Okinawa, Japan is known for its high marine biodiversity, yet little work has been performed on examining impacts of numerous large-scale coastal development projects on its marine ecosystems. Here, we examine apparent impacts of the construction of the Kaichu-Doro causeway, which was built over 40. years ago. The causeway is a 4.75. km long embankment that divides a large tidal flat and has only two points of water exchange along its entire length. We employed quadrats, transects, sampling, visual surveys, and microbial community analyses combined with environmental, water quality data, and 1. m cores, at five stations of two paired sites each (one on each side of Kaichu-Doro) to investigate how the environment and biota have changed since the Kaichu-Doro was built. Results indicate reduction in water flow, and site S1 was particularly heavily impacted by poor water quality, with low diversity and disturbed biotic communities.
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