ABSTRACT: Baseline Integrated Research in Mediterranean Sandy Beaches for Sustainable Management

Scapini F. 2003.

Baseline Integrated Research in Mediterranean Sandy Beaches for Sustainable Management

In: E. Öshan (Editor) Proceedings of the Sixth International Conference on the Mediterranean Coastal Environment, MEDCOAST 03, Ravenna, Italy, 1333-1343.


Sandy beaches represent environments of high economic value for most countries along both the northern and southern Mediterranean shores. However, little is known about the ecological value of these fragile environments subject to various threats of natural and human origin. Sound scientific baseline inputs to sandy beach ecology are needed for a sustainable beach management. In the framework of the MECO project (MEditerranean COastal ECOsystems, 1998-2001, funded by the EU, contract n. ERB-IC18CT-98-0270), a number of study sites was chosen along western Mediterranean coasts, on which a multidisciplinary characterisation and evaluation of the state of beach ecosystems were conducted. Biological diversity at different levels of integration (community, population, molecular and physiological-behavioural) was estimated on key organisms. Different bioindicators were compared to be proposed for monitoring the effects of management and uses of beach environments. The importance was highlighted of extending the approach to influencing environments both inland and seawards, and a systemic approach was adopted in the ongoing MEDCORE project (MEDiterranean COstal River Ecosystems, 2003-2005, ICA3-CT2002-10003).


Address of the author:

Felicita Scapini, Dipartimento di Biologia Animale e Genetica “Leo Pardi”, Università di Firenze, via Romana 17, 50125 Firenze, Italy


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