Special Issue "Understanding and Improving Coastal Restoration: Considering Social Dimensions, Ecosystem Services, and Biodegradable Materials"

A special issue of Sustainability (ISSN 2071-1050). This special issue belongs to the section "Social Ecology and Sustainability".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 28 February 2022.

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Linda J. Walters
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
1. Department of Biology, University of Central Florida, Orlando, FL 32816, USA
2. National Center for Integrated Coastal Research, University of Central Florida, Orlando, FL 32816, USA
Interests: marine ecology; restoration ecology; ecosystem services; threatened/endangered species; biodegradable materials for restoration
Dr. Kelly M. Kibler
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
1. Department of Civil, Environmental & Construction Engineering, University of Central Florida, Orlando, FL 32816, USA
2. National Center for Integrated Coastal Research, University of Central Florida, Orlando, FL 32816, USA
Interests: hydrology; hydraulics; ecohydraulics; flow-biota interaction; sediment transport
Dr. Lisa G. Chambers
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
1. Department of Biology, University of Central Florida, Orlando, FL 32816, USAl Florida, Orlando, FL 32816, USA
2. National Center f2. National Center for Integrated Coastal Research, University of Central Florida, Orlando, FL 32816, USA
Interests: wetland and coastal ecology; biogeochemical cycling; climate change
Dr. Timothy L. Hawthorne
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
1. Department of Sociology, College of Sciences GIS Cluster, University of Central Florida
2. UCF Burnett Honors College, Orlando, FL 32816, USA
Interests: citizen science; community geography; participatory GIS; sense of place
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals
Dr. Giovanna McClenachan
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Biological Sciences, Nicholls State University, Thibodaux, LA 70301, USA
Interests: coastal ecology; disturbances; ecosystem shifts; GIS, historical ecology

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Human activities fundamentally alter natural systems, threatening the sustained production of critical ecosystem services and future resilience of coupled human-natural systems. Restoration is one of the few human activities that benefits ecosystems. Through restoration, humans are inextricably linked to the natural systems they seek to renew. The natural system ideally responds to restoration through enhanced functionality, ecosystem services production, and resilience to perturbation. Furthermore, maximizing restoration impact also involves human behavioural changes or collective actions that generate adaptive capacity. As humanity changes its views on certain topics, restoration must follow. For example, many coastal restoration projects have recently received negative reviews from the public at large for the use of plastic materials in the construction of breakwaters, oyster reefs, etc. Hence, there is a push to develop and understand the success and any unintended consequences of comparable restoration materials produced from biodegradable materials.

The goal of this Special Issue is to bring together current research in the ecological, engineering, economic, and social dimensions of marine, coastal, and freshwater restoration, to globally share and improve our understanding of these important topics and increase our adaptive capacity.

We welcome contributions from a wide variety of scholars across multiple fields and across the globe. We have particular interest in creating a Special Issue that features diverse voices and teams working with diverse stakeholders, particularly those scholars/practitioners from (and those scholars/practitioners working with) underrepresented populations in science, technology, and society.

Dr. Linda J. Walters
Dr. Kelly M. Kibler
Dr. Lisa G. Chambers
Dr. Timothy L. Hawthorne
Dr. Giovanna McClenachan
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. Sustainability is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly 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 1900 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 restoration
  • freshwater restoration
  • natural and nature-based features
  • ecosystem services
  • biodegradable restoration
  • sense of place
  • coupled human-natural systems
  • flow-biota interaction
  • biogeochemistry
  • living shorelines

Published Papers (1 paper)

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Research

Article
Biodegradable Material for Oyster Reef Restoration: First-Year Performance and Biogeochemical Considerations in a Coastal Lagoon
Sustainability 2021, 13(13), 7415; https://doi.org/10.3390/su13137415 - 02 Jul 2021
Viewed by 844
Abstract
Oyster reef restoration efforts increasingly consider not only oyster recruitment, but also the recovery of ecological functions and the prevention of deploying harmful plastics. This study investigated the efficacy of a biodegradable plastic-alternative, BESE-elements®, in supporting oyster reef restoration in east-central [...] Read more.
Oyster reef restoration efforts increasingly consider not only oyster recruitment, but also the recovery of ecological functions and the prevention of deploying harmful plastics. This study investigated the efficacy of a biodegradable plastic-alternative, BESE-elements®, in supporting oyster reef restoration in east-central Florida (USA) with consideration for how this material also influences biogeochemistry. Four experiments (two laboratory, two field-based) were conducted to evaluate the ability of BESE to serve as a microbial substrate, release nutrients, support oyster recruitment and the development of sediment biogeochemical properties on restored reefs, and degrade under field conditions. The results indicated BESE is as successful as traditional plastic in supporting initial reef development. In the lab, BESE accelerated short-term (10-day) sediment respiration rates 14-fold and released dissolved organic carbon, soluble reactive phosphorus, and nitrate to the surface water (71,156, 1980, and 87% increase, respectively) relative to without BESE, but these effects did not translate into measurable changes in reef sediment nutrient pools under field conditions. BESE lost 7–12% mass in the first year, resulting in a half-life of 4.4–6.7 years. Restoration practitioners should evaluate the biogeochemical properties of biodegradable materials prior to large-scale deployment and consider the fate of the restoration effort once the material degrades. Full article
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