Wild horses at the beach, Cumberland island. Photo source: ©© Linda N.
Abstract, By Jeremy B. C. Jackson © 2001, The National Academy of Sciences
Humans transformed Western Atlantic coastal marine ecosystems before modern ecological investigations began.
Paleoecological, archeological, and historical reconstructions demonstrate incredible losses of large vertebrates and oysters from the entire Atlantic coast. Untold millions of large fishes, sharks, sea turtles, and manatees were removed from the Caribbean in the 17th to 19th centuries.
Historical reconstructions provide a new scientific framework for manipulative experiments at the ecosystem scale to explore the feasibility and benefits of protection of our living coastal resources…