Analysis and development of ecologically based approaches to coastal defense

Ferrario, Filippo (2013) Analysis and development of ecologically based approaches to coastal defense , [Dissertation thesis], Alma Mater Studiorum Università di Bologna. Dottorato di ricerca in Biodiversità ed evoluzione, 25 Ciclo. DOI 10.6092/unibo/amsdottorato/5831.
Documenti full-text disponibili:
Documento PDF (English) - Richiede un lettore di PDF come Xpdf o Adobe Acrobat Reader
Download (3MB) | Anteprima


Climate-change related impacts, notably coastal erosion, inundation and flooding from sea level rise and storms, will increase in the coming decades enhancing the risks for coastal populations. Further recourse to coastal armoring and other engineered defenses to address risk reduction will exacerbate threats to coastal ecosystems. Alternatively, protection services provided by healthy ecosystems is emerging as a key element in climate adaptation and disaster risk management. I examined two distinct approaches to coastal defense on the base of their ecological and ecosystem conservation values. First, I analyzed the role of coastal ecosystems in providing services for hazard risk reduction. The value in wave attenuation of coral reefs was quantitatively demonstrated using a meta-analysis approach. Results indicate that coral reefs can provide wave attenuation comparable to hard engineering artificial defenses and at lower costs. Conservation and restoration of existing coral reefs are cost-effective management options for disaster risk reduction. Second, I evaluated the possibility to enhance the ecological value of artificial coastal defense structures (CDS) as habitats for marine communities. I documented the suitability of CDS to support native, ecologically relevant, habitat-forming canopy algae exploring the feasibility of enhancing CDS ecological value by promoting the growth of desired species. Juveniles of Cystoseira barbata can be successfully transplanted at both natural and artificial habitats and not affected by lack of surrounding adult algal individuals nor by substratum orientation. Transplantation success was limited by biotic disturbance from macrograzers on CDS compared to natural habitats. Future work should explore the reasons behind the different ecological functioning of artificial and natural habitats unraveling the factors and mechanisms that cause it. The comprehension of the functioning of systems associated with artificial habitats is the key to allow environmental managers to identify proper mitigation options and to forecast the impact of alternative coastal development plans.

Tipologia del documento
Tesi di dottorato
Ferrario, Filippo
Dottorato di ricerca
Scuola di dottorato
Scienze biologiche, biomediche e biotecnologiche
Settore disciplinare
Settore concorsuale
Parole chiave
Coastal defense; climate adaptation; coastal erosion; coral reefs;canopy forming algae; Cystoseira;natural; artificial; habitat
Data di discussione
29 Aprile 2013

Altri metadati

Statistica sui download

Gestione del documento: Visualizza la tesi