Coastal conservation under climate change

Organiser: Nathalie Butt (University of Queensland) & Kiki Dethmers (Charles Darwin University)

Coastal species, habitats and ecosystems may be more at risk from climate change-related threats than marine or terrestrial systems alone, because they form an important interface between these two systems. Factors such as sea level rise may change the distribution of seagrass, coral reefs, mangroves, saltmarshes and the species that use them, such as sea turtles and migratory birds. These changes will also affect coastal communities that rely on these natural systems for food security and other ecosystem services. Threats to coastal biodiversity are faced by developing and developed nations alike, and in many cases community management is the key player in effective mitigation of, or adaptation to, climate change stressors. In order to ‘climate proof’ coastal conservation efforts, conservation planning needs to incorporate short-term processes such as behavioural plasticity and coastal development strategies, as well as long-term processes such as expression of key genes and ocean connectivity. In this symposium we highlight the vulnerability of coastal ecosystems to climate change, discussing impacts on coastal habitats, species’ behaviour and urban coastal communities. We address the need for management planning to protect coastal biodiversity and allow for the expansion of coastal urban areas.

02:30  Ursula Ellenberg  Penguin behavioural plasticity in the face of environmental change – implications for conservation

02:40  Kiki Dethmers  Identifying future sea turtle conservation areas under climate change

02:50  Jamie Tedeschi  Heritable variation in heat shock gene expression: a potential mechanism for adaptation to thermal stress in embryos of sea turtles

03:00  Abilio da Fonseca  Climate change impacts, vulnerability & adaptation options of coastal communities in Timor-Leste

03:10  Timothy Skewes  Biodiversity protection and human well-being in the Coral Triangle

03:20  Rosiana Kushila Lagi  Vanua Sauvi-Conservation, Food Security and Carbon Sink

03:30  Megan I. Saunders  Managing coastal ecosystems for impacts of sea-level rise

03:40  Nicholas Murray The cumulative drivers of coastal ecosystem loss in China

03:50  Discussion

Location: Room P8 Date: July 6, 2016 Time: 2:30 pm - 4:00 pm