Sea-level rise may be the greatest threat to mangroves

Sea-level rise may be the greatest threat to mangroves

29 August 2008

Mangrove ecosystems are under threat from climate change. Initial research led by IUCN and three leading universities shows that most mangrove sediment surface levels are not keeping pace with sea-level rise. The greatest impact will be on those mangroves where there is limited area for landward migration.

Research has demonstrated Pacific Islands mangroves to be at high risk. However, adaptation measures can offset anticipated mangrove losses and improve resistance and resilience to climate change. Coastal planning can adapt to facilitate mangrove migration with sea-level rise.

Other management options include better control of activities within the catchment that affect long-term trends in the mangrove sediment levels, rehabilitation of degraded mangrove areas, and designation of protected area networks that include mangroves and functionally linked ecosystems.

More research is needed on assessment methods and standard indicators of change in response to effects from climate change, so at this stage, there is less certainty over other climate change outcomes and mangrove responses.

Source: IUCN