Where Land Meets Sea: Terrestrial Influences on Coastal Environments

A special issue of Land (ISSN 2073-445X).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 20 August 2024 | Viewed by 17806

Special Issue Editors


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Guest Editor
Principal Spatial Scientist, Centre for Environment, Fisheries & Aquaculture Science, Weymouth DT4 8UB, UK
Interests: environmental modelling; river catchment management and land use impacts on water quality; influence of human activities and natural events at the land/sea interface; climate change

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Guest Editor
Marine Biogeochemist, Centre for Environment, Fisheries & Aquaculture Science, Lowestoft NR33 0HT, UK
Interests: nutrient and carbon transport and processing from catchment to marine environments; marine carbonate system; controls on marine oxygen in shelf seas

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Guest Editor
Science Theme Lead, Environment and People, Centre for Environment, Fisheries & Aquaculture Science, Lowestoft NR33 0HT, UK
Interests: marine monitoring; water quality; catchment to coast functioning; policy; assess environmental impacts of human activity on the marine and coastal zone
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

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Guest Editor
Coastal and Freshwater Group, Cawthron Institute, 98 Halifax Street East, Nelson 7010, New Zealand
Interests: coastal contaminants and water quality; health-related water microbiology; environmental impact assessment of wastewater and stormwater discharges; fate and transport of contaminants; catchment sanitary profiling
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Characteristics of terrestrial environments and land-based activities often determine the quality, resilience, and health of coastal waters and ecosystems, yet much research, and many management and policy initiatives, still treat terrestrial, estuarine, and marine systems as separate entities, with limited regard to the linkages and exchanges between them. Elevated inputs of nutrients, sediments, and chemical and biological contaminants, from agriculture and industry, conurbations, and human activity, enter water courses and travel through river networks to the sea, impacting the environments through which they flow and affecting the health and resilience of the entire ecosystem, of which humans are a part. The UNESCO World Water Assessment Programme highlights the environmental burden of projected food production needs and the fact that more than 80% of sewage in developing countries is discharged untreated into water bodies. The ever-present pressure of climate change adds further uncertainty to the sustainability of land management choices, future terrestrial habitat and species distributions, and, by association, the resilience of the coastal margin and adjacent waters.

This Special Issue looks at the close relationship between land and coastal systems, examining the direct and indirect impacts of human populations and activity in river catchments and coastal areas, and how they influence, and are influenced by, the sea.

We welcome papers that consider “where land meets sea” from the perspectives of catchment management and coastal water quality, options for sustainable food production, food security and food safety, resilience of estuarine and coastal ecosystems, and aquatic health. Of particular interest are papers that focus on the interconnectedness of terrestrial and coastal marine systems and the interplay between human activity and the natural environment, highlighting the potential for integrated management to promote health and resilience across domains.

Dr. Paulette Posen
Dr. Naomi Greenwood
Dr. Michelle Devlin
Dr. Carlos Campos
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 submissions that pass pre-check are 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 2600 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

  • land–sea interactions
  • catchment management
  • terrestrial discharge
  • estuarine and coastal ecosystems
  • coastal resilience
  • coastal water quality
  • aquatic health
  • sustainable food production

Published Papers (7 papers)

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Research

23 pages, 11619 KiB  
Article
Surface Water (SW) and Shallow Groundwater (SGW) Nutrient Concentrations in Riparian Wetlands of a Mixed Land-Use Catchment
by Bidisha Faruque Abesh, James T. Anderson and Jason A. Hubbart
Land 2024, 13(4), 409; https://doi.org/10.3390/land13040409 - 23 Mar 2024
Viewed by 826
Abstract
Precipitation patterns, water flow direction, and local land-use practices affect surface water (SW) and shallow groundwater (SGW) nutrient concentrations in riparian wetlands. Given physical process complexities, spatiotemporal quantification of nutrients and physical factors influencing nutrient concentrations are needed to advance wetland water resource [...] Read more.
Precipitation patterns, water flow direction, and local land-use practices affect surface water (SW) and shallow groundwater (SGW) nutrient concentrations in riparian wetlands. Given physical process complexities, spatiotemporal quantification of nutrients and physical factors influencing nutrient concentrations are needed to advance wetland water resource management. To address these needs, a study was conducted in riparian wetlands of a mixed land-use catchment in West Virginia (WV), USA. Observed data included SW–SGW levels and nutrient concentrations, including nitrate (NO3-N), nitrite (NO2-N), ammonium (NH4-N), orthophosphate (PO43-P), total nitrogen (total_N), and total phosphorus (total_P) from January 2020 to December 2021. Water samples were collected monthly from stream gauge sites (n = 4) and co-located piezometers (n = 13). Results showed that, on average, gaining stream conditions were observed in upstream sites, and losing stream conditions were observed in downstream sites. Observed nutrient profiles between SW and SGW included SW exhibiting a higher average NO3-N concentration (0.42 mg/L), while SGW displayed an elevated NH4-N concentration (1.55 mg/L) relative to other nitrogen species. Significantly high (p < 0.05) SW NO3- concentrations in summer and fall were attributed to increased precipitation and corresponding water level and, therefore, pressure head and transport fluctuations. Principal Component Analysis (PCA) showed differences in nutrient concentrations based on the water source type and catchment land use, explaining 65% of data variability. Spearman correlation analysis illustrated the correlation among nutrient concentrations, land use, and water level changes in SW and SGW environments. This study provides needed baseline data on nutrient dynamics for a riparian wetland in a mixed land-use catchment, supplying science-based information to advance land and water management practices in the study watershed and similar physiographic watersheds globally. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Where Land Meets Sea: Terrestrial Influences on Coastal Environments)
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24 pages, 3205 KiB  
Article
Vulnerability of Coastal Infrastructure and Communities to Extreme Storms and Rising Sea Levels: An Improved Model for Grenada and Its Dependencies
by Paulette E. Posen, Claire Beraud, Cherry Harper Jones, Emmanouil Tyllianakis, Andre Joseph-Witzig and Aria St. Louis
Land 2023, 12(7), 1418; https://doi.org/10.3390/land12071418 - 15 Jul 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1668
Abstract
Coastal areas of Grenada in the south-eastern Caribbean are particularly vulnerable to the adverse impacts of climate change. The effects of increasingly powerful hurricanes, sea-level rise, and reef degradation are often compounded by local anthropogenic activities. Many communities reside in low-lying areas, with [...] Read more.
Coastal areas of Grenada in the south-eastern Caribbean are particularly vulnerable to the adverse impacts of climate change. The effects of increasingly powerful hurricanes, sea-level rise, and reef degradation are often compounded by local anthropogenic activities. Many communities reside in low-lying areas, with development and infrastructure concentrated along the coast. Wave/storm surge models based on historic hurricanes Ivan and Lenny, and a hurricane with a predicted 100-year return period, were used to assess coastal inundation under different storm and sea-level rise scenarios. Coupled Tomawac and Telemac models were used in conjunction with high-resolution LiDAR data to provide a full vulnerability assessment across all coastal zones. Results were combined with census data at the Enumeration District level to assess impacts on the built environment. Qualitative and quantitative estimates were derived for the impact on natural features, land use, and infrastructure supporting critical economic activity in Grenada’s coastal zones. Estimation of both spatial extent and inundation depth improved the estimation of likely coastal impacts and associated costs at the national level. A general increase in extent and severity of inundation was predicted with projected future sea-level rise, with the potential for disruption to major coastal infrastructure evident in all scenarios, risking serious social and economic consequences for local communities. Coastal communities using poorer-quality building materials were most severely affected. This integrated method of assessment can guide disaster planning and decision-making to reduce risk and aid resilience in hurricane-prone regions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Where Land Meets Sea: Terrestrial Influences on Coastal Environments)
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15 pages, 3581 KiB  
Article
The Urban Public Space between Land and Sea: The Case of Quarteira, Portugal
by Sérgio Barreiros Proença, Francesca Dal Cin, Cristiana Valente Monteiro, Maria Inês Franco, Maria Matos Silva and Nawaf Saeed Al Mushayt
Land 2023, 12(3), 539; https://doi.org/10.3390/land12030539 - 23 Feb 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1593
Abstract
Among the European coastal territories most vulnerable to the effects of mean sea level rise, such as flooding and erosion phenomena, are the 943 km of the Portuguese coastline where approximately 70 per cent of the population lives (Bigotte et al, 2014), a [...] Read more.
Among the European coastal territories most vulnerable to the effects of mean sea level rise, such as flooding and erosion phenomena, are the 943 km of the Portuguese coastline where approximately 70 per cent of the population lives (Bigotte et al, 2014), a percentage that rises to around 80 per cent in the summer months, due to tourism (Andrade et al, 2002), especially in the Algarve region (southern Portugal). The case study of this research is the urban public space in the coastal city of Quarteira, which is particularly vulnerable. This space between the land and the sea has been recently framed in the inter-municipal climate change adaptation plan PIAAC-AMAL (Plano Intermunicipal de Adaptação às Alterações Climáticas do Algarve). The aim of the article is to explore the natural and anthropogenic process of formation and transformation of the urban space between the land and sea that occurred over time, up to the definition of the seashore street. Interpretative drawing is used as a methodology to understand the form of the public space. This is considered the first step for designing the public space between the land and the sea that deals both with the effects of climate change and the seasonal cycles of summer tourism. Through this analysis, it is argued that the understanding of the form (morphological characteristics) of this continuous space between land and sea is fundamental for consistent and robust adaptation design. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Where Land Meets Sea: Terrestrial Influences on Coastal Environments)
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26 pages, 4607 KiB  
Article
Beach Scenic Quality versus Beach Concessions: Case Studies from Southern Italy
by Alexis Mooser, Giorgio Anfuso, Enzo Pranzini, Angela Rizzo and Pietro P. C. Aucelli
Land 2023, 12(2), 319; https://doi.org/10.3390/land12020319 - 23 Jan 2023
Viewed by 3523
Abstract
This paper essentially aims to identify coastal sites of great scenic value not (or barely) affected by human intrusions and propose sound management interventions to improve their landscape quality. Today, management of coastal areas in Italy is a very complex task essentially because [...] Read more.
This paper essentially aims to identify coastal sites of great scenic value not (or barely) affected by human intrusions and propose sound management interventions to improve their landscape quality. Today, management of coastal areas in Italy is a very complex task essentially because of institutional fragmentation and overlapping of laws/regulations at the national, regional and municipal levels. It is estimated that only half of the country’s beaches are freely accessible and usable for bathing, i.e., 43% are occupied by private concessions and in 7.2% bathing is not allowed because of water pollution. Sites’ scenic quality was assessed using the Coastal Scenic Evaluation System (CSES), a robust semi-quantitative methodology based on a set of 26 physical/human parameters, weighting matrices parameters and fuzzy logic mathematics. An evaluation index (D) was afterward obtained for each site and used to classify them into five scenic classes. After a long process of field testing along the coasts of the Tyrrhenian, Ionic and Adriatic seas (25 municipalities, 7 provinces and 4 regions: Campania, Basilicata, Calabria and Apulia), a total of 36 sites were selected for this paper. Twenty-four sites fall within Class I, i.e., were extremely attractive (D ≥ 0.85; CSES) because of their exceptional geomorphological settings that favour a wide variety of coastal sceneries. Most of Class II (8) and Class III (4) sites could be upgraded by implementing clean-up operations or by reducing intrusive beach facilities. Meanwhile “private” beaches are usually cleaned; beach litter at remote/public sites represents a big concern to be challenged. Today, finding a free/aesthetic/clean beach without human intrusions in a fully natural environment is far more complex than it seems. Given this context, emphasis was particularly placed on beach litter and concessions aspects. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Where Land Meets Sea: Terrestrial Influences on Coastal Environments)
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13 pages, 2061 KiB  
Communication
Performance of Storm Overflows Impacting on Shellfish Waters in England
by Andrew Younger, Simon Kershaw and Carlos J. A. Campos
Land 2022, 11(9), 1576; https://doi.org/10.3390/land11091576 - 15 Sep 2022
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 2420
Abstract
Storm overflow (SO) discharges to shellfish growing waters are a concern for shellfish growers and may pose a health risk to consumers. We investigated the performance of permitted SOs with a shellfish water spill monitoring requirement against the design criterion of 10 spills [...] Read more.
Storm overflow (SO) discharges to shellfish growing waters are a concern for shellfish growers and may pose a health risk to consumers. We investigated the performance of permitted SOs with a shellfish water spill monitoring requirement against the design criterion of 10 spills per year (averaged over 10 years) used in England. Performance against this criterion over the period 2019–2021 differed between the five water companies whose data was analysed. Across all companies, over half of SOs spilled more frequently than this criterion (percentage greater than 10 spills: 52%, 55% and 57% for 2019, 2020 and 2021, respectively). The number of SOs with the monitoring requirement also differed considerably between the water companies and consequently some companies deal with a significantly higher ‘burden’ than others. The number of SOs spilling more than 100 times in a year also differed between water companies, from 0% (Wessex Water) to 16% (United Utilities). Discharges from SOs can lead to short-term reductions in water quality that may be missed by routine monitoring programmes using faecal indicator bacteria such as E. coli. Such discharges can lead to a higher incidence of norovirus in shellfish and thus potential illness in consumers. We conclude that site-specific impact assessments, supported by spill event-based monitoring, are required given the increased demands on sewerage networks from urban growth and climate change and the need to improve shellfish production area classifications. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Where Land Meets Sea: Terrestrial Influences on Coastal Environments)
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17 pages, 3199 KiB  
Article
Spatial-Temporal Effect of Sea–Land Gradient on Land Use Change in Coastal Zone: A Case Study of Dalian City
by Ying Han, Jianfeng Zhu, Donglan Wei and Fangxiong Wang
Land 2022, 11(8), 1302; https://doi.org/10.3390/land11081302 - 12 Aug 2022
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1602
Abstract
Geographically, the coastal zone is a unit where the marine system and the terrestrial system intersect and have the closest relationship with human survival and development. The study of coastal-zone land use change is therefore of great significance in promoting the sustainable development [...] Read more.
Geographically, the coastal zone is a unit where the marine system and the terrestrial system intersect and have the closest relationship with human survival and development. The study of coastal-zone land use change is therefore of great significance in promoting the sustainable development of coastal areas in terms of resources and environment. However, the relationship between urban land use change and distance from the coastline is indeterminate in current research. This paper aims to assess the spatial and temporal characteristics of coastal land use change with the sea–land gradient, as well as to reveal the role of coastal ecosystems. The indices of the dynamic index, net transfer matrix, and aggregation index were measured in different coastal buffer zones quantitatively. A case study of Dalian between 2000 and 2015 indicates that Dalian’s urban construction land is distributed among the coastal zones with a high total and fast growth rate. The land use conversion direction varies significantly between different buffer zones, with [0, 2.5] km tilted mainly towards urban types and [10, Max] km tilted mainly towards rural areas. The aggregation of land use structure in Dalian fluctuated and increased year by year. As the distance from the coastline gets closer, land use is going to get more diverse. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Where Land Meets Sea: Terrestrial Influences on Coastal Environments)
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36 pages, 6951 KiB  
Article
Coastal Scenic Beauty and Sensitivity at the Balearic Islands, Spain: Implication of Natural and Human Factors
by Alexis Mooser, Giorgio Anfuso, Lluís Gómez-Pujol, Angela Rizzo, Allan T. Williams and Pietro P. C. Aucelli
Land 2021, 10(5), 456; https://doi.org/10.3390/land10050456 - 24 Apr 2021
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 4014
Abstract
Coastal areas globally are facing a significant range of environmental stresses, enhanced by climate change-related processes and a continuous increase of human activities. The economic benefits of tourism are well-known for coastal regions, but, very often, conflicts arise between short-term benefits and long-term [...] Read more.
Coastal areas globally are facing a significant range of environmental stresses, enhanced by climate change-related processes and a continuous increase of human activities. The economic benefits of tourism are well-known for coastal regions, but, very often, conflicts arise between short-term benefits and long-term conservation goals. Among beach user preferences, five parameters of greater importance stand out from the rest, i.e., safety, facilities, water quality, litter and scenery; the latter is the main concern of this study. A coastal scenic evaluation was carried out in the Balearic Islands and focused on two major issues: coastal scenic beauty together with sensitivity to natural processes and human pressure. The archipelago is renowned as a top international coastal tourist destination that receives more than 13.5 million visitors (2019). Impressive landscape diversity makes the Balearics Islands an ideal field for this research. In total, 52 sites, respectively located in Ibiza (11), Formentera (5), Mallorca (18) and Menorca (18), were field-tested. In a first step, coastal scenic beauty was quantified using the coastal scenic evaluation system (CSES) method, based on the evaluation of 26 physical and human parameters, and using weighting matrices parameters and fuzzy logic mathematics. An evaluation index (“D”) was obtained for each site, allowing one to classify them in one of the five scenic classes established by the method. Twenty-nine sites were included in class I, corresponding to extremely attractive sites (CSES), which were mainly observed in Menorca. Several sound measures were proposed to maintain and/or enhance sites’ scenic value. In a second step, scenic sensitivity was evaluated using a novel methodological approach that makes possible the assessment of three different coastal scenic sensitivity indexes (CSSI), i.e., the natural sensitivity index NSI, the human sensitivity index HSI and the total sensitivity index TSI. Future climate change trends and projection of tourism development, studied at municipality scale, were considered as correction factors. All the islands showed places highly sensitive to environmental processes, while sensitivity to human pressure was essentially observed at Ibiza and Mallorca. Thereafter, sites were categorized into one of three sensitive groups established by the methodology. Results obtained are useful in pointing out very sensitive sceneries as well as limiting, preventing and/or anticipating future scenic degradation linked to natural and human issues. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Where Land Meets Sea: Terrestrial Influences on Coastal Environments)
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