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Holocene sea-level rise has been the most significant natural influence on the evolution of both physical and biological aspects of east Central Florida's continental margin. Under conditions of rising Holocene sea level the barrier island system has retreated landward through erosional
shoreface retreat. This landward retreat of the barrier island system has lead to constantly changing conditions of water quality (e.g., salinity), substrate composition, circulation, and water depth within the Indian River Lagoon. These changes have taken place over a broad range of spatial
(meters to 100s of kilometers) and temporal (hours to 1,000s of years) scales. Because each of these parameters influence coastal biodiversity, it can be assumed that at least some of the historical changes noted to have occurred within the Indian River Lagoon are a natural response to Holocene
sea-level rise and the concomitant landward retreat of the barrier island system. Geologic data are useful in distinguishing between the natural and anthropogenic influences on the observed trends in biodiversity and should be utilized in the development of a comprehensive monitoring or management
program designed to preserve the Indian River Lagoon's impressive biodiversity and natural variability.
The Bulletin of Marine Science is dedicated to the dissemination of high quality research from the world's oceans. All aspects of marine science are treated by the Bulletin of Marine Science, including papers in marine biology, biological oceanography, fisheries, marine affairs, applied marine physics, marine geology and geophysics, marine and atmospheric chemistry, and meteorology and physical oceanography.