Stream 1: Environment
- Chamindra Lakmali Vithana and Niloofar Karimian
- Southern Cross Geoscience, Southern Cross University, Australia
Globally, over 17 million ha of land is known to contain Acid sulfate soils (ASS) materials where majority are distributed across coastal ecosystems (e.g. wetlands, swamps, mangrove forests, estuaries). Coastal environments are rich in bio-diversity and connect both marine and terrestrial ecosystems, and thereby help maintain the equilibrium in both ecosystems. Furthermore, they also have social (e.g. provide livelihood for communities) and economic (e.g. tourism, commercial fishing) values. These coastal environments are being massively exploited as a result of urbanization, industrial growth, tourism and agricultural activities. Furthermore in recent years, these coastal environments are being frequently subjected to severe weather conditions (e.g. typhoons, hurricanes) and to unseasonal weather events (e.g. prolonged flooding and droughts, changes in monsoon precipitation). ASS mismanagement risks potential exposure of underneath ASS materials and their subsequent oxidation, which can generate environmental hazards such as acidity generation, mobilization of trace metals and deoxygenation of water bodies. These environmental hazards negatively impact fauna and flora in those ecosystems and the economy. This special session is dedicated to coastal ecosystems rich in ASS materials and is focused on studies about their biogeochemistry, current and future threats faced by these environments and innovative ideas on efficient handling of these environments.