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Kotwicki, L., Węsławski, J.M., Grzelak, K., Wiktor, J. & Zajączkowski, M.. Island Biogeography Theory in Coastal Ecosystem Protection: The Baltic Sandy Shores. In: Schernewski, G., Glaeser, B., Scheibe, R., Sekścińska, A., Thamm, R. (eds.). Coastal Development: The Oder estuary and beyond. Coastline Reports (8), pp. 257-263. EUCC - The Coastal Union, Leiden, 2007.


The authors present data on Baltic sandy shores biodiversity and ecology. The importance of littoral benthic assemblages for coastal waters ecology is discussed, with emphasis on meiofauna and macrofauna. The structure and function of sandy assemblages is presented according to the methodology proposed by McLachlan for sandy shores and adopted from the island biogeography theory of Wilson and McArthur. Approximately 20 % of the Polish coastline has lost its naturalness due to the direct influence of constructions of various types of breakwaters, while a further 40 % is indirectly influenced by managing activities. The management of sandy shores rely partly on belief, that particular beach units are interconnected, due to the free larval drift (DEFEO & MCLACHLAN 2005). This shall be the case of Polish Baltic Sea coast, long, continuous line of exposed sandy beach, for almost 500 km. According to presented data, the authors suggest that Polish coastline can not be considered as one ecosystem. Single beach is unique and highly valuable and specific action in one coastal place could have significant consequences for the remaining coastline.

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