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Coastal urbanization and sandy beach macrofauna: The Baixada Santista as a case study


Worldwide, the coastal zone shows an intensification of the urbanization process. There are numerous records of artificial structures, tourists, economic exploitation, altogether with the combined effects of global climate changes. In this scenario, one of the most fragile and sensitive environments are the sandy beaches. These areas harbor a particular biodiversity that suffer negative effects of increased coastal urbanization. Changes in sediment, artificial structures, trampling and vehicle circulation are some of the various impacts that affect these environments. In this context, the proper management of this environment requires basic information, such as morphodynamics and biodiversity. The Baixada Santista, located on the central coast of the State of São Paulo, is a model area for the evaluation of the effects of urbanization on biodiversity. The presence of the largest port in Latin America, the industrial pole of Cubatão, artificial structures distributed along the coast and intense tourism at certain times of the year contrasts with the low amount of information and the relationship between these factors and the biodiversity of the beaches. Therefore, this proposal intends to evaluate the effect of urbanization on the biodiversity of the sandy beaches. In order to do so, it will involve a (i) sandy beach characterization regarding morphodynamics and level of urbanization and (ii) an evaluation of the relation between urbanization and biodiversity. Finally, I propose that the results to be discussed with different actors of society to advance the discussions of the management of this environment. (AU)

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