Assessing forest change in a priority West African mangrove ecosystem: 1986–2010

Assessing forest change in a priority West African mangrove ecosystem: 1986–2010 1 Introduction</h5> Mangrove forests are at the forefront of contemporary scientific and conservation concerns. They are repositories of biodiversity and provide vital habitats for a vast range of reptiles, birds, mammals, and aquatic species ( Alongi, 2002; Nagelkerken et al., 2008 ). Mangroves also protect coastal areas from erosion ( Mazda et al., 2002 ). The bio-shield function of mangroves is likely to assume greater importance with anticipated sea level rise this century ( IPCC, 2007; Alongi, 2008; Gedan et al., 2009 ). Threats to the mangrove ecosystem place many species at risk, including human populations who live along coasts and river estuaries. Satellite images, available since the 1970s, provide an important tool for accurately assessing mangrove coverage and the effects of conservation programs ( Freiss and Webb, 2011 ). They bear witness to a global decline in mangrove forests, which are being cleared for shrimp ponds, tourist infrastructure, roads, building poles, and firewood. The United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) estimates that since 1980 an alarming 20% of the world’s mangroves, or 3.6 million hectares, has been lost globally ( FAO, 2007 ). Other estimates place the reduction in coverage over this period as high as http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Geoforum Elsevier

Assessing forest change in a priority West African mangrove ecosystem: 1986–2010

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Publisher
Elsevier
Copyright
Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd
ISSN
0016-7185
eISSN
1872-9398
DOI
10.1016/j.geoforum.2014.02.013
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

1 Introduction</h5> Mangrove forests are at the forefront of contemporary scientific and conservation concerns. They are repositories of biodiversity and provide vital habitats for a vast range of reptiles, birds, mammals, and aquatic species ( Alongi, 2002; Nagelkerken et al., 2008 ). Mangroves also protect coastal areas from erosion ( Mazda et al., 2002 ). The bio-shield function of mangroves is likely to assume greater importance with anticipated sea level rise this century ( IPCC, 2007; Alongi, 2008; Gedan et al., 2009 ). Threats to the mangrove ecosystem place many species at risk, including human populations who live along coasts and river estuaries. Satellite images, available since the 1970s, provide an important tool for accurately assessing mangrove coverage and the effects of conservation programs ( Freiss and Webb, 2011 ). They bear witness to a global decline in mangrove forests, which are being cleared for shrimp ponds, tourist infrastructure, roads, building poles, and firewood. The United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) estimates that since 1980 an alarming 20% of the world’s mangroves, or 3.6 million hectares, has been lost globally ( FAO, 2007 ). Other estimates place the reduction in coverage over this period as high as

Journal

GeoforumElsevier

Published: May 1, 2014

References

  • Mangrove forests: resilience, protection from tsunamis, and responses to global climate change
    Alongi, D.M.
  • Status and distribution of mangrove forests of the world using earth observation satellite data
    Giri, C.; Ochieng, E.; Tieszen, L.L.; Zhu, Z.; Singh, A.; Loveland, T.; Masek, J.; Duke, N.
  • Applying remote sensing techniques to monitor shifting wetland vegetation: a case study of Danshui River estuary mangrove communities, Taiwan
    Lee, T.M.; Yeh, H.C.
  • Coastal erosion due to long-term human impact on mangrove forests
    Mazda, Y.; Magi, M.; Nanao, H.; Kogo, M.; Miyagi, T.; Kanazawa, N.; Kobashi, D.
  • The Gambia
    Robinson, P.

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