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World-wide mangrove distribution and degradation
Hemeleers, L.; Koedam, N.; Dahdouh-Guebas, F. (2009). World-wide mangrove distribution and degradation, in: Dahdouh-Guebas, F. et al. Proceedings of the Symposium African Botany in Brussels. pp. 86
In: Dahdouh-Guebas, F. et al. (2009). Proceedings of the Symposium African Botany in Brussels. Université libre de Bruxelles - ULB / Vrije Universiteit Brussel - VUB: Belgium. 120 + 10 annex. pp., more

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  • Hemeleers, L., more
  • Koedam, N., more
  • Dahdouh-Guebas, F., more

    Species extinctions can be followed by loss in functional diversity, particularly in species-poor systems, such as mangrove forests. Declines in mangrove area are likely to be followed by accelerated functional losses in the future. Already now, mangrove forests are reported to disappear worldwide by 1 to 2% annually, rates similar or worse in comparison to coral reefs and tropical rainforests. Though having a worldwide distribution, anthropogenic pressure and reductions in functionality threatens the mangrove as an ecosystem and it remains uninvestigated how bad their decrease in functionality is.In a first research axis we are investigating country-wise how degradation is related to geography and to demographic and other socio-economical indicators (based on data from FAO, Unesco, WHO, OECD-DAC, CIA-Fact List, etc.). This also provides information on the species richness per country. The second axis provides mangrove species lists for local sites within countries based on existing literature and, where possible, in linking mangrove area to species present. We are particularly interested to inspect how species richness differs on different geographic scales from regional to extremely local. In the third and final research axis we intend to link (tree) species to functionality of mangroves (in terms of goods and services provided). A first step is to synthesize which mangrove species has which type of functions and to establish a functionality index for each species. The second and most challenging step is to link this index back to species richness (see second research axis) and to mangrove degradation (see first research axis). The research is on-going.

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