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This book delves into human-induced and natural impacts on coastal wetlands, intended or otherwise, through a series of vignettes that elucidate the environmental insults and efforts at amelioration and remediation. The alteration, and subsequent restoration, of wetland habitats remain key issues among coastal scientists. These topics are introduced through case studies and pilot programs that are designed to better understand the best practices of trying to save what is left of these fragile ecosystems. Local approaches, as well as national and international efforts to restore the functionality of marsh systems are summarily approached and evaluated by their efficacy in producing resilient reclamations in terms of climate-smart habitat conservation. The outlook of this work is global in extent and local by intent. Included here in summarized form are professional opinions of experts in the field that investigate the crux of the matter, which proves to be human pressure on coastal wetland environments. Even though conservation and preservation of these delicate environmental systems may be coming at a later date, many multi-pronged approaches show promise through advances in education, litigation, and engineering to achieve sustainable coastal systems. The examples in this book are not only of interest to those working exclusively with coastal wetlands, but also to those working to protect the surrounding coastal areas of all types.



Erratum to: Land Use and Occupation of Coastal Tropical Wetlands: Whale Coast, Bahia, Brazil

Without Abstract
Sirius O. Souza, Cláudia C. Vale, Regina C. Oliveira

Impacts of Urbanization, Agricultural Occupation, Pollution, Climate Change, and Coastal Marine Influences


Chapter 1. The Florida Everglades: An Overview of Alteration and Restoration

The Florida Everglades, currently designated as a Wetland of International Importance (Ramsar Convention), an International Biosphere Reserve (UNESCO), and a World Heritage Site in Danger (UNESCO), was administered around the turn of twentieth century by federal and state ditch and drain policies to ‘reclaim’ the coastal wetlands for urban sprawl, agriculture, and flood control. Today, the so-called ‘river of grass’ is only about half of its original extent; the remaining oligotrophic wetlands have been compromised by an ingress of nutrient-rich polluted and contaminated waters from agriculture and urban development. Furthermore, the spread of invasive flora and fauna have further compromised these wetland environments. In attempts to repair some of the damage wreaked upon this unique subtropical coastal ecosystem, numerous programs have been implemented to produce the world’s most expensive reclamation effort that amounts to more than US$8 billion. Positionalities of special interest groups and hegemonial overthrusts by various governmental agencies have produced a bewildering array of projects that fail to address the real causes of degradation while treating only symptoms instead. Due to the lack of common sense approaches of the restoration that deal with causes rather than symptoms, such as further wetland alteration to naturalize surface flow patterns of water and the inability to hinder the introduction/spread of exotic alien species, the Florida Everglades has evolved into something quite different from pre-settlement conditions, with major doubts that the ecosystem can be put back together again.
Charles W. Finkl, Christopher Makowski

Chapter 2. Recent Agricultural Occupation and Environmental Regeneration of Salt Marshes in Northern Spain

Salt marshes reduce wave energy and offer natural protection from storms and floods. In the last centuries these coastal areas have been intensely impacted by human activities worldwide. In northern Spain, more than 50% of the original salt marshes have been reclaimed with agricultural purposes since the 17th century. However, many of these coastal wetlands have been recovered since the agricultural decline during the 1950s. Benthic foraminifera and sand content can be used as proxies to identify past episodes of salt-marsh reclamation and to analyze the environmental regeneration process of previously occupied lands. Foraminifera are absent in agricultural soils and increase in abundance during the regeneration of the area, until total recovery is reached. Similarly, sand content increases as tidal inundation takes place during the environmental regeneration period. The physical disturbance originated by reclamation presents a challenge for the 210Pb dating method. Nevertheless, historical aerial photography provides a good record for age estimation. This can be supported by chronostratigraphic horizons of major pollution events and nuclear weapon testing (i.e. heavy metals and 137Cs). In the current context of sea-level rise, sediment supply constrains the environmental regeneration of salt marshes. In northern Spain, abundant regional sediment input is available, allowing high sedimentation rates to happen during the regeneration process and facilitating adaptation to ongoing sea-level rise. Therefore, restoration of currently reclaimed tidal wetlands in global temperate coastal areas, with abundant sediment supply, can be considered as a soft adaptation measure against climate change consequences in the coastal zone.
Ane García-Artola, Alejandro Cearreta, María Jesús Irabien

Chapter 3. Impact of Urbanization on the Evolution of Mangrove Ecosystems in the Wouri River Estuary (Douala Cameroon)

Cameroon mangroves are protected over 20 years by both Management of Forest and Fauna and Environmental Management Legal Framework laws. However, these juridical tools are not efficient in the field regarding the rate of mangrove forest depletion around coastal cities in the country. This work aims to identify the main factors of mangrove degradation and to assess their effects on the dynamics and evolution of this ecosystem in relation with city development. Key abiotic parameters are favorable for mangrove progression. Natural disasters and anthropogenic activities have been identified as responsible of mangrove ecosystems depletion. Wood harvesting, urban settlement and infrastructures, sand extraction, petroleum exploitation, coastal erosion, and climate change appear to be the most important factors of mangrove degeneration. Secondary destructive factors such as dwellings, sustenance agriculture, collection of Non-Timber Forest Products, digging, landfill, dyke construction and large clear-felling also contributed widely to mangrove degradation. The realization of state projects had heavily impacted the evolution of mangroves in the Wouri river estuary. In the absence of law and specific regulation implementation strategies, populations have taken advantage of the authorities’ tolerance to invade all mangroves areas around the Wouri river estuary. The management of Cameroon mangrove ecosystems faced the population conception of considering mangroves as an ordinary forest. Mangrove degradation along the Wouri river estuary does not seem raising advocacy in spite of the fact that this especial ecosystem could never change its coastal nature place like other artificial generated forests.
Ndongo Din, Vanessa Maxemilie Ngo-Massou, Guillaume Léopold Essomè-Koum, Eugene Ndema-Nsombo, Ernest Kottè-Mapoko, Laurant Nyamsi-Moussian

Chapter 4. Impacts of Coastal Land Use Changes on Mangrove Wetlands at Sungai Mangsalut Basin in Brunei Darussalam

The chapter evaluates the rapid changes of coastal landscape and expansion and asymmetrical land use or cover changes in Sungai Mangsalut basin area in the coastal region in Brunei Darussalam. It is revealed that the coastal land use changing pattern of Sungai Mangsalut basin area is rapidly expanding due to natural environmental calamities, increasing population pressure and economic development and consequently led to the conversion of water bodies, cultivated lands, natural forest vegetation or open spaces in buildup areas. The exploitation of settlement and urbanization size through inhabiting the river mouth and low lying areas and clearing of coastal mangrove and coastal salt marches of vegetation without a corresponding expansion to infrastructures resulted in a wide range of environmental issues and risks such as severe pollutions, significant decrease of water bodies along with greenery and uncontrollable growth of settlement. In other words, these issues existed because the authority is unable to cope with the swift changing situations due to their internal resource constrains and management limitation. Hence, for that reason, this paper also highlights the consequences of the coastal wetland and basin landscapes changes in Sungai Mangsalut basin area in the coastal region in Brunei. The objective of this chapter is to analyze the coastal environmental impacts of the area surrounding Sungai Mangsalut (Mangsalut River). Also to identify the factors influence the degradation of the Sungai Mangsalut in the present time.
Shafi Noor Islam, Umar Abdul Aziz Bin Yahya

Chapter 5. Land Use and Occupation of Coastal Tropical Wetlands: Whale Coast, Bahia, Brazil

This chapter aims to discuss the process of land use and occupation in coastal tropical wetlands, particularly the ones that occur at the Whale Coast, in the extreme south of the state of Bahia – Brazil, between 1984 and 2014. For this purpose, orbital images of the Landsat-TM satellite were used, which were subsequently integrated and processed in the Geographic Information System using the Envi™ software, through object-targeted classification. Throughout the text, the current standard of occupation in the Brazilian territory is addressed, which is co-validated by the gradual expansion of population and economic cycles, such as the expansion of the eucalyptus forestry, the urban area and pasture in the Whale Coast. At the same time, there is a reduction of forest occupied areas. This study has the objective of contributing with landscape evolution studies and subsiding better planning proposals for land use and occupation in coastal tropical wetlands.
Sirius O. Souza, Cláudia C. Vale, Regina C. Oliveira

Chapter 6. Degraded Coastal Wetland Ecosystems in the Ganges-Brahmaputra Rivers Delta Region of Bangladesh

The Ganges-Brahmaputra-Meghna Rivers carry 6 million m3/s water and 2.4 billion tons of sediments annually into the Bay of Bengal, but it shows no tendency toward rapid seaward progradation. Bangladesh coastal region is gifted with vast natural resources, delta, tidal flat, mangrove forests, march, lagoon, bars, spilt, estuary and coastal ecological environment which is very much potential for communities survival. There are 36.8 million people are living within the coastal region and dependent on coastal water resources. The coastal water resources are drastically reducing due to unplanned use by the community and the stakeholders. The coastal zone of Bangladesh is enormously important for the development and management of natural resources. The coastal water resources are playing an important role to protect the coastal ecosystems and socio-economy. The present situation stated that an integrated natural resource management plan is necessary for the protection of coastal ecosystem and coastal community livelihoods. The paper prepared based on primary and secondary data sources. The objectives of this study are to analyze the present coastal natural resources management status. The study seeks the deltaic wetlands ecosystem development and management strategies for ensure communities livelihood and sustainable development of coastal resources in Ganges-Brahmaputra Rivers deltaic coastal floodplain region in Bangladesh.
Shafi Noor Islam, Sandra Reinstädtler, Albrecht Gnauck

Chapter 7. Handling High Soil Trace Elements Pollution: Case Study of the Odiel and Tinto Rivers Estuary and the Accompanying Salt Marshes (Southwest Iberian Peninsula)

Salt marshes are being increasingly polluted by trace elements, and the design and implementation of management actions adapted to each particular situation are necessary. Salt marshes developed at one of the most heavy metal-polluted systems in the world, the Odiel and Tinto joint estuary, are threatened by high pollution levels, erosion and the invasion of the alien plant species Spartina densiflora, despite the high ecological values recognized by regional to international protection figures. Soft management on these marshes tries to preserve the equilibrium between conservation and decontamination. The ability of key native halophytes in the area to phytoextract or phytostabilizate trace elements has been taking into account. A local restoration project has resulted in a rapid recovery of the native prairies of low tidal marshes, dominated by S. maritima, becoming a promising tool to phytostabilize eroding areas in European marshes. These prairies also seem to stop the advance of the alien S. densiflora invasion and prevent erosion. On the other hand, areas invaded by S. densiflora are difficult to manage due to the acidity and pollution level of sediments preventing the establishment of any other plant species. Despite its invasive character, S. densiflora avoid at present the removal of highly toxic sediments and the trace element release to the food chain in this area.
Sara Muñoz Vallés, Jesús Cambrollé, Jesús M. Castillo, Guillermo Curado, Juan Manuel Mancilla-Leytón, M. Enrique Figueroa-Clemente

Chapter 8. El Yali National Reserve: A System of Coastal Wetlands in the Southern Hemisphere Affected by Contemporary Climate Change and Tsunamis

El Yali is a complex wetlands system composed by more than 14 waterbodies, located in central Chile and delimited by two basins of the most important rivers of the region. Among the waterbodies is a coastal lagoon, some estuaries, artificial wetlands, salt mine and inner lagoons that were coastal lagoons in the past but due to tectonic processes have been moved and raised to their current location. The damming of the river that delimits the system to the south in 1968 cutoff the natural the sedimentary supply to the extensive beach and dunes, leaving the wetlands in a situation of vulnerability before climate change and variability, anthropic pressure, ocean swells and tsunamis. In the present chapter is illustrated the degradation that the wetlands system is suffering, by means of the estimation of tendencies of the long term records available in the zone, antecedents about its natural history, anthropic pressure and natural disasters like earthquakes, tsunamis, ocean swells and ENSO, along with field monitoring that has been carried out with the objective of implementing an ecological restoration. These antecedents show a decrease of precipitations and river discharges, an increase of ambient temperature and sea surface temperature, a rising of sea level and a change of the incident waves.
El Yali was severely affected by the earthquake and tsunami in 2010, which destroyed 800 ha of beach and coastal dunes that provided natural protection. In many opportunities, El Yali was affected by earthquake and tsunamis, intense ocean swells and ENSO, all phenomena that dissipate energy destroying the natural barrier the dunes represent. However, before the construction of Rapel reservoir, the sedimentary supply allowed a rapid recovery of the beach, sandbar and dunes. When this sediment supply was cutoff, the dunes has enough material to support the equilibrium of the system for some decades, but when tsunami waves destroyed the dunes, there was no sand supply to restore the beach nor the dunes. This generated a substantial change in the system, turning it more vulnerable to tsunamis, even smaller, ocean swells, and sea-level raising associated to ENSO Kelvin waves and climate change. For this reason, the first proposed restoration action is to restore the dunes and plant a vegetal cover with native species that reinforce and maintain the dunes.
Manuel Contreras-López, Julio Salcedo-Castro, Fernanda Cortés-Molina, Pablo Figueroa-Nagel, Hernán Vergara-Cortés, Rodrigo Figueroa-Sterquel, Cyntia E. Mizobe

Impacts of Coastal Engineering and Environmental Degradation


Chapter 9. Physical and Morphological Changes to Wetlands Induced by Coastal Structures

This document is focused on the establishment of a methodology to assess erosive processes in a coastal wetland. Particularly, it analyses the spit that separates the lagoon from the sea, elaborating a diagnostic process that helps to characterize the effect of the coastal infrastructure in morphological changes in a short and medium-term. Elements such as the morphology, the wave climate, the hydrodynamic and the evolution monitoring of coastline are key elements to understand whether a coastal wetland is on equilibrium or in the contrary, its state of vulnerability is such that in the slightest change in physics conditions will produce negative effects by the system instability.
Generally, it describes the procedure performed to properly understand the relation between modifications of coastal processes and the response of a coastal environment. It uses numerical and theoretical models to assess the behavior of the waterfront, considering the historical changes that have occurred to ultimately predict variations of the spit as consequence of the establishment of new civil works. Finally, it concludes with this method of analysis that the evaluated study case will be affected by the works of action to be developed for facilitating the navigability conditions of a new port currently under construction in the city of Barranquilla, Colombia.
Germán Daniel Rivillas-Ospina, Gabriel Ruiz-Martinez, Rodolfo Silva, Edgar Mendoza, Carlos Pacheco, Guillermo Acuña, Juan Rueda, Angélica Felix, Jesús Pérez, Carlos Pinilla

Chapter 10. Long Term Impacts of Jetties and Training Walls on Estuarine Hydraulics and Ecologies

Data and theory show that the inlets of several large estuaries on Australia’s eastern seaboard that appeared to be stable within a range of entrance conditions are demonstrating unstable scouring modes and have been doing so for decades, if not centuries, since entrance jetties had been constructed. Jetties have increased the hydraulic conveyance of the entrance channels by removing sand bars and extraneous littoral currents that impeded ebb tide discharges. Field data comprising comprehensive water level monitoring in the bays, enabling the definition of tidal planes to a high resolution, have shown that the spring tidal ranges of these bays has been increasing steadily for decades with high tide planes rising and low tide planes falling. The field data have indicated that these changes show no signs of stabilizing and Escoffier analyses have indicated that it could take centuries for these inlets to reach new stable hydraulic regimes. Implications have included extensive scour in the entrance channels requiring channel erosion protection works, subsidence of road bridges, collapse of foreshores including buildings, sedimentation in the bays and on adjacent beaches and permanent changes to fringing marine ecologies and fisheries. Changes to the distribution of seagrass, saltmarsh and mangrove forests have been observed to coincide with and confirm the expectations of impacts on marine ecology that could derive from jetty construction. While jetties have improved flood conveyance significantly the increases in ebb tide velocities have resulted in navigational hazards for recreational boating.
Alexander F. Nielsen, Angus D. Gordon

Chapter 11. Mangrove Degradation in the Sundarbans

Mangroves are most opportunistic plant to find out the favorable environment for adjustment with changing natural conditions of the coastal processes over time and space. The salt loving halophytic plants of intertidal environment are also known as a perfect biological indicator of coastal environmental changes. They act as natural buffer or bio-shield against the wind breaks, tidal waves and coastal erosion. Surface stability of younger deltaic sediments is achieved in the Sundarban coast due to the location and luxuriant growth of mangroves. Presently, Sundarban mangroves are affected by multiple ways of degradations that will produce the significant risks or vulnerabilities to the deltaic coasts occupied by land hungry people of South-Asia.
The present study reveals with an attempt to prepare a checklist for the assessment of mangrove degradations with special reference to south west Sundarban coast. The significance of mangrove conservation will be strongly supported by such degradation check lists for the coastal managers. The present work is conducted by extensive field works over a prolonged period, use of professional experiences of the authors, and application of Geospatial Techniques for database generation and management to achieve the purposes. However, factor analysis (PCA) method is also utilized to justify the ideal sequential factors those are responsible for mangrove degradations for each study area of the islands as per their regional location characters.
So far as, seven major factors and their total 56 sub-factors of mangrove degradations have been identified in southwestern parts of the Sundarban from the temporal field observations, remote sensing studies and explored historical documents in the study areas. From the present study it is revealed that hypersalinity, storm effects and sediment deposition parameters are mainly responsible for mangrove degradations in Patibania Island (Susnir Char); and for the Fredrick Island fishery development, land erosion and hypersalinity parameters are liable to mangrove degradations; and finally, fishery development, sediment deposition and land erosion parameters are sequentially responsible for mangrove degradations in Henry’s Island.
Ashis Kr. Paul, Ratnadip Ray, Amrit Kamila, Subrata Jana

Chapter 12. Assessment of Anthropogenic Threats to the Biological Resources of Kaliveli Lake, India: A Coastal Wetland

Kaliveli Lake is a coastal lagoon wetlands in the Viluppuram District, near to Bay of Bengal, Tamil Nadu state, Southeast coast of India. The lake is one of the largest wetlands in peninsular India, and is considered a wetland of international importance proposed by International Union for the Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN). Kaliveli Backwaters is 12.5 km long and 370 m broad. The average depth is 1.75 m in the high tide. At some place it shows 3.5–4.0 m deep. It covers an area of 3940 acres with a gradient from freshwater to brackish water. It is a semi-permanent, fresh to brackish water lagoon, which empties into the sea through a narrow channel connecting the wetland with the Yedayanthittu estuary to the northeast. This wetland is one of the most significant habitats suitable feeding and breeding ground for migratory birds. More than ten thousand migratory birds are visiting this wetland every year. At present, this wetland is threatened by many anthropogenic activities such as infringement from agricultural lands, wildlife poaching, loss of the surrounding forests, increased saltpan and aquaculture farming and recreational activities. The present study focuses on identification and assessment of the various threats faced by the Kaliveli wetland and we affirm following suggestions regarding the adequate measures for its conservation and management.
Krishnan Silambarasan, Arumugam Sundaramanickam

Chapter 13. Egyptian Nile Delta Coastal Lagoons: Alteration and Subsequent Restoration

Wetlands and coastal lagoons are valuable and sensitive environments as recognized by Ramsar Convention. Egypt has many forms of wetlands. Mariout, Edku, Burullus and Manzala are considered as the most important lagoons and wetlands in the Egyptian Mediterranean coastal area. The Egyptian Ministry of Environmental Affairs (MENA) updated the National Biodiversity, Strategy and Action plan (NBSAP) for the years (2015–2030). One of the goals of this strategy is to minimize the rate of wetlands loss by 50%. The challenges of the Egyptian coastal lagoons were summarized to include pollution, water deterioration, lake of management, reduction of area, aquatic plants, habitat loss, climate change, siltation of the outlets, eutrophication, awareness, illegal fish practice, over fishing and decline of fish yield. Egyptian Environmental Affairs Agency (EEAA) initiate monitoring program to check the water quality of the coastal lakes and its adjacent marine area. The northern lakes have discussed to describe their morphology, environmental status & stress and their water quality according to recent measurements of the EEAA. Many efforts have been done for environmental conservation and socioeconomic development to the coastal lagoon such as El-Burullus Lake is protected by the Egyptian Prime Ministerial Decree 1444/1998 and is a Ramsar Site. Edku and Mariout Lagoons still need more efforts to environment conservation for sustainable development. In order to improvement of coastal lagoons resilience, periodical monitoring of water quality and pollution sources, quantities and type of discharges from these sources became perquisite to determine its impacts of these lakes.
Ayman A. El-Gamal

Restoration Techniques, Ecological Aesthetics, and Ecosystem Conservation (Sustainability and Biodiversity)


Chapter 14. Coastal Wetland Restoration: Concepts, Methodology, and Application Areas Along the Indian Coast

This paper emphasizes and endorses the use of natural restoration techniques for Coastal Wetland Restoration in Indian scenario. Natural techniques that restore an ecosystem’s ability to approach a pre-disturbance condition are distinct from treatment technologies or structures that are inserted into the system to be acquired sustainable equilibrium. Natural restoration techniques use materials indigenous to the ecosystem and are incorporated into the dynamics of an coastal ecosystem in an attempt to create conditions in which coastal ecosystem processes can withstand and diminish the impact of stressors on the coastal environment. In Chilika wetland ecosystem, the salinity is restored due to open cut of the sand bar and entered much volume of sea water and increased the salinity concentration in the wetland. Subsequently, the fish population increased in the Chilika wetland ecosystem. Similarly, Vembanad wetland ecosystem, also restored the fisheries population by operating the gates of the weirs in the region.
Ramasamy Manivanan

Chapter 15. Ecological Aesthetics Perspective for Coastal Wetland Conservation

Ever increasing amounts of coastal wetlands are being destroyed; therefore, public participation in wetland conservation is important. Aesthetic preference provides a critical connection between humans and ecology that could greatly promote public awareness regarding conservation actions. The prospect-refuge theory and the preference matrix of the bioevolutionary hypothesis illustrate that aesthetic experience could drive landscape change, and pull with it ecological quality. Based on these concepts, a healthy coastal wetland with beautiful scenery might have high aesthetic value and generate positive emotional reactions that are preferred by people, thus encouraging them to venture further into such environments to explore. The comprehensive attributes of physical landscape and ecological function affect the aesthetics of coastal wetlands. In particular, 15 factors spread among four attributes influenced peoples’ perception of the aesthetic and ecological quality of coastal wetlands. Attribute 1, the quality of the waterbody, is a predominant influence on the health of coastal wetlands, which appearance of waterbody affects aesthetic value. Attribute 2, the natural water edge of coastal wetlands could maintain the health of the wetland well and ensure the quality of the ecotone, which is perceived naturalness and high aesthetic value. Attribute 3 is the quality of terrestrial plants, which affects the diversity of wetlands and benefit to protect the terrestrial and aquatic habitats. Visual penetration of terrestrial plants is the main influential attribute of aesthetic preference. Attribute 4, the overall landscape of wetlands, shows peoples’ attitudes toward wetlands, related to the quality and size of the wetland and the challenge of aesthetics.
LeeHsueh Lee

Chapter 16. Estuarine Ecoclines and the Associated Fauna: Ecological Information as the Basis for Ecosystem Conservation

Ecocline is defined as a “gradation from one ecosystem to another when there is no sharp boundary between the two” containing relatively heterogeneous communities influenced by gradual changes between river-dominated to marine-like waters. It creates heterogeneous habitats, differing in abiotic characteristics, mainly water salinity. Estuarine fish fauna is highly influenced by the major annual water quality shifts resulted from seaward river flow during the rainy season and upstream coastal water inflow during drier seasons. Thus, faunal communities change seasonally in terms of quali-quantitative variables or living strategies. Estuarine ecocline can also set the seasonal retention, bioavailability or sinking of dissolved oxygen, pollutants and microbiological contaminants whose effects are crucial to determine the pattern of use, fish entering, tissue contamination and survival of early stages. Abrupt changes in climatic patterns or in the river flow induce changes in the ecocline and fishes will respond by modifying assemblage structures. The use of robust and consistent scientific information regarding fish fauna and their ecocline can provide reliable ecological information. This generates descriptors of reference conditions taking into account how human impacts affect coastal systems, providing steps to guarantee the sustainable use of estuarine resources.
Mário Barletta, André R. A. Lima, Monica F. Costa, David V. Dantas

Chapter 17. Alteration and Remediation of Coastal Wetland Ecosystems in the Danube Delta: A Remote-Sensing Approach

Wetlands are important and valuable ecosystems; yet, since 1900, more than 50% of wetlands have been lost worldwide. An example of altered and partially restored coastal wetlands is the Danube Delta in Romania. Over time, human intervention has manifested itself in more than one-quarter of the entire Danube surface. This intervention was brutal and has rendered ecosystem restoration very difficult. Studies for rehabilitation/re-vegetation were begun immediately after the Danube Delta was declared a Biosphere Reservation in 1990. Remote sensing offers accurate methods for detecting changes in restored wetlands. Vegetation change detection is a powerful indicator of restoration success. The restoration projects use vegetative cover as an important indicator of restoration success. To follow the evolution of the vegetation cover of the restored areas, images obtained by radar and optical satellites, such as Sentinel-1 and Sentinel-2, have been used. The sensitivity of such sensors to the landscape depends on the wavelength of the radar or optical detection system and, for radar data, on polarization. Combining these types of data, which are associated with the density and size of the vegetation, is particularly relevant for the classification of wetland vegetation. In addition, the high temporal acquisition frequencies used by Sentinel-1, which are not sensitive to cloud cover, allow the use of temporal signatures of different land covers. Thus, to better understand the signatures of the different study classes, we analyze the polarimetric and temporal signatures of Sentinel-1 data. In a second phase, we perform classifications based on the Random Forest supervised classification algorithm involving the entire Sentinel-1 time series, proceeding through a Sentinel-2 collection and finally involving combinations of Sentinel-1 and -2 data. The supervised classifier used is the Random Forest algorithm that is available in the OrfeoToolbox (version 5.6) free software. Random Forest is an ensemble learning technique that builds upon multiple decision trees and is particularly relevant when combining different types of indicators. The results of this study relate to the use of combinations of data from different satellite sensors (multi-date Sentinel-1, Sentinel-2) to improve the accuracy of recognition and mapping of major vegetation classes in the restoring areas of the Danube Delta. First, the data from each sensor are classified and analyzed. The results obtained in the first step show quite good classification performance for only one Sentinel-2 data (87.5% mean accuracy), in contrast to the very good results obtained using the Sentinel-1 time series (95.7% mean accuracy). The combination of Sentinel-1 time series and optical data from Sentinel-2 improved the performance of the classification (97.1%).
Simona Niculescu, Cédric Lardeux, Jenica Hanganu

Chapter 18. Implementation of a Wildlife Management Unit as a Sustainable Support Measure Within the Palo Verde Estuary, Mexico: Example of the American Crocodile (Crocodylus acutus)

It is recognized that pollution, fragmentation of ecosystems and habitat destruction due to human activities, make necessary the sustainable use of natural resources ensuring a balanced development with legal certainty by alternatives that promote the protection, preservation and proper use of natural resources. Mexico is not the exception, the Palo Verde Estuary is a RAMSAR site that supports various socio-economic activities, and has a tendency towards deterioration. It has been the focus of many environmental studies. This paper describes the implementation of a Wildlife Management Unit for sustainable commercial harvesting of crocodile Crocodylus acutus as an alternative project in the site known as Ecological Center Tortugario of Cuyutlan. Thus, providing a standard for integrating an economic aspect to biodiversity and ecosystem protection in the decision making process. Finally, an analysis is made from the perspective of conceptual framework Driving Forces-Pressure-State-Impact-Response where the institutional context and participative management can be the main support of sustainable development on this site. The expansion of the a Wildlife Management Unit is an alternative project for the sustainable use of C. acutus present in the Palo Verde Estuary that can be replicated in other Mexican coastal systems. Additionally, in itself it represents an opportunity to reconcile human activities with the environment.
Omar Cervantes, Aramis Olivos-Ortiz, Refugio Anguiano-Cuevas, Concepción Contreras, Juan Carlos Chávez-Comparan

Chapter 19. Mangrove Inventory, Monitoring, and Health Assessment

Mangroves occur world-wide in the tropics and subtropics, mainly between 32°N and 38°S latitudes. These are assemblages of salt tolerant shrubs and trees that grow along the inter-tidal regions in the form of narrow strips or as extensive patches in estuarine habitats and river deltas. Mangroves or Mangal perform many important functions in the coastal and marine environment as well as provide vital and unique ecosystem goods and services including livelihood of coastal people in terms of forest produce and fishery resources. In spite of its ecological and economic significance, mangroves are under threat from human activities in addition to natural causes. The anthropogenic threats to this ecosystem include reclamation of mangrove areas for human habitation, aquaculture, agriculture, port and industrial development. Conservation and management of the mangrove ecosystem requires spatial inventory of mangrove cover, its type and canopy density as well as its monitoring with time. The physical conditions and harsh environment in and around the mangrove forest make the conventional methods of data collection extremely difficult. Under such conditions, data from remote sensing satellites provide a viable option for mapping and monitoring of mangroves.
Mangroves, their importance and threats to this vital ecosystem are discussed here. Remote sensing techniques and its application in the context of mangroves have been briefly discussed. Use of satellite data for mapping and monitoring of mangrove forests has also been described in this chapter. Methodology for spatial inventory of mangroves at community level along with canopy density is also presented in detail. Case studies on the inventory and monitoring of mangroves have also been discussed. A model for mangrove health assessment, based on the satellite data and conventional inputs, have been developed and presented here. This multi-parameter health assessment model has been discussed and demonstrated through a case study from India.
Ajai, H. B. Chauhan

Chapter 20. How Can Accurate Landing Stats Help in Designing Better Fisheries and Environmental Management for Western Atlantic Estuaries?

Fisheries in Brazil, the country with most territory in South America, is not comprehensive at all. The lack of precise historical data is the main concern faced by perspectives of fishery management. The majority of data are simplistic records of extrapolated biomass published by federal entities regardless the habitat from where fish resources were harvested, how they were captured and lengths of capture. Little attention was given to the social, economic and cultural aspects of traditional communities and their livelihood. Worst is the case of estuarine systems of the Western Atlantic, where artisanal fishery rules the landings and the absence of proper monitoring, control and surveillance leads to poor managerial actions. As a result, fishery studies conclude that most fish stocks of Western Atlantic estuaries show signs of over-exploitation. Palliative measures such as closed periods for capture of common resources has emerged as urgent option aiming to reduce the impacts of overfishing. Bycatch reduction devices are examples of emerging options. Fishery management of Brazilian estuaries urges accelerated actions: introduce rights and duties-based fishery management to guarantee the declaration of every fisherman activities; enable fishers to organize themselves through the idea of ecological sustainability and economic efficiency; and acquiring daily reports of fish landings through stakeholder approach and co-management. Fishery pressure is not the unique responsible for reduced estuarine production. Bycatch due to small-mesh nets, oxygen-consuming effluents, emerging pollutants, solid wastes, deforestation of mangrove forest for human purposes and human-driven changes in river flow and estuarine morphology are rapidly changing the nature of a nursery environment. Co-management, long-term data and daily reports on production can help to design stock assessment models, understand variations in biomass over time, detect problems of uncontrolled fishing effort, point periods of seasonal habits for each fishery resource, and, most importantly, guarantee that enough juveniles of each living resource can be recruited to adult stocks. The compliance of ecological data and biological research, robust data for landing stats and the social profile of the fishery community seems to be the ideal approach to build proper rules of co-management in Western Atlantic estuaries.
Mário Barletta, André R. A. Lima, David V. Dantas, Igor M. Oliveira, Jurandyr Reis Neto, Cezar A. F. Fernandes, Eduardo G. G. Farias, Jorge L. R. Filho, Monica F. Costa

Chapter 21. Returning the Tide to Dikelands in a Macrotidal and Ice-Influenced Environment: Challenges and Lessons Learned

The objectives of this chapter are to (1) document lessons learned from the design, implementation and monitoring of a salt marsh restoration in the upper Bay of Fundy, Canada, and (2) consider how the lessons can be applied to future restoration projects. The Fort Beauséjour salt marsh restoration sites are exposed to very large tides (up to 14 m), waves, and snow and ice in winter. This project involved a managed re-alignment, with two restoration cells and two reference sites. Before breaching, design criteria were established (e.g., the restoration cells must fully flood at high tide and drain slowly) and a hydrodynamic model was used to test breaching options. Pre-restoration monitoring was completed in 2009–2010, the old dike was breached in October 2010, and post-breach monitoring commenced thereafter. Measurements of water level, velocities, and discharge at one breach, compared very well to model predictions. Likewise, patterns of sediment deposition were as predicted, and sedimentation rates were as expected based on empirical studies done in the area. The bioengineering species saltwater cordgrass (Spartina alterniflora) took 2 years to colonize the cells; it initially spread vegetatively and then by seeds. Plant cover became extensive in year 5 post-breach. Invertebrate and salt pool biological communities are lagging behind. Lessons learned include: (1) plan for future conditions and provide adequate accommodation space for development of a new marsh; (2) multi-level partnerships are critical to the success of such projects; (3) monitoring with a research focus ensures observation and quantification of unexpected phenomena; and (4) the design process used, including the hydrodynamic model, was successful and can be used again for similar situations.
Laura K. Boone, Jeff Ollerhead, Myriam A. Barbeau, Allen D. Beck, Brian G. Sanderson, Nic R. McLellan

Chapter 22. Macrobenthic Assemblage in the Rupsha-Pasur River System of the Sundarbans Ecosystem (Bangladesh) for the Sustainable Management of Coastal Wetlands

Information on benthic fauna in the coastal region of Bangladesh is scarce. Owing to its geographical location, land characteristics, and multiplicity of rivers, the south western region of Bangladesh contains the world’s largest mangrove forest, the Sundarbans, containing rich floral and faunal biodiversity. Non-forestry product of the Sundarbans e.g. aquatic biotic community becomes more plentiful with presence of benthic invertebrates in the system since macrobenthos perform various ecological roles in mangrove functioning. To obtain insight into macrobenthos assemblage patterns along the Rupsha-Pasur river system, along the Sundarbans, Mongla and Koromjal were the sites of investigation. The macrobenthos assemblage patterns with environmental parameter from 10 m depth during low tide were observed from those sites. Among the major groups found in both sites, Annelida (including echiura, oligochaeta and polychaeta) represented highest diversity with 22 species, followed by 21 species of arthropoda (Crustacea-decapoda), 20 species of Mollusk (gastropoda), 9 species of arthropoda-bivalvia, few crustacea-isopoda, crustaceae-tanaidaceae and nemartina taxa. The relative abundance was not significantly different in Mongla and Koromjal. A significant seasonal effect on the relative abundance was found by performing the Kolmogorov-Smirnov test, at p < 0.05. The monsoon gave rise to more diverse macrobenthic species than the dry season. To study the relations between the macrobenthic species, relative abundances, and the environmental parameters, redundancy multivariate analysis was applied. The overall results indicate relative species abundance is influenced by the combined effects of environmental parameters and biological parameters. Further research is necessary to understand the species and system dynamics. The research of non-forestry product of the Sundarbans is necessary for the future management of the Sundarbans in a sustainale manner.
Salma Begum

Chapter 23. Ecological Services of Intertidal Benthic Fauna and the Sustenance of Coastal Wetlands Along the Midnapore (East) Coast, West Bengal, India

Human existence is entirely dependent on the products and services of biodiversity for food, medicines, shelter, clothing materials, aesthetics etc. Ecological services on the other hand denote the contribution of nature to a variety of “goods and services” to mankind in respect of economics and ecology. Biodiversity being an important component of the mother earth renders valuable ecological services to all the compartments of the environment including coastal zone which is the interface of the land and sea and represents an eco-potential ecosystem along with its different geo-morphological components like estuaries, mangroves, dunes, deltas, lagoons, intertidal zones, etc. The present article focuses on the functional contribution of benthic biodiversity towards sustenance of a short but geo-morphologically diversified intertidal zones of coastal Midnapore (East) District, West Bengal, India which is in continuation of Sundarbans mangrove estuarine complex of India These benthic fauna, both macrobenthos (brachyuran crabs, molluscs, polycaetes, actiniarians etc.) and meiobenthos(nematodes, foraminifera, copepods, polychaetes etc.) render valuable ecological services by making sediments loaded with living organisms by bioturbation, releasing millions of benthic larvae (meroplankton) to the aquatic system as the food of fishes, converting mangrove leaves into detritus,releasing nutrients, ploughing sediments to maintain textural composition, acting as food for demerseal fishes, bioaccumulating pollutants,serving as bioindicator, and providing aesthetics.
Susanta Kumar Chakraborty


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