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Comparative analysis of food webs based on flow networks: Effects of nutrient supply on structure and function of coastal plankton communities

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Model for healthy coastal waters

Many European coastal zones are dying from a lack or excess of nutrients. A study is being done to produce a model that will map nutrient flows around coastal regions aiding in prevention of stagnating water.

Climate Change and Environment

Experimental sites have been set up around coastal zones in Europe with the aim of providing a sustainable marine resource. Currently, exploitation of marine life is causing upsets in the fine nutrient balance in coastal regions. The development of an analytical method to assess and predict effects of nutrient availability on stability of coastal systems would be a very useful tool. Any model for marine systems will be very complex due to the large number of variables to be considered. The model must account for seasonal and long-term changes as well as having the flexibility for the occasional episodic event. An integrated model of coastal nutrient supply will promote the ability to manipulate natural systems whilst keeping them healthy. Consequently the exploitation of marine resources will be able to continue, with minimal destruction to marine life.

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