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REPORT: Sensitivity of Coastal Lagoon Ecosystems to Climate and Related Global Changes: Developing a North African Lagoons Network

Lagoon ecosystems in the coastal zone of North Africa represent an important source of fish and shellfish, which provide a critical economic resource for the Mediterranean region. Expected warming in the Mediterranean Sea and changes in freshwater and sediment flows as a result of coastal storms, which alter bottom sediment dynamics, salinity and oxygen levels, and nutrients, could disrupt the productivity of the trophic chain and potentially jeopardize food security and livelihoods in coastal communities that depend on these fisheries. Despite their high ecological and economic value, North African lagoons have received relatively little attention, especially with regard to environmental conditions and risks.

This report, Sensitivity of Coastal Lagoon Ecosystems to Climate and Related Global Changes: Developing a North African Lagoons Network, provides a quantitative assessment of the biogeochemical budgets of the North African coastal lagoons and a qualitative assessment of their sensitivity and adaptability to climate change. In doing so, the project enhances local stakeholders’ awareness of the potential impacts of climate change on these environments and of potential adaptation strategies.

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This project and publication has been produced as part of the START call for research on the theme of ‘Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security’ in Africa, with an emphasis on the sustainability of ecosystem services in Africa. Objectives of this call are to commission high quality, independent, policy-relevant and credible research to support policy making for sustainable development in the region, to build the capacities of regional research partners to conduct high level research and to create a platform for knowledge sharing at the regional level. The funding has been provided by US National Science Foundation, Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS) and CDKN.

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Research call information: Regional Research Call – Africa

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