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Implications for Coastal Ecosystem Health Assessments and Their Applications in Korea
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  • Journal title : Ocean and Polar Research
  • Volume 29, Issue 4,  2007, pp.319-326
  • Publisher : Korea Institute of Ocean Science & Technology
  • DOI : 10.4217/OPR.2007.29.4.319
 Title & Authors
Implications for Coastal Ecosystem Health Assessments and Their Applications in Korea
Kim, Young-Ok; Shim, Won-Joon; Yum, Ki-Dai;
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Coastal marine ecosystems continue to suffer unrelenting pressures from human population growth, increased development, and climate change. Moreover, these systems` capacity for self-repair is declining with such increases in anthropogenic production of various pollutants. What is the present health status or condition of the coastal ecosystem? If our coastal areas are unhealthy, which conditions are considered serious? To answer such questions, the United States, Canada, and Australia are currently assessing coastal ecosystem health using systematic monitoring programs as well as identifying and implementing management plans to improve the health of degraded coastal ecosystems. To evaluate marine environments, Korea is currently using a limited number of factors to estimate water quality. In fact, we are ill-prepared for assessing coastal ecosystem health because no biologically specific criteria are in place to measure the responses to various pollutants. We should select ecosystem-specific indicators from physicochemical stressors and evaluate the subsequent biological responses within each ecosystem. Furthermore, a set of practical indicators should be generated by considering the characteristics and uses of a local coastal area and the key issues at hand. The values of indicators should be presented as indices that allow understanding by the general public as well as by practitioners, policy makers, environmental managers and other stakeholders.
coastal ecosystem health;environmental assessment;indicator;index;
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