High-resolution mapping of losses and gains of Earth's tidal wetlands

Murray, Nicholas J., Worthington, Thomas A., Bunting, Pete, Duce, Stephanie, Hagger, Valerie, Lovelock, Catherine E., Lucas, Richard, Saunders, Megan I., Sheaves, Marcus, Spalding, Mark, Waltham, Nathan J., and Lyons, Mitchell B. (2022) High-resolution mapping of losses and gains of Earth's tidal wetlands. Science, 376. pp. 744-749.

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Tidal wetlands are expected to respond dynamically to global environmental change, but the extent to which wetland losses have been offset by gains remains poorly understood. We developed a global analysis of satellite data to simultaneously monitor change in three highly interconnected intertidal ecosystem types—tidal flats, tidal marshes, and mangroves—from 1999 to 2019. Globally, 13,700 square kilometers of tidal wetlands have been lost, but these have been substantially offset by gains of 9700 km2, leading to a net change of −4000 km2 over two decades. We found that 27% of these losses and gains were associated with direct human activities such as conversion to agriculture and restoration of lost wetlands. All other changes were attributed to indirect drivers, including the effects of coastal processes and climate change.

Item ID: 75352
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1095-9203
Copyright Information: Copyright © 2022 The Authors, some rights reserved; exclusive licensee American Association for the Advancement of Science. No claim to original U.S. Government Works
Funders: Australian Research Council (ARC)
Projects and Grants: ARC DE190100101, ARC FL200100133, ARC LP170101171
Date Deposited: 05 Jul 2022 01:39
FoR Codes: 41 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES > 4104 Environmental management > 410401 Conservation and biodiversity @ 30%
41 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES > 4104 Environmental management > 410404 Environmental management @ 30%
31 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 3103 Ecology > 310305 Marine and estuarine ecology (incl. marine ichthyology) @ 40%
SEO Codes: 18 ENVIRONMENTAL MANAGEMENT > 1802 Coastal and estuarine systems and management > 180203 Coastal or estuarine biodiversity @ 50%
18 ENVIRONMENTAL MANAGEMENT > 1805 Marine systems and management > 180507 Rehabilitation or conservation of marine environments @ 50%
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