Tidal flats of the Yellow Sea: a review of ecosystem status and anthropogenic threats

Murray, Nicholas J., Ma, Zhijun and Fuller, Richard A. (2015) Tidal flats of the Yellow Sea: a review of ecosystem status and anthropogenic threats. Austral Ecology, 40 4: 472-481. doi:10.1111/aec.12211


Author Murray, Nicholas J.
Ma, Zhijun
Fuller, Richard A.
Title Tidal flats of the Yellow Sea: a review of ecosystem status and anthropogenic threats
Journal name Austral Ecology   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1442-9993
1442-9985
Publication date 2015-06
Year available 2015
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1111/aec.12211
Open Access Status
Volume 40
Issue 4
Start page 472
End page 481
Total pages 10
Place of publication Richmond, VIC Australia
Publisher Wiley-Blackwell Publishing Asia
Collection year 2016
Language eng
Abstract Tidal flats provide ecosystem services to billions of people worldwide, yet their changing status is largely unknown. In the Yellow Sea region of East Asia, tidal flats are the principal coastal ecosystem fringing more than 4000 km of the coastlines of China, North Korea and South Korea. However, widespread loss of areal extent, increasing frequency of algal blooms, hypoxic dead zones and jellyfish blooms, and declines of commercial fisheries and migratory bird populations suggest that this ecosystem is degraded and declining. Here, we apply the International Union for Conservation of Nature Red List of Ecosystems criteria to the Yellow Sea tidal flat ecosystem and determine that its status is endangered. Comparison of standardized remotely sensed habitat data and historic topographic map data indicated that in the last 50 years, a decline of more than 50% but less than 80% of tidal flat extent has occurred (criterion A1). Although restricted to a narrow band along the coastline, Yellow Sea tidal flats are sufficiently broadly distributed to be classified as least concern under criterion B. However, widespread pollution, algal blooms and declines of invertebrate and vertebrate fauna across the region result in a classification of endangered (C1, D1). Owing to the lack of long-term monitoring data and the unknown impacts of severe biotic and abiotic change, the ecosystem was scored as data deficient for Criterion E and several subcriteria. Our assessment demonstrates an urgent need to arrest the decline of the Yellow Sea tidal flat ecosystem, which could be achieved by (i) improved coastal planning and management at regional and national levels, (ii) expansion of the coastal protected area network, and (iii) improved managed of existing protected areas to reduce illegal land reclamation and coastal exploitation.
Keyword Coastal wetland
Ecosystem decline
IUCN Red List of Ecosystem
Risk assessment habitat loss
Wetland status
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Official 2016 Collection
School of Biological Sciences Publications
 
Versions
Version Filter Type
Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 9 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
Scopus Citation Count Cited 9 times in Scopus Article | Citations
Google Scholar Search Google Scholar
Created: Tue, 03 Feb 2015, 00:56:53 EST by System User on behalf of School of Biological Sciences