Sand dunes and landscape

Scientific challenge: 

Coastal habitats are some of our most naturally dynamic ecosystems and are important places for people and wildlife. They support valuable ecosystem services such as recreation, coastal defence and climate regulation, valued at £48 billion (UK NEA).

Our coasts are undergoing major changes brought about by manmade development, such as tidal lagoons, and global environmental change. However, the effects of these multiple pressures on the structure and function of coastal ecosystems are not well understood.

Puffin by Akinori Takahashi

Project overview: 

CEH coastal biodiversity research focuses on: saltmarsh, sand dunes and seabirds.

Our research covers three main areas:

  • Environmental change: the impact of climate change and land-use management on coastal habitats and species
  • Adaptive management: how best to manage coastal habitats in response to large-scale and local environmental change
  • Ecosystem function: how the underlying functions and processes affect the plants, animals and ecosystem services they support

CEH work on coastal biodiversity:

Research Platforms / Monitoring Sites:

  • Newborough
  • Isle of May
  • Countryside survey coastal squares
  • Glastir Monitoring and Evaluation programme (GMEP) coastal squares
  • Ecohydrology