Forecasting the effects of enhanced sediment loads to coastal areas: a plea for long-term monitoring and experiments


  • Laura Airoldi

    Corresponding author
    1. Centro Interdipartimentale di Ricerca per le Scienze Ambientali di Ravenna & Dipartimento di Biologia Evoluzionistica Sperimentale, University of Bologna, Ravenna, Italy
    • Laboratorio di Ecologia Sperimentale, Scienze Ambientali, Università di Bologna, Via S. Alberto 163, I-48100, Ravenna, Italy
    Search for more papers by this author


  • 1.Concern about possible harmful effects of sedimentation in coastal areas has fuelled efforts towards detecting the effects of sedimentation on coastal assemblages.
  • 2.In order to identify sustainable management strategies, it is time that efforts move from ‘detecting’ to ‘forecasting’ the consequences of changes in sediment loads and thresholds of impact for different species and habitats.
  • 3.It is suggested that the cumulative impact of human modification to the regimes of sediment deposition and movement should be approached through the use of large-scale, long-term monitoring and, whenever possible, experimental protocols.
  • 4.Treating human perturbations as experiments and overlying well-designed monitoring programmes on the resulting alterations to sedimentation regimes is one useful way to accumulate key information on the effects of sedimentation on coastal assemblages, and also to judge to what extent mitigation is necessary.

Copyright © 2004 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.