Special Issue "Land Modifications and Impacts on Coastal Areas"

A special issue of Land (ISSN 2073-445X). This special issue belongs to the section "Land Systems and Global Change".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 28 February 2022.

Special Issue Editors

Prof. Dr. Pietro Aucelli
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Sciences and Technologies, Università degli Studi di Napoli Parthenope, Naples, Italy
Interests: geomorphology; climate change impacts; coastal processes; sea level changes and tectonics; quaternary geology; geological and geomorphological mapping; geographic information systems; risk assessment
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Dr. Angela Rizzo
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Earth and Geoenvironmental Sciences, University of Bari Aldo Moro, 70125 Bari, Italy
Interests: coastal geomorphology; risk assessment; climate change; sea level change; geomorphological mapping; geographic information systems
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Prof. Dr. Rodolfo Silva Casarín
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Instituto de Ingeniería, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Ciudad de México 04510, Mexico
Interests: coastal green infrastructure; coastal morphodynamics; physical oceanography; integrated coastal zone management; oceanographic risk; marine energy harnessing; rehabilitation and protection of coastal ecosystems
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Prof. Dr. Giorgio Anfuso
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Earth Sciences, Faculty of Marine Sciences, University of Cádiz, 11510 Puerto Real, Spain
Interests: coastal geomorphology; coastal short-term evolution; disturbance depth; seasonal evolution; historical changes
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Coastal areas are zones that are extremely influenced by climatic and anthropogenic-driven factors acting both at the local and global scales.

Among them, ongoing and expected land use and land cover changes, as well as catchment management activities and exploitation of natural resources, can influence the evolution of the coastal environments and landscapes, whose changes can, directly and indirectly, influence human economic assets and pose under pressure coastal habitats and related ecosystem services.

Interdisciplinary research has highlighted that low-lying coasts, worldwide, are currently subject to erosion, retreat, and flooding, and that these processes are expected to increase in intensity and frequency because of climate change consequences. Coastal areas play a relevant role in conditioning and providing those ecosystem services that are able to enforce coastal resilience against such extreme marine events.

The identification of the driving factors inducing coastal modifications, as well as the implementation of tailored solutions for coping with the potential consequences of climate change and land modification on biodiversity, ecosystems, and anthropic activities, to represent key factors for supporting the sustainable management of the coastal zone, under a climate adaptation perspective.

This SI “Land Modifications and Impacts on Coastal Areas” is aimed at collecting case studies from different zones across the world whose local economies and services strongly rely on marine and coastal assets conditioning marine activities, such as tourism and fishing. With the aim of covering a comprehensive assessment of the interaction of natural and anthropic drivers inducing such modifications, we encourage authors to submit contributions in the following priority areas:

  • Coastal evolution at different spatial and temporal scales;
  • Effects of human activities on coastline dynamic;
  • Impacts of extreme events and climate-related processes;
  • Traditional and “green engineering” modalities in coastal protection;
  • Mapping of land uses and land cover variations in coastal areas;
  • Advances in coastal landscape geomorphological evolution;
  • Agricultural activities in coastal areas;
  • Effects of saltwater intrusion;
  • Coastal area over-settlement.

Prof. Dr. Pietro Aucelli
Dr. Angela Rizzo
Prof. Dr. Rodolfo Silva Casarín
Prof. Dr. Giorgio Anfuso
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Land is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2000 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • coastal evolution
  • land use changes
  • watershed management
  • climate change impacts
  • anthropic impacts

Published Papers (6 papers)

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Research

Article
Most Attractive Scenic Sites of the Bulgarian Black Sea Coast: Characterization and Sensitivity to Natural and Human Factors
Land 2022, 11(1), 70; https://doi.org/10.3390/land11010070 - 03 Jan 2022
Viewed by 186
Abstract
Beach management is a complex process that demands a multidisciplinary approach, as beaches display a large variety of functions, e.g., protection, recreation and associated biodiversity conservation. Frequently, conflicts of interest arise, since management approaches are usually focused on recreation, preferring short-term benefits over [...] Read more.
Beach management is a complex process that demands a multidisciplinary approach, as beaches display a large variety of functions, e.g., protection, recreation and associated biodiversity conservation. Frequently, conflicts of interest arise, since management approaches are usually focused on recreation, preferring short-term benefits over sustainable development strategies; meanwhile, coastal areas have to adapt and face a changing environment under the effects of long-term climate change. Based on a “Sea, Sun and Sand (3S)” market, coastal tourism has become a major economic sector that depends completely on the coastal ecosystem quality, whilst strongly contributing to its deterioration by putting at risk its sustainability. Among beach users’ preferences, five parameters stand out: safety, facilities, water quality, litter and scenery (the “Big Five”), and the latter is the focus of this paper. Bulgaria has impressive scenic diversity and uniqueness, presenting real challenges and opportunities as an emerging tourist destination in terms of sustainable development. However, most developing countries tend to ignore mistakes made previously by developed ones. In this paper, scenic beauty at 16 coastal sites was field-tested by using a well-known methodology, i.e., the Coastal Scenic Evaluation System (CSES), which enables the calculation of an Evaluation Index “D” based on 26 physical and human parameters, utilizing fuzzy logic matrices. An assessment was made of these high-quality sites located in Burgas (8), Varna (3) and Dobrich (4) provinces. Their sensitivity to natural processes (in a climate change context) and human pressure (considering tourist trends and population increases at the municipality scale) were quantified via the Coastal Scenic Sensitivity Indexes (CSSIs) method. The CSES and CSSI methods allowed us to conduct site classification within different scenic categories, reflecting their attractiveness (Classes I–V; CSES) and level of sensitivity (Groups I–III; CSSI). Their relationship made it possible to identify management priorities: the main scenic impacts and sensitivity issues were analyzed in detail and characterized, and judicious measures were proposed for the scenic preservation and enhancement of the investigated sites. Seven sites were classified as extremely attractive (Class I; CSES), but with slight management efforts; several Class II sites could be upgraded as top scenic sites, e.g., by cleaning and monitoring beach litter. This paper also reveals that investigated sectors were more sensitive to environmental impacts than human pressure; for example, eight were categorized as being very sensitive to natural processes (Group III; CSSI). Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Land Modifications and Impacts on Coastal Areas)
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Article
History, Current Situation and Challenges of Gold Mining in Ecuador’s Litoral Region
Land 2021, 10(11), 1220; https://doi.org/10.3390/land10111220 - 11 Nov 2021
Viewed by 606
Abstract
Gold mining in Ecuador has been present in the country since Inca times; over the years interest in the mineral has increased, leading to the creation of legislation to control the mining sector in a safe manner. The Litoral region consists of seven [...] Read more.
Gold mining in Ecuador has been present in the country since Inca times; over the years interest in the mineral has increased, leading to the creation of legislation to control the mining sector in a safe manner. The Litoral region consists of seven provinces, six of which have registered gold concessions; the most affected provinces are El Oro and Esmeraldas. The objective of this study was to analyze the historical and current situation of artisanal and industrial gold mining in the Litoral region of Ecuador. Different methodologies were used for the elaboration of this study, including bibliographic review, grey literature, field interviews and a validation of expert judgment. The main results indicate that El Oro and Esmeraldas are essentially the most conflictive areas in the region, as they have sometimes had to establish precautionary measures due to the risks caused by illegal mining. In addition, in both areas there is a great socioeconomic impact ranging from lack of opportunities, forgetfulness, migration, emigration, and violation of rights, among others. With respect to environmental impacts, the study highlights the contamination of water sources (which leads to a lack of drinking water for people), and damage to aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems. Finally, the study concludes that the authorities should control the mining sector more by implementing more laws and carrying out inspections to put an end to illegal gold mining, in order to improve the situation in the areas. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Land Modifications and Impacts on Coastal Areas)
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Article
Shoreline Evolution and Environmental Changes at the NW Area of the Gulf of Gela (Sicily, Italy)
Land 2021, 10(10), 1034; https://doi.org/10.3390/land10101034 - 02 Oct 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 500
Abstract
Coastal areas are among the most biologically productive, dynamic and valued ecosystems on Earth. They are subject to changes that greatly vary in scale, time and duration and to additional pressures resulting from anthropogenic activities. The aim of this work was to investigate [...] Read more.
Coastal areas are among the most biologically productive, dynamic and valued ecosystems on Earth. They are subject to changes that greatly vary in scale, time and duration and to additional pressures resulting from anthropogenic activities. The aim of this work was to investigate the shoreline evolution and the main environmental changes of the coastal stretch between the towns of Licata and Gela (in the Gulf of Gela, Sicily, Italy). The methodology used in this work included the analysis of: (i) shoreline changes over the long- and medium-term periods (1955–2019 and 1989–2019, respectively), (ii) dune system fragmentation and (iii) the impact of coastal structures (harbours and breakwaters) on coastal evolution. The shoreline change analysis mainly showed a negative trend both over the long- and medium-term periods, with a maximum retreat of 3.87 m/year detected over the medium-term period down-drift of the Licata harbour. However, a few kilometres eastward from the harbour, significant accretion was registered where a set of breakwaters was emplaced. The Shoreline Change Envelope (SCE) showed that the main depositional phenomena occurred during the decade between 1955 and 1966, whereas progressive and constant erosion was observed between 1966 and 1989 in response to the increasing coastal armouring. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Land Modifications and Impacts on Coastal Areas)
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Article
Evolution of Sediment Parameters after a Beach Nourishment
Land 2021, 10(9), 914; https://doi.org/10.3390/land10090914 - 29 Aug 2021
Viewed by 613
Abstract
A methodology for monitoring the behaviour and size of sand after a beach nourishment process is presented herein. Four sampling campaigns (before and just after the nourishment, after six months and one year later) were performed on four beaches of the Gulf of [...] Read more.
A methodology for monitoring the behaviour and size of sand after a beach nourishment process is presented herein. Four sampling campaigns (before and just after the nourishment, after six months and one year later) were performed on four beaches of the Gulf of Cadiz (Spain). D50 and sorting size parameters were analysed. Among the results, it should be noted that differences of up to 20% between native and nourished sand values disappear only one year after the nourishment. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Land Modifications and Impacts on Coastal Areas)
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Article
Interaction between Tourism Carrying Capacity and Coastal Squeeze in Mazatlan, Mexico
Land 2021, 10(9), 900; https://doi.org/10.3390/land10090900 - 26 Aug 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 777
Abstract
While many coastal areas are affected by coastal squeeze, quantitative estimations of this phenomenon are still limited. Ambiguity concerning the degree of coastal squeeze, combined with a lack of knowledge on its interaction with human activities may lead to inadequate and unsuccessful management [...] Read more.
While many coastal areas are affected by coastal squeeze, quantitative estimations of this phenomenon are still limited. Ambiguity concerning the degree of coastal squeeze, combined with a lack of knowledge on its interaction with human activities may lead to inadequate and unsuccessful management responses. The objective of the present research was to quantify the degree of coastal squeeze on the highly urbanized coast of Mazatlan, Mexico, and to investigate the relationship between the development of tourism and coastal squeeze from various time perspectives. The Drivers, Exchanges, States of the environment, Consequences, and Responses (DESCR) framework was applied to identify the chronic, negative consequences of dense tourism in the area, together with the assessment of coastal squeeze. A Tourism Load Capacity (TLC) estimation was made and correlated with the DESCR results, showing that coastal squeeze is inversely correlated with tourism load in Mazatlan. The medium-intensity coastal squeeze currently experienced in Mazatlan requires interventions to avoid severe degradation of the ecosystem on which the local tourism industry relies, for which immediate, long-term, and administrative recommendations are given. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Land Modifications and Impacts on Coastal Areas)
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Article
Quantifying Drivers of Coastal Forest Carbon Decline Highlights Opportunities for Targeted Human Interventions
Land 2021, 10(7), 752; https://doi.org/10.3390/land10070752 - 18 Jul 2021
Viewed by 875
Abstract
As coastal land use intensifies and sea levels rise, the fate of coastal forests becomes increasingly uncertain. Synergistic anthropogenic and natural pressures affect the extent and function of coastal forests, threatening valuable ecosystem services such as carbon sequestration and storage. Quantifying the drivers [...] Read more.
As coastal land use intensifies and sea levels rise, the fate of coastal forests becomes increasingly uncertain. Synergistic anthropogenic and natural pressures affect the extent and function of coastal forests, threatening valuable ecosystem services such as carbon sequestration and storage. Quantifying the drivers of coastal forest degradation is requisite to effective and targeted adaptation and management. However, disentangling the drivers and their relative contributions at a landscape scale is difficult, due to spatial dependencies and nonstationarity in the socio-spatial processes causing degradation. We used nonspatial and spatial regression approaches to quantify the relative contributions of sea level rise, natural disturbances, and land use activities on coastal forest degradation, as measured by decadal aboveground carbon declines. We measured aboveground carbon declines using time-series analysis of satellite and light detection and ranging (LiDAR) imagery between 2001 and 2014 in a low-lying coastal region experiencing synergistic natural and anthropogenic pressures. We used nonspatial (ordinary least squares regression–OLS) and spatial (geographically weighted regression–GWR) models to quantify relationships between drivers and aboveground carbon declines. Using locally specific parameter estimates from GWR, we predicted potential future carbon declines under sea level rise inundation scenarios. From both the spatial and nonspatial regression models, we found that land use activities and natural disturbances had the highest measures of relative importance (together representing 94% of the model’s explanatory power), explaining more variation in carbon declines than sea level rise metrics such as salinity and distance to the estuarine shoreline. However, through the spatial regression approach, we found spatial heterogeneity in the relative contributions to carbon declines, with sea level rise metrics contributing more to carbon declines closer to the shore. Overlaying our aboveground carbon maps with sea level rise inundation models we found associated losses in total aboveground carbon, measured in teragrams of carbon (TgC), ranged from 2.9 ± 0.1 TgC (for a 0.3 m rise in sea level) to 8.6 ± 0.3 TgC (1.8 m rise). Our predictions indicated that on the remaining non-inundated landscape, potential carbon declines increased from 29% to 32% between a 0.3 and 1.8 m rise in sea level. By accounting for spatial nonstationarity in our drivers, we provide information on site-specific relationships at a regional scale, allowing for more targeted management planning and intervention. Accordingly, our regional-scale assessment can inform policy, planning, and adaptation solutions for more effective and targeted management of valuable coastal forests. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Land Modifications and Impacts on Coastal Areas)
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