08/11/2023 | A new special issue presents studies and findings from the interdisciplinary Sino-German project ECOLOC (Environmental change affecting coastal ecosystems of tropical China during the Anthropocene), which was based at ZMT from 2015 to 2018, was coordinated by biogeochemist Tim Jennerjahn and funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research and the Chinese State Oceanic Administration (now Ministry of Natural Resources).

The project aimed to understand the natural and anthropogenic factors that control the physico- and biogeochemical environment of coastal habitats on the Chinese island of Hainan, as well as the response of their ecosystems and organisms, such as seagrass beds, coral reefs and benthic organisms, to the input of anthropogenic substances from land to coastal areas.

The expansion of tourism in the coastal areas of the island is a high priority for the Chinese government. Aquaculture and fishing play a major role as additional sources of income for the island's population. The preservation of ecosystem services and coastal habitat resources is therefore extremely important for the future economic development of Hainan. One of the main objectives of ECOLOC was therefore to provide a comprehensive knowledge base for the sustainable management of Hainan's coastal zones.

In the individual contributions to the anthology, the results of the studies are presented at a local level, but also discussed in a global context and with regard to the understanding of the process. The editorial summarizes the results of the individual studies in the context of the overall project objectives and globally relevant coastal issues and provides recommendations for decision-makers to develop sustainable management of Hainan's coastal resources. The volume brings together contributions from scientists from the ZMT, the Institute of Environmental Physics at the University of Bremen, the Leibniz Institute for Baltic Sea Research, RWTH Aachen University and their Chinese research partners and has been published in the journal Estuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science.

"Our long-standing bilateral cooperation has not only proven to be very fruitful for gaining new scientific knowledge, but the results relevant to politics and society have also been communicated and taken up accordingly. The results published in this special volume will also contribute to improving coastal zone management," says Tim Jennerjahn, one of the editors of the publication.