Sandy beaches provide key ecosystem goods and services, such as shoreline protection and capture fisheries, and are essential for human populations around the world. Nevertheless, virtually all sandy beaches are threatened nowadays due to impacts of urbanization and climate change. These threats are expected to significantly, and perhaps irreversibly, impact the functioning and stability of sandy beach ecosystem, thereby compromising its supply of essential ecosystem goods and services. To successfully protect sandy beach ecosystem in the long term, conservation strategies should be based on sound scientific knowledge and include both ecological and social dimensions. The small number of studies done on sandy beaches (thus far the least studied coastal ecosystem), however, compromises a full understanding of this ecosystem. As a consequence, sandy beach management and conservation efforts consider mainly its social characteristics, disregarding fundamental ecological aspects such as functional biodiversity and provided ecosystem services. In this project, we aim to understand sandy beach ecosystems functioning and benefits provided by sandy beach biodiversity, considering physical and biological features and how they can be affected by anthropogenic impacts. We thereby expect to provide important information to be used in the development of effective conservation and management plans that can help protect sandy beach ecosystems.
News published in Agência FAPESP Newsletter about the scholarship: