Advancing mangrove macroecology

By: , and 
Edited by: Victor H. Rivera-MonroyShing Yip LeeErik Kristensen, and Robert R. Twilley



Mangrove forests provide a wide range of ecosystem services to society, yet they are among the most anthropogenically impacted coastal ecosystems in the world. In this chapter, we discuss and provide examples for how macroecology can advance our understanding of mangrove ecosystems. Macroecology is broadly defined as a discipline that uses statistical analyses to investigate large-scale, universal patterns in the distribution, abundance, diversity, and organization of species and ecosystems, including the scaling of ecological processes and structural and functional relationships. Macroecological methods can be used to advance our understanding of how non-linear responses in natural systems can be triggered by human impacts at local, regional, and global scales. Although macroecology has the potential to gain knowledge on universal patterns and processes that govern mangrove ecosystems, the application of macroecological methods to mangroves has historically been limited by constraints in data quality and availability. Here we provide examples that include evaluations of the variation in mangrove forest ecosystem structure and function in relation to macroclimatic drivers (e.g., temperature and rainfall regimes) and climate change. Additional examples include work focused upon the continental distribution of aboveground net primary productivity and carbon storage, which are rapidly advancing research areas. These examples demonstrate the value of a macroecological perspective for the understanding of global- and regional-scale effects of both changing environmental conditions and management actions on ecosystem structure, function, and the supply of goods and services. We also present current trends in mangrove modeling approaches and their potential utility to test hypotheses about mangrove structural and functional properties. Given the gap in relevant experimental work at the regional scale, we also discuss the potential use of mangrove restoration and rehabilitation projects as macroecological studies that advance the critical selection and conservation of ecosystem services when managing mangrove resources. Future work to further incorporate macroecology into mangrove research will require a concerted effort by research groups and institutions to launch research initiatives and synthesize data collected across broad biogeographic regions.

Additional publication details

Publication type Book chapter
Publication Subtype Book Chapter
Title Advancing mangrove macroecology
Chapter 11
ISBN 978-3-319-62204-0
DOI 10.1007/978-3-319-62206-4_11
Year Published 2017
Language English
Publisher Springer
Contributing office(s) Wetland and Aquatic Research Center
Description 35 p.
Larger Work Type Book
Larger Work Subtype Monograph
Larger Work Title Mangrove ecosystems: A global biogeographic perspective
First page 347
Last page 381
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