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This is a working and communication space for the coastal ecosystem assessment project. Project coordinators: Jonny Stark, Ben Raymond

A copy of Jonny's presentation from the MEASO conference can be found here.



Discussion points arising from the MEASO Thursday lunchtime session

  • our definition of "coastal" is open to further discussion: will we consider only depth in defining our domain of interest, or also e.g. distance from the coastline? Note that other definitions of "coastal" or "nearshore" already exist (e.g. via AntOS)
  • AntOS is in the process of collating a database with coastal physical and biological data. There was an AntOS survey regarding important survey sites ( A summary of this survey will be presented at the Davos conference
  • one of the early tasks of this project will be to collate and summarize the existing literature and data, e.g. intertidal, tourism (IAATO), plastics
  • something resembling the risk assessment table from Alex Rogers' Somerville workshop may be useful: a table that cross-tabulates processes and effects with knowledge and data, thereby summarizing the importance and state of knowledge/data of each
  • the spatial and temporal coverage of data will also be important, since the vast majority of coastal science has been conducted in spatially-limited areas or during limited temporal periods. Case studies could be conducted in particular areas where data coverage is suitable
  • keep intended use of data in mind as we go, and the scope of policy/other stakeholder outcomes and interests
  • terrestrial processes that affect the nearshore zone will be important here, but these terrestrial components themselves aren't of direct focus. There are parallel bodies of work that are already addressing those processes
  • similarly but more broadly, there are many other projects and initiatives that cover parts of this project's domain of interest. Coordinating this projects work with those other initiatives will be important
  • will our "coastal ecosystem" domain include areas under ice shelves or glacier tongues? Collapse of these features is likely to be of interest. Note that there was workshop on Antarctic Ecosystem Research Following Ice Shelf Collapse and Iceberg Calving Events held in late 2017 at Florida State University, organised by Jeroen Ingels and collaborators (see A review paper from this workshop is in preparation


Planning document

(Names of individuals who expressed interest in specific components of the work have been indicated below. Note that this is not intended to be restrictive (feel free to contribute wherever you like!) or compelling (having your name against a particular item doesn't mean that you are expected to contribute to all parts of it, just whatever bits you feel comfortable with). Names information is being updated as people volunteer. Please identify areas that you could contribute to, as well as data sets you know of - observed change, predicted change.)


MEASO – Coastal ecosystems – vulnerability to future change meta-analysis

Facilitators: Jonny Stark and Ben Raymond, Australian Antarctic Division


  • Conduct a meta-analysis of observed and predicted change in Antarctic coastal ecosystems. Emphasis will be mainly on physical/abiotic environmental change as there is likely to be little data on biological change (but where this exists may be included).
  • Produce a risk analysis which identifies areas most vulnerable to climate change impacts, those most resilient, and areas where information gaps exist.


  • To initially get an indication of what info exists,
  • identify what needs doing to begin, and
  • who is volunteering to do it

Other considerations



Collaboration platform: Google docs, SOKI, others?

  • Email list
  • Reference list
  • Data list

The following 20 or so general areas will be the focus of the assessment.

  1. Coastal ecosystem features and definition
  2. Coastal/shallow water habitat distribution (Jodie Smith, Alix Post)
  3. Processes causing or likely to cause change in coastal ecosystems:
  4. “Icescape” (Rob Massom, Petra Heil, Alex Fraser, David Barnes)
    1. Pack and fast ice
    2. Polynas
    3. Bergs/glaciers
    4. Ice shelves and ice sheet margin (Jeroen Ingels)
  5. Sea ice and light
  6. Ice scour (David Barnes)
  7. Freshening/melt
  8. Winds/waves and weather
  9. Sedimentation
  10. Ocean acidification (Alyce Hancock)
  11. Seawater temperature (César Cardenas)
  12. Invasive/non-indigenous species (Crid Fraser)
  13. Pollution, plastics (Catherine King)
  14. Species physiological tolerances
  15. New habitats (David Barnes)
  16. Impacts on ecosystems: (James Black)
    1. Changes in community composition, regime shifts, tipping points (Alyce Hancock, Stacy Deppeler)
    2. Changes to primary production (Juan Höfer)
    3. Blue carbon
    4. Vertical fluxes (Juan Höfer)
    5. Changes to food web dynamics, trophic links.
    6. Loss of diversity. Extinctions?
  17. Links to terrestrial processes (possibly including tourism and scientific footprint) (Aleks Terauds, Jasmine Lee)
  18. Links to terrestrial habitat use by marine species
  19. Policy/management
  20. Needs and future directions
    1. ROMS (Ben Galton-Fenzi)
    2. Bathymetry
    3. other
  21. Connections and implications, will change in coasts drive change elsewhere?
  22. IUCN red list assessment?
  23. Spatial analysis of data, mapping areas where change observed/predicted
    1. Data mapping and analysis (Anton Van de Putte, Huw Griffiths, Ben Raymond, Charlene Guillaumot)
    2. Ecosystem modelling (Nicole Hill, Charlene Guillaumot, Jan Jansen)

Stakeholders and related work

  1. ANTOS (Stefano Schiaparelli)

Further work

It is very likely that this will require new analysis work. Points of interest include:

  • Discussion of a general understanding of how the different stressors might interact with each other, so that we can work towards ideas on how that analysis will best be done
  • Possible outputs (GIS layers, possibly some kind of interactive widget thing, perhaps a summary for the environments portal (
  • Identify other stakeholders/end users that we might want to keep in touch with as work progresses


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