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Title

A unifying approach to understanding transitional waters: Fundamental properties emerging from ecotone ecosystems

Publication Year

2013

Author(s)
  • Basset, Alberto
  • Barbone, Enrico
  • Elliott, Michael
  • Li, Bai-Lian
  • Jorgensen, Sven Eric
  • Lucena-Moya, Paloma
  • Pardo, Isabel
  • Mouillot, David
Source
ESTUARINE COASTAL AND SHELF SCIENCE Volume: 132 Pages: 5-16 Published: 2013
ISSN
0272-7714 eISSN: 1096-0015
Abstract

Estuaries, rias, fjords and lagoons (collectively called transitional waters, TW) are highly important ecosystems both for their high productivity but also as sites of urban and industrial development, supporting many major cities and ports. Increasingly they are accepted as transitional environments and in Europe this term has been given legal and management importance; indeed, in some cases this has led to decisions with high economic repercussions. We have thus revisited the fundamental properties and paradigms of these systems in the light of recent ecological theory. The analysis has produced a unifying approach to transitional waters, by adopting and expanding the concept of ecotone to whole ecosystems, rather than ecosystem boundaries. Furthermore we have addressed the paradoxes related to (1) the gradients concerning variability and stability in the system, (2) the biodiversity and ecosystem functioning, as well as (3) the response and resilience of the system to anthropogenic stressors. We conclude that the term Transitional Waters is not merely a legal convenience or that the TW are merely an interface, with positive and negative characteristics, but ecological systems in their own right. (C) 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Author Keyword(s)
  • transitional waters
  • ecotone concept
  • landscape ecology
  • climate change
KeyWord(s) Plus
  • FUNCTIONAL DIVERSITY
  • COASTAL LAGOON
  • SPECIES RICHNESS
  • FISH COMMUNITIES
  • BODY-SIZE
  • BENTHIC MACROINVERTEBRATES
  • ECOLOGICAL BOUNDARIES
  • ASSEMBLAGE STRUCTURE
  • CLIMATE-CHANGE
  • SEA
ESI Discipline(s)
  • Geosciences
  • Plant & Animal Science
Web of Science Category(ies)
  • Marine & Freshwater Biology
  • Oceanography
Adress(es)

[Basset, Alberto; Barbone, Enrico] Univ Salento, Dept Biol & Environm Sci & Technol, I-73100 Lecce, Italy; [Elliott, Michael] Univ Hull, Inst Estuarine & Coastal Studies, Kingston Upon Hull HU6 7RX, N Humberside, England; [Li, Bai-Lian] Univ Calif Riverside, Dept Bot & Plant Sci, Riverside, CA 92521 USA; [Jorgensen, Sven Eric] Univ Copenhagen, Dept Analyt & Pharmaceut Chem, DK-2100 Copenhagen, Denmark; [Lucena-Moya, Paloma; Pardo, Isabel] Univ Vigo, Dept Ecol & Anim Biol, Vigo 36310, Spain; [Mouillot, David] Univ Montpellier 2, ECOSYM, UMR CNRS UM2 IRD IFREMER 5119, F-24095 Montpellier, France; [Mouillot, David] James Cook Univ, ARC Ctr Excellence Coral Reef Studies, Townsville, Qld 4811, Australia

Reprint Adress

Basset, A (reprint author), Univ Salento, Dept Biol & Environm Sci & Technol, I-73100 Lecce, Italy.

Country(ies)
  • Australia
  • Denmark
  • France
  • Italy
  • Spain
  • United Kingdom
  • United States
CNRS - Adress(es)
  • Ecologie des systèmes marins côtiers (ECOSYM), UMR5119
Accession Number
WOS:000326419500002
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