Challenges for applying vulnerability assessments in coastal lagoons


Here I discuss how vulnerability assessment could be used for coastal lagoons. However, this has to take into account that many coastal lagoons have already been impacted by other forcings, like eutrophication. Vulnerability is not a well-defined concept in mainstream ecology and as a result, ecologists are poorly prepared to address vulnerability assessments. I make some proposals on how ecologists could define and use vulnerability in ecology and how ecologists can make pertinent contributions to vulnerability assessments in a multidisciplinary setting. Accordingly:
1- vulnerability can be applied to systems of different levels of integration in biology and ecology.
2- vulnerability is the risk that individuals, populations, species and ecological systems can be harmed, severely damaged or destroyed by environmental hazards and long-term environmental changes, while the intensity of the vulnerability could accommodate for a description of the extent of the impacts and their reversibility or irreversibility.
3- adaptation is a key concept in vulnerability assessment, which distinguishes it from the preceding approaches like impact and risk assessments
4- approaches and concepts, like “Desired States” and trajectories appear very useful in this context particularly if the management needs to target both the improvement of current situation and the vulnerability to environmental change.

DOI Code: 10.1285/i1825229Xv5n1p32

Keywords: Coastal lagoons; vulnerability assessment; environmental hazards; environmental changes

Full Text: PDF

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribuzione - Non commerciale - Non opere derivate 3.0 Italia License.