Ecologically critical tidal wetlands along the U.S. Gulf Coast are being swallowed up by rising sea level and coastal development, but they expand inland if planners consider climate change in their equations.
“Tidal saline wetlands along the northern Gulf of Mexico are abundant, diverse, and vulnerable to sea-level rise,” said Nicholas Enwright, USGS researcher and lead author of the study. “Our findings provide a foundation for land managers to better ensure there is space for future wetland migration in response to sea-level rise.”
Tidal saline wetlands include mangrove forests, salt marshes, and salt flats, which all provide important wildlife habitat and help buffer the impacts of extreme weather. Without areas for these wetlands to move to, people and wildlife will lose the beneficial functions they provide. Continue reading “Can coastal wetlands survive sea level rise?”→
Coastline losses in the Sundarbans reaches 200 meters per year
By Summit Voice
FRISCO — Coastal development and climate change are eating away at the Sundarbans, the largest block of mangroves in the world, stretched along the coast of India and Bangladesh. In some areas, up to 200 meters of coast are disappearing annually, according to a report from the Zoological Society of London.
The losses are affecting the area’s natural protection from tidal waves and cyclones This will inevitably lead to species loss in this richly biodiverse part of the world, the scientists said.
“Our results indicate a rapidly retreating coastline that cannot be accounted for by the regular dynamics of the Sundarbans. Degradation is happening fast, weakening this natural shield for India and Bangladesh,” said ZSL’s Dr Nathalie Pettorelli, senior author of the paper. Continue reading “Stunning mangrove losses in Bangladesh and India”→
New policy brief outlines benefits of mangrove conservation
By Summit Voice
SUMMIT COUNTY — Conversion of mangrove forests is taking a huge toll on coastal ecosystems, an international team of researchers said, warning that replacing tidal forest with shrimp farms and other forms of development is a bad economic tradeoff both short and long-term.
New research highlights importance of coastal preservation
By Summit Voice
Coastal mangrove forests store more carbon than almost any other forest on Earth, according to a study conducted by a team of U.S. Forest Service and university scientists. Their findings are published online in the journal Nature Geoscience.
A research team from the U.S. Forest Service’s Pacific Southwest and Northern research stations, University of Helsinki and the Center for International Forestry Research examined the carbon content of 25 mangrove forests across the Indo-Pacific region and found that per hectare, mangrove forests store up to four times more carbon than most other tropical forests around the world.
“Mangroves have long been known as extremely productive ecosystems that cycle carbon quickly, but until now there had been no estimate of how much carbon resides in these systems. That’s essential information because when land-use change occurs, much of that standing carbon stock can be released to the atmosphere,” says Daniel Donato, a postdoctoral research ecologist at the Pacific Southwest Research Station in Hilo, Hawaii. Continue reading “Mangrove forests tabbed as key carbon sinks”→