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Coastal Science Results Synthesized and Made Accessible

CSCOR’s mission is to provide the highest quality research in support of coastal management decisions through competitive, peer-reviewed research and holistic ecosystem studies. To ensure that decision makers have access to timely, appropriate and useful information CSCOR periodically sponsors the publication of research information in peer-reviewed science journals.

Most recently, CSCOR has sponsored the publication of three dedicated scientific journal issues relating to (1) harmful algal blooms, (2) multiple stressors, and (3) eutrophication.

  1. The most significant harmful algal bloom problem in the northeastern U.S. is paralytic shellfish poisoning (PSP) caused by species of the dinoflagellate Alexandrium. The affected resources are predominately shellfish but PSP toxins also affect higher levels of the food-web, including lobsters, fish, and marine mammals. In support of the Ecology and Oceanography of Harmful Algal Blooms (ECOHAB) project in the coastal waters of the Northeast U.S., CSCOR co-sponsored a series of papers describing the results of the five-year ECOHAB Gulf of Maine program. These papers, recently published in a special issue of the journal Deep Sea Research, focus on ECOHAB Gulf of Maine findings related to toxic dinoflagellateAlexandrium fundyense blooms (see Deep Sea Research Part II: Topical Studies in Oceanography, Vol. 52, Issues 19-21, Sept.-Oct. 2005, pp. 2365-2368)
  2. In the Aleutian Islands a marked decline of Steller sea lions occurred from more than 250,000 in the 1970s to less than 50,000 in the early 1990 resulted in the western stock of Steller sea lions being declared threatened in 1990. The cause of their decline was not known, but the most likely mechanisms included: climate shifts, direct or indirect effects of fisheries, diseases, and top-down control through predation by killer whales. As part of the effort to evaluate these competing hypotheses and to understand why sea lion numbers continued to decline Congress enacted legislation in 2001 that funded investigations of the possible causes of the decline in abundance of the western stock of Steller sea lions living from Kodiak Island westward to the Aleutian Islands. The results of this special volume of Fisheries Oceanography, co-sponsored by CSCOR, provides the first comprehensive, integrated and interdisciplinary examination of the marine ecosystem of the eastern and central Aleutian Archipelago – an area that is susceptible to climate shifts, anthropogenic influences and ecosystem change (see Fisheries Oceanography, Volume 14 (supplement 1) – November 2005)
  3. Today, cultural eutrophication remains one of the foremost problems for protecting our valuable surface water resources. Over the last 40 years the explosion of eutrophication-related research has made it clear that a comprehensive strategy to prevent excessive amounts of nitrogen and phosphorus from entering our waterways is needed to protect our lakes, rivers, and coasts from water quality deterioration. CSCOR has co-sponsored a special series of papers updating our understanding of the science and management of eutrophication and the links between nutrients and aquatic productivity. The papers in this special issue of Limnology and Oceanography provide a valuable cross section and synthesis of our current understanding of both freshwater and marine eutrophication science and also serve to identify gaps in our knowledge to help guide future research and management strategies (see Limnology and Oceanography, Vol. 51(1, part 2), January 2006)


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