Friday, August 11, 2017: 8:00 AM-9:30 AM
C123, Oregon Convention Center
Katherine Tully, University of Maryland
Keryn Gedan, George Washington University
Danielle Weissman, University of Maryland
The coastal zone is being irrevocably changed by sea level rise and saltwater intrusion, in ways that are both subtle and overt. Ecotones are on the move. Coastal and intertidal habitats are changing in areal extent and plant, animal, and microbial composition, as flood frequencies and salinity levels shift in response to climate change. Carbon storage in the coastal zone is being affected in complex ways as blue carbon ecosystems migrate into those that store terrestrial carbon, sometimes with sudden or unexpected shifts. Coastal forests, freshwater wetlands, and uplands are becoming more saline. Nitrogen is displaced from soils by saltwater and phosphorus locked in terrestrial soils is remobilized into estuaries. Speakers will highlight cases of observed and predicted changes in a variety of coastal ecosystems and regions, in cases that move from the micro- to macro- to landscape-scale. Each speaker will focus on an ecological change, when and where it is observed, and the implications of the change for the provision of ecosystem services. The end result will be a sweeping overview of coastal change due to sea level rise and saltwater intrusion and what it means for humanity.