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Biological indicators in the Caribbean coastal zone and their role in integrated coastal management
Linton, D.M.; Warner, G.F. (2003). Biological indicators in the Caribbean coastal zone and their role in integrated coastal management. Ocean Coast. Manag. 46(3-4): 261-276
In: Ocean & Coastal Management. Elsevier Science: Barking. ISSN 0964-5691, more
Peer reviewed article  

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  • Linton, D.M.
  • Warner, G.F.

    Caribbean coastal ecosystems are increasingly being threatened by natural and anthropogenic factors. The scale of these factors is at local, national, regional and global levels. Threats include the effects of fisheries and extraction, eutrophication, siltation, and pollution as well as global climate events such as El Niño and global climate change. Integrated coastal management (ICM) should clearly demonstrate the adverse effects of environmental impacts, thus justifying the need for mitigation and should evaluate the success of management efforts. ICM requires robust indicators that gauge the ‘health’ of the coast in relation to environmental, social and economic activities. Biological indicators (bioindicators) offer a signal of the biological condition in an ecosystem. Using bioindicators as an early warning of pollution or degradation in an ecosystem can help sustain critical resources. Biological indicators in the Caribbean are focused around particular ecosystems, especially coral reefs, seagrass beds and mangrove forests and include a range of biological parameters relating to particular species, groups of species and biological processes. The use of these indicators is critically reviewed and the presence or absence of a relevant framework for their use in Caribbean ICM programs is discussed.

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