Rising seas and mangrove forests

Oct 19, 2015 | written by:

Mangrove forests around the Indo-Pacific region could be submerged by 2070, according to an international research recently published on Nature. “Mangrove forests are particularly vulnerable” says Professor Catherine Lovelock, ecologist at the University of Queensland– “Mangroves are predicted to be submerged in some areas of Thailand, Sumatra, Java, Papua New Guinea and the Solomon Islands.”

However we have also good news: "Our modelling shows that mangroves are likely to persist in East Africa, in the Bay of Bengal, in Eastern Borneo and North-Western Australia - areas where there are relatively large tidal ranges and/or higher sediment supply.”

"The Indo-Pacific region holds most of the world's mangrove forests, but sediment delivery in this region is declining, due to activities such as dam construction," she said.

 

 

Mangrove forests occur on tropical and subtropical shorelines, and provide a wide range of ecosystem services - from fisheries to coastal protection and to carbon compensation - with an estimated value of $USD194,000 per hectare per year.

"Sea-level rise - Professor Catherine Lovelock explains - could threaten the long-term sustainability of coastal communities and of valuable ecosystems such as coral reefs, salt marshes and mangroves.”

UQ's Global Change Institute and the Australian Research Council funded the project analysing the trends based on data from an international network of 27 sites.

 

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