Some remarks on the functions of European coastal ecosystems
Van Der Maarel, Eddy
Amongst the various functions of European coastal ecosystems the information functions are by far the most important. Information is provided mainly through the various aspects of biodiversity: taxon diversity, genetic diversity, community (β) diversity, phylogentic distinctiveness, rarity and endemism. Coastal ecosystems are relatively rich in coastal ecotypes of species with a broader amplitude and in endemic species. Phylogenetically distinctive taxa occur in saline waters, and some on beaches and in foredunes. These particular features of coastal ecosystems are related to the long geological history of European, especially eastern Mediterranean, coasts. Information functions are threatened through the use of European coastal ecosystems for other purposes, notably urbanization and recreational development.