Accelerated migration of mangroves indicate large-scale saltwater intrusion in Amazon coastal wetlands

Visschers, Lola L. B., Santos, Carlos D. and Franco, Aldina M. A. ORCID: (2022) Accelerated migration of mangroves indicate large-scale saltwater intrusion in Amazon coastal wetlands. Science of the Total Environment, 836. ISSN 0048-9697

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Saltwater intrusion can dramatically transform coastal ecosystems, changing vegetation and impacting wildlife and human communities who rely on these natural resources. This phenomenon is difficult to measure over large and remote areas but can be inferred from changes in the distribution of salt-tolerant vegetation, such as mangroves, observable from satellite imagery. The northern coast of Brazil has the largest continuous mangrove forest in the world and very low human occupation. Even so, saltwater intrusion and changes to the coastline have been reported in this region, with potential consequences for mangrove carbon storage and for local livelihoods, but this has not been quantified due to the remoteness of the area. This study measured changes in mangrove distribution along the Northern Brazil coast in the state of Amapá, covering ca. 15,000 km2, over the last 38 years using Landsat satellite imagery. We found that mangrove in this area is highly dynamic, with significant gains and losses occurring over the study period, but with an overall net gain of 157 km2. Mangroves have been systematically expanding inland and this growth has accelerated close to the shoreline and at the head of tidal channels in the last two decades, indicating rapid and large-scale saltwater intrusion in this region. This phenomenon is likely driven by sea level rise, which also accelerated in this region in recent decades, but anthropogenic impacts such as buffalo grazing may also play an important role.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: Funding: Lola Visschers was supported by Erasmus Mundus program through a grant provided by the International Master in Applied Ecology (FPA 2023-0224/532524-1-FR-2012-1-ERA MUNDUS-EMMC). This research was also supported by the Portuguese Foundation for Science and Technology through funds attributed to CESAM (grants: UIDP/50017/2020, UIDB/50017/2020 and LA/P/0094/2020).
Uncontrolled Keywords: climate change,coastal wetlands,environmental monitoring,remote sensing,salinity,pollution,waste management and disposal,environmental engineering,environmental chemistry,sdg 15 - life on land ,/dk/atira/pure/subjectarea/asjc/2300/2310
Faculty \ School: Faculty of Science > School of Environmental Sciences
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Depositing User: LivePure Connector
Date Deposited: 06 May 2022 03:56
Last Modified: 23 Oct 2022 03:44
DOI: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2022.155679

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