Threats to coastal biodiversity: Cumulative human impacts on Earth's coastal habitats
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The coastal zone is the region of Earth where land and sea processes interact. Coastal zones attract large human populations, provide important socio-economic value, and contain a rich biodiversity and a great variety of habitats. Due to the presence of high amounts of population and agriculture the habitats in the coastal zone are under threat. Anthropogenic threats caused by sea level rise, light pollution, nutrients pollution, organic pollution, and inorganic pollution have an impact on coastal habitats in the marine and the terrestrial zone. Research often focuses on either the marine zone or the terrestrial zone, by doing so the interaction between these two zones and the cumulative impacts are highly underestimated. This thesis produces an integrated map of the anthropogenic impacts on coastal marine and terrestrial habitats. To create this integrated map several threats, impacts, and habitat vulnerabilities have been modelled. The resulting global coastal cumulative anthropogenic impact map visualises the impacts that humanity has on its valuable coastal zone. Several biogeographic regions of Earth are under several intense anthropogenic threats. Calculated cumulative impacts from these threats are greatest at coastal zones with widespread agriculture, in combination with the consumption of high quantities of fertilizer and pesticides, high local sea level rise, and high population densities. The biogeographic regions where these factors are all present are Tropical Eastern Pacific Realm, the Temperate Northern Atlantic Realm, and the Western Indo-Pacific Realm. The visualisation of these cumulative impacts will raise awareness to the high impact that the coastal habitats in these regions have to endure.