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Fletcher S.,University of Plymouth | Saunders J.,ABP Marine Environmental Research Ltd | Herbert R.J.H.,Bournemouth University
Journal of Coastal Research | Year: 2011

This paper presents an analysis of the marine ecosystem services delivered by the broad-scale habitats (EUNIS Level 3) that will be included in England's new Marine Protected Area (MPA) network developed under the Marine and Coastal Access Act (2009). The assessment of ecosystem services was undertaken through a systematic literature review to identify evidence for the existence of either beneficial ecosystem processes or beneficial ecosystem services provided by each broad-scale habitat. The review found that broad-scale marine habitats provide a wide range of ecosystem services, which in turn suggests that their protection genuinely provides both direct and indirect benefits to society. However, there was substantially more evidence of beneficial ecosystem processes than beneficial ecosystem services which potentially reflects the tendency to study how a habitat functions, rather than how it is (or could be) used. In particular, a clear research gap was found related to how marine features are used for sport and recreation, tourism, nature watching and other nonextractive activities. In addition, the role of such habitats in supporting overall environmental resilience was unclear. Despite the variability of the evidence base, this study is significant as it identified, for the first time, the extent of the evidence base for ecosystem services provided by broad-scale marine habitats within England's MPA network.

Humphreys J.,Bournemouth University | Herbert R.J.H.,Bournemouth University | Roberts C.,ABP Marine Environmental Research Ltd | Fletcher S.,University of Plymouth
Aquaculture | Year: 2014

The Pacific oyster (Crassostrea gigas) was introduced into British waters to support an industry suffering from the decline of the native oyster. Until recently significant conservation risk was thought to be negligible as British coastal waters were considered incompatible with the establishment of self sustaining populations. Those circumstances have changed. On warming southern coasts the Pacific oyster has naturalised and now occupies an intersection between two policy imperatives: one concerning the conservation of protected habitats, the other relating to livelihoods and the economics of coastal communities. This combined with inconsistencies of attitude and policy between immediate European Union neighbours has made the future management of the Pacific oyster contentious. In this context policy is influenced not just by scientific evidence but also by perceptions of the history and economics of the species in each member state. However whereas the conservation risk is increasingly well documented, the history and economics of the species are not. To balance the policy equation we reappraise the commercial history of the species in Britain and provide a first estimate of the full value to the British economy of British reared Pacific oysters, employing a novel approach to the economics of a single aquaculture species. The established view on the history of C. gigas in Britain has it introduced for aquaculture in 1965. Informed by formal taxonomic recognition of its synonymic relation with the Portuguese oyster, along with a search of primary sources, we provide a revised history with the first reliably documented introduction 75. years earlier, in 1890. The economic significance of the species, when conventionally reported as "value at first sale", is also underestimated. The full economic significance of a species is better represented by Gross Output and Gross Value Added through all stages of the value chain, but few if any estimates of these have been attempted for a single species. On the basis of an analysis of the 2011/12 market for British reared C. gigas from production to ultimate consumption, we estimate annual Gross Output to be over £13. million (more than five times the value at first sale), and GVA to be over £10. million. On the basis of the world market and comparisons with neighbouring state production, it is argued that British Pacific oyster production could be significantly increased once uncertainty over its management is resolved. © 2014 Elsevier B.V.

Pacheco A.,University of Algarve | Williams J.J.,ABP Marine Environmental Research Ltd | Ferreira O.,University of Algarve | Garel E.,University of Algarve | Reynolds S.,University of Plymouth
Estuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science | Year: 2011

This paper derives local formulae to estimate bed roughness and suspended transport and present a method to calculate net sediment transport at tidal inlet systems, combining field data and a range of well established empirical formulations. To accomplish this, measurements spanning a spring-tidal cycle of mean water levels, waves, near-bed flow turbulence and bed forms were obtained from the Ancão Inlet, Ria Formosa lagoon system, Portugal. High-resolution hydrodynamic data were gathered using acoustic equipments and by measuring sediment properties (grain-size diameter and bed form dimensions) under fair-weather conditions. The results compared favourably with available direct and indirect field observations of sediment transport rates. The approach appears to be robust and widely applicable and so can be applied to the same conditions in any tidal inlet system. This is of particular importance when attempting to understand sediment transport at inlet mouths, and has practical applications in a range of coastal engineering and coastal management areas concerned with navigation safety, coastal erosion, ecosystem health and water quality. The study discusses the applicability of the method on evaluating system flushing capacity, giving important insights on multiple inlet evolution, particularly with regard to their persistence through time. The methodological framework can be applied to assess the long-term stability of single- and multiple-inlet systems, provided that estimates of sediment storage at ebb-tidal deltas are available and sediment transport estimates during storm events are statistically considered. © 2011 Elsevier Ltd.

Thompson C.E.L.,UK National Oceanography Center | Kassem H.,UK National Oceanography Center | Williams J.,ABP Marine Environmental Research Ltd
Journal of Coastal Research | Year: 2013

Sediment resuspension in the region outside the surf zone is known to contribute to the morphological response of barrier beaches to wave forcing, such as onshore bar migration processes. However, few measurements in this region exist, limiting our ability to quantify its contribution. These processes are complicated by the presence of bedforms in the nearshore, which alter the sand transport processes while modifying bed roughness in a complex feedback mechanism. The Hydralab IV funded BARDEX II experiments, which took place in the Delta Flume in 2012, were used to provide measurements of these processes in the nearshore of a sandy barrier beach (D50 = 0.42mm) under a range of wave conditions (Hs = 0.3 - 0.8 m; Tp = 4 - 12 s) and water levels, through deployment of a suite of acoustic instruments measuring flow velocity, near-bed turbulence, sediment resuspension profiles and bed morphology in cross-section and plan view. Initial findings indicate that sediment suspension in the nearshore appears to be controlled by a combination of near-bed turbulent bursting processes which results in near-instantaneous low concentration suspensions restricted to the bottom boundary layer, and vortex shedding from bedforms which results in higher concentration suspensions which are larger in scale than vertical eddy sizes, and perpetuate outside of the bottom boundary layer. © Coastal Education & Research Foundation 2013.

Keith S.A.,Bournemouth University | Herbert R.J.,Bournemouth University | Norton P.A.,ABP Marine Environmental Research Ltd | Hawkins S.J.,Bangor University | And 2 more authors.
Diversity and Distributions | Year: 2011

Aim Evidence indicates that species are responding to climate change through distributional range shifts that track suitable climatic conditions. We aim to elucidate the role of meso-scale dispersal barriers in climate-tracking responses. Location South coast of England (the English Channel). Methods Historical distributional data of four intertidal invertebrate species were logistically regressed against sea surface temperature (SST) to determine a climate envelope. This envelope was used to estimate the expected climate-tracking response since 1990 along the coast, which was compared with observed range expansions. A hydrodynamic modelling approach was used to identify dispersal barriers and explore disparities between expected and observed climate tracking. Results Range shifts detected by field survey over the past 20years were less than those predicted by the changes that have occurred in SST. Hydrodynamic model simulations indicated that physical barriers produced by complex tidal currents have variably restricted dispersal of pelagic larvae amongst the four species. Main conclusions We provide the first evidence that meso-scale hydrodynamic barriers have limited climate-induced range shifts and demonstrate that life history traits affect the ability of species to overcome such barriers. This suggests that current forecasts may be flawed, both by overestimating range shifts and by underestimating climatic tolerances of species. This has implications for our understanding of climate change impacts on global biodiversity. © 2010 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

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