SPEAR aims to develop and test an integrated framework for interpreting coastal zone structure and dynamics, in areas where communities primarily depend on marine resources. This framework accounts for watershed interactions, ecological structure and human activities. Our interdisciplinary approach combines natural and social sciences, and addresses the complex scaling issues inherent in integrated management. Two contrasting systems in China will be studied: Sanggou Bay, part of a rural watershed, and Huan gdun Bay, located in an industrialized area south of Shanghai. In both systems, large-scale cultivation of seaweeds, shellfish and finfish are of paramount importance for community income and livelihood. Research and development will use existing local and regional datasets, ongoing Chinese field programs, archived and contemporary satellite imagery, with limited additional field and experimental measures. Complementary workpackages will establish the interactions between catchment use and coastal zone. Wor k will focus on fluxes of nutrients, organic matter and sediments, including exchanges at the seaward boundary and the role of ecological processes. Component models will describe the interactions both between cultivated species and with their environments , taking into account different levels of human interaction (e.g. resource exploitation, basin water management practices, and sewage discharge). Integrated modelling will permit the dynamic coupling of economic drivers responsible for social issues (over-exploitation, usage conflicts) with our ecological models, resolving inter-relations with the natural system. This will allow realistic testing of 3 contrasting management scenarios. Particular emphasis will be placed on how integrated multi-species aquacu lture (=polyculture) may be used to restore and optimise sustainability by internalizing environmental costs.
Call for proposal
See other projects for this call