limitation The Coral Factory: Carbon and Energy Budgets Systems-Level Perspectives: Models and Budgets The Role of Coral Reefs in the Tropical Biosphere The Coastal Ocean I. The Coastal Zone Introduction The Coastal Ocean Defined What Is an Estuary? Hydrographic Classification of Coastal Systems Coastal Plain Estuaries, Tidal Lagoons, and Bays (Types IV, V, and VI) Coastal Lagoons (Type VII) River-Dominated Systems (Types I, II, and III) The Coastal Ocean II. The Shelf Proper and Shelf Edge Introduction Shelf-Sea Fronts Along- and Across-Shelf Gradients Processes at the Shelf Edge Nutrient Cycles and Global Change in the Coastal Ocean Global Estimates of Fishery Yields to Humans Degradation and Conservation A Glimpse at the Global Problem Eutrophication Habitat Modification and Destruction Restoration Attempts: Problems and Progress Sustainability: Implications for Management Conservation: Tools and Impediments Global Climate Change: Coastal Implications A Final Remark References Index


"This will be a useful reference book, particularly because of the inclusion of the tropical literature. It would be very appropriate as a textbook for graduate marine ecology courses, particularly ones that focus on comparative ecology." --Jane M. Caffrey, The Quarterly Review of Biology, Vol. 75, No. 2 "a balanced approach to the topicappropriate as a reference for marine ecologists and as a text for advanced courses in coastal ecology." --C. E. Tanner, St. Mary's College of Maryland "There is an enormous amount of information in the book and Alongi has done an excellent job bringing together the recent literature." -Ecological Engineering, Vol. 16, 2001

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