Coastal Ecosystem Processes: 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Coastal Ecosystem Processes

1st Edition

By Daniel M. Alongi

CRC Press

448 pages

Purchasing Options:$ = USD
Hardback: 9780849384264
pub: 1997-10-28

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Coastal Ecosystem Processes, written by the renowned marine scientist Daniel Alongi, describes how pelagic and benthic food webs, from beaches and tidal flats to the continental edge, process energy and matter. This volume focuses on recent advances and new developments on how food webs are closely intertwined with the geology, chemistry, and physics of coastal seas. Dr. Alongi presents a process-functional approach as a way of understanding how the energetics of coastal ecosystems rely not only on exchanges within and between food chains, but how such functions are influenced by terrigenous and atmospheric processes.

There is a need for documentation and an awareness of just how necessary, yet delicate, is the interplay of biological and physical forces between coastal ocean, land, and the atmosphere. Marine scientists today need to make informed management decisions about sustainable development and conservation of these fragile ecosystems. Coastal Ecosystem Processes provides present and future marine scientists the latest coastal ecosystem information to make the right decisions concerning the ecology of our oceans.


"This will be a useful reference book, particularly because of the inclusion of the tropical literature. It would be very appropriate as a textbook for graduate marine ecology courses, particularly ones that focus on comparative ecology."

--Jane M. Caffrey, The Quarterly Review of Biology, Vol. 75, No. 2

"…a balanced approach to the topic…appropriate as a reference for marine ecologists and as a text for advanced courses in coastal ecology."

--C. E. Tanner, St. Mary's College of Maryland

"There is an enormous amount of information in the book and Alongi has done an excellent job bringing together the recent literature."

-Ecological Engineering, Vol. 16, 2001

Table of Contents


Beaches and Tidal Flats


Food Chains, Energy, and Carbon Flow

Nitrogen Cycling

Linkages to Physical Processes

Mangroves and Salt Marshes


Global Trends in Plant Biomass and Primary Production

Factors Limiting Plant Production and Growth

Food Webs and Decomposition Processes

Nitrogen Flow


Seaweed and Seagrass Ecosystems


Standing Crop and Primary Productivity

Photosynthesis and Whole-Plant Carbon Balance

Limiting Factors

The Role of Grazers

Detritus and Mineralization Processes

Ecosystem Budgets

Carbon Balance: Export and Links to Adjacent Systems

Coral Reefs


Sources of Carbon Production

The Fate of Organic Matter

Nitrogen and Phosphorus: Cycles and Limitation

The Coral Factory: Carbon and Energy Budgets

Systems-Level Perspectives: Models and Budgets

The Role of Coral Reefs in the Tropical Biosphere

The Coastal Ocean I. The Coastal Zone


The Coastal Ocean Defined

What Is an Estuary?

Hydrographic Classification of Coastal Systems

Coastal Plain Estuaries, Tidal Lagoons, and Bays (Types IV, V, and VI)

Coastal Lagoons (Type VII)

River-Dominated Systems (Types I, II, and III)

The Coastal Ocean II. The Shelf Proper and Shelf Edge


Shelf-Sea Fronts

Along- and Across-Shelf Gradients

Processes at the Shelf Edge

Nutrient Cycles and Global Change in the Coastal Ocean

Global Estimates of Fishery Yields to Humans

Degradation and Conservation

A Glimpse at the Global Problem


Habitat Modification and Destruction

Restoration Attempts: Problems and Progress

Sustainability: Implications for Management

Conservation: Tools and Impediments

Global Climate Change: Coastal Implications

A Final Remark



About the Series

CRC Marine Science

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
NATURE / Ecology
SCIENCE / Life Sciences / Biology / Marine Biology