Drivers of Temporal Changes in Mangrove Vegetation Boundaries and Consequences for Land Use

  • R. J. Lara
  • M. Cohen
  • C. Szlafsztein
Part of the Ecological Studies book series (ECOLSTUD, volume 211)


In this chapter, we deal with the main abiotic factors influencing large-scale features of the mangrove ecosystem, including changes in boundaries, coverage and land use. A topographic profile of the Bragança peninsula is presented, including the distribution of the main vegetation units and the relationship between porewater salinities in surface sediments and mangrove vegetation height. Departing from these basic patterns, the influence of inundation frequency and sediment salinity on wetland structure is treated using an empirical, GIS-based model. This integrates high-resolution topographical and tidal information, field data of porewater and estuarine salinity and vegetation structure, allowing a realistic appraisal of the distribution of porewater salinity and vegetation height at synoptic scale. The evolution of coastal vegetation in the last decades shows net coverage losses along the coastline. Vegetation death was mainly caused by erosion and/or landward sand migration, as well as by deposition on top of older mud sediments. Simultaneously, mangroves have rapidly invaded the elevated herbaceous flats in the highest sectors of the Bragança peninsula. The current dynamics of vegetation change are compatible with the predicted rates of sea-level rise. We discuss management strategies derived from mangrove-marsh ecotone shifts involving a potential conflict between private property use right and environmental legislation, and present an example of a decision support scheme combining mangrove protection and use.


Salt Marsh Mangrove Forest Vegetation Height Vegetation Unit Wood Extraction 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Leibniz Center for Tropical Marine EcologyBremenGermany
  2. 2.Faculty of OceanographyFederal University of ParáBelêmBrazil
  3. 3.NUMAUniversity Federal of ParáBelémBrazil

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