Physical Ecosystem Engineers and the Functioning of Estuaries and Coasts

  • Gutiérrez J
  • Jones C
  • Byers J
 et al. 
  • 154


    Mendeley users who have this article in their library.
  • 43


    Citations of this article.


A great diversity of organisms modify the physical structure of estuarine and coastal environments. These physical ecosystem engineers - particularly, dune and marsh plants, mangroves, seagrasses, kelps, reef-forming corals and bivalves, burrowing crustaceans, and infauna - often have substantive functional impacts over large areas and across distinct geographic regions. Here, we use a general framework for physical ecosystem engineering to illustrate how these organisms can exert control on sedimentary processes, coastal protection, and habitat availability to other organisms. We then discuss the management implications of coastal and estuarine engineering, concluding with a brief prospectus on research and management challenges.

Get free article suggestions today

Mendeley saves you time finding and organizing research

Sign up here
Already have an account ?Sign in

Find this document


  • Jeb ByersUniversity of Georgia, Odum School of Ecology

  • J. L. Gutiérrez

  • C. G. Jones

  • K. K. Arkema

  • K. Berkenbusch

  • A. Commito

Cite this document

Choose a citation style from the tabs below

Save time finding and organizing research with Mendeley

Sign up for free