5 years ago

Distribution and drivers of global mangrove forest change, 1996–2010

Marc Simard, Ake Rosenqvist, Andrew Hardy, Peter Bunting, Richard Lucas, Nathan Thomas

by Nathan Thomas, Richard Lucas, Peter Bunting, Andrew Hardy, Ake Rosenqvist, Marc Simard

For the period 1996-2010, we provide the first indication of the drivers behind mangrove land cover and land use change across the (pan-)tropics using time-series Japanese Earth Resources Satellite (JERS-1) Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) and Advanced Land Observing Satellite (ALOS) Phased Array-type L-band SAR (PALSAR) data. Multi-temporal radar mosaics were manually interpreted for evidence of loss and gain in forest extent and its associated driver. Mangrove loss as a consequence of human activities was observed across their entire range. Between 1996-2010 12% of the 1168 1°x1° radar mosaic tiles examined contained evidence of mangrove loss, as a consequence of anthropogenic degradation, with this increasing to 38% when combined with evidence of anthropogenic activity prior to 1996. The greatest proportion of loss was observed in Southeast Asia, whereby approximately 50% of the tiles in the region contained evidence of mangrove loss, corresponding to 18.4% of the global mangrove forest tiles. Southeast Asia contained the greatest proportion (33.8%) of global mangrove forest. The primary driver of anthropogenic mangrove loss was found to be the conversion of mangrove to aquaculture/agriculture, although substantial advance of mangroves was also evident in many regions.

Publisher URL: http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article

DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0179302

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