This chapter assesses the response of mangrove ecosystems to possible outcomes of climate change, with regard to the following categories: (i) distribution, diversity, and community composition, (ii) physiology of flora and fauna, (iii) water budget, (iv) productivity and remineralization, (v) carbon storage in biomass and sediments, and (vi) the filter function for elements beneficial or harmful to life. These categories are then used to identify the regions most vulnerable to climate change. The four most important factors determining the response of mangrove ecosystems to climate change are sea level rise, an increase in frequency and/or intensity of storms, increases in temperature, and aridity. While these changes may be beneficial for some mangrove forests at latitudinal distribution limits, they will threaten forest structure and functions and related ecosystem services in most cases. The interaction of climate change with human interventions is discussed, as well as the effects on ecosystem services including possible adaptation and management options. The chapter closes with an outlook on knowledge gaps and priority research needed to fill these gaps.
Additional publication details
Mangrove ecosystems under climate change
Wetland and Aquatic Research Center
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Larger Work Title:
Mangrove Ecosystems: A Global Biogeographic Perspective