Richards, J., Mokrech, M., Berry, P.M. and Nicholls, R.J.
Regional assessment of climate change impacts on coastal and fluvial ecosystems and the scope for adaptation
Climatic Change, 90, (1-2), . (doi:10.1007/s10584-008-9451-8).
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Ecosystem changes in floodplains could be a major issue during the twenty-first century as designated habitat areas are affected by climate change and floodplain management options. As part of the RegIS project, a Regional Impact Simulator has been developed to investigate these potential changes. This paper presents the methodologies and results of biodiversity metamodels used within the Regional Impact Simulator for two regions of the UK: East Anglia and North West England. Potential impacts and adaptations to future climate and socio-economic scenarios are analysed for three habitat types in floodplains (saltmarsh, coastal grazing marsh and fluvial grazing marsh) and selected species. An important finding is that management choices, which can be linked to socio-economic futures have a greater potential impact on habitat viability than climate change. The choices society makes will therefore be key to protection and conservation of biodiversity. The analyses also show that coastal grazing marsh is the most vulnerable habitat to sea-level rise, although there is a scope for substituting losses with fluvial grazing marsh. These results indicate that these methods provide a useful approach for assessing potential biodiversity changes at the regional scale, including the effect of different policies.
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