Drivers of global mangrove loss and gain in social-ecological systems

Hagger, Valerie, Worthington, Thomas A., Lovelock, Catherine E., Adame, Maria Fernanda, Amano, Tatsuya, Brown, Benjamin M., Friess, Daniel A., Landis, Emily, Mumby, Peter J., Morrison, Tiffany H., O’brien, Katherine R., Wilson, Kerrie A., Zganjar, Chris, and Saunders, Megan I. (2022) Drivers of global mangrove loss and gain in social-ecological systems. Nature Communications, 13 (1). 6373.

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Mangrove forests store high amounts of carbon, protect communities from storms, and support fisheries. Mangroves exist in complex social-ecological systems, hence identifying socioeconomic conditions associated with decreasing losses and increasing gains remains challenging albeit important. The impact of national governance and conservation policies on mangrove conservation at the landscape-scale has not been assessed to date, nor have the interactions with local economic pressures and biophysical drivers. Here, we assess the relationship between socioeconomic and biophysical variables and mangrove change across coastal geomorphic units worldwide from 1996 to 2016. Globally, we find that drivers of loss can also be drivers of gain, and that drivers have changed over 20 years. The association with economic growth appears to have reversed, shifting from negatively impacting mangroves in the first decade to enabling mangrove expansion in the second decade. Importantly, we find that community forestry is promoting mangrove expansion, whereas conversion to agriculture and aquaculture, often occurring in protected areas, results in high loss. Sustainable development, community forestry, and co-management of protected areas are promising strategies to reverse mangrove losses, increasing the capacity of mangroves to support human-livelihoods and combat climate change.

Item ID: 77584
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 2041-1723
Copyright Information: ©The Author(s) 2022. This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article’s Creative Commons license, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article’s Creative Commons license and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copyof this license, visit
Date Deposited: 01 Mar 2023 04:06
FoR Codes: 31 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 3103 Ecology > 310308 Terrestrial ecology @ 50%
41 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES > 4104 Environmental management > 410404 Environmental management @ 50%
SEO Codes: 18 ENVIRONMENTAL MANAGEMENT > 1806 Terrestrial systems and management > 180606 Terrestrial biodiversity @ 100%
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