IUCN Red List of Ecosystems, Mangroves of  the Tropical Northwestern Atlantic

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Authors

Carlos Troche-Souza, Ariel E. Lugo, Tamara Heartsill-Scalley, Jorge López Portillo, Samuel Velázquez-Salazar, Andrés E. Fraiz-Toma, J. Alberto Alcántara-Maya, Edgar Villeda-Chávez, Berenice Vázquez-Balderas, Luis Valderrama-Landeros, Ma. Teresa Rodríguez-Zúñiga, Juan F. Blanco-Libreros Blanco-Libreros, Yanet Cruz Portorreal, Orlando Joel Reyes Domínguez, Lenin Corrales, Ana Laura Lara Domínguez, Denisse Cortés Castillo, J. Orlando Rangel-Ch, Diana Romero-D’Achiardi, Camilo Montes-Chaura, Siuling Cinco Castro, Jorge A. Herrera-Silvera, Claudia Teutli-Hernández, Paula Cristina Sierra-Correa, David A. Sánchez-Núñez, Jaime Polanía, Miguel Beltrán Gómez, Adolfo Quesada-Román, Hayler María Pérez Trejo, Miguel Cifuentes-Jara, Ena Suarez

Abstract

Mangroves of the Tropical Northwestern Atlantic is a regional ecosystem subgroup (level 4 unit of the IUCN Global Ecosystem Typology). It includes the marine ecoregions of Bahamian, Carolinian, Eastern Caribbean, Floridian, Greater Antilles, Northern Gulf of Mexico, Southern Caribbean, Southern Gulf of Mexico, Southwestern Caribbean and Western Caribbean. The mapped extent of mangroves in 2020 was 17,408 km2, representing 11.8% of the global mangrove area. The diverse biota of this province is characterized by seven species of true mangroves, plus many associated taxa. Six species: Avicennia germinans, Laguncularia racemosa, Rhizophora mangle, Rizophora racemosa and Acrostichum aureum are categorized as Least Concern (LC) and Pelliciera rhizophorae as Vulnerable (VU) in the IUCN Red List of threatened species.

Within the province, mangroves with lagoonal carbonate and open coast carbonate typologies prevail. Despite sediment scarcity in carbonate regions, urban mangroves unexpectedly accumulate sediments and nutrients at faster rates, potentially enhancing resilience to rising sea-levels. Threats to mangroves include deforestation due to various human activities, such as land use changes, agriculture, petroleum, tourism, and climate change-induced hurricanes. Anthropogenic impacts vary across countries. Sea-level rise (SLR) poses a multifaceted threat, from inundation and displacement of mangroves to elevated storm surge risks, necessitating comprehensive assessments and effective management for sustainability.

The net area change in the Tropical Northwestern Atlantic mangroves has been -5.4% since 1996. If this trend continues an overall change of -13.1% is projected over the next 50 years. Furthermore, under a high SLR scenario (IPCC RCP8.5) ≈-75.9% of the Tropical Northwestern Atlantic mangroves would be submerged by 2060 with a relative severity within of ≥50% and <80%. Moreover, 4% of the province’s mangrove ecosystem is undergoing degradation, with the potential to increase to 12% within a 50-year period, based on a vegetation index decay analysis. Overall, the Tropical Northwestern Atlantic mangrove ecosystem is assessed as Vulnerable (VU).

DOI

https://doi.org/10.32942/X2BW3T

Subjects

Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Life Sciences

Keywords

Mangroves; Red List of ecosystems; ecosystem collapse; threats.

Dates

Published: 2024-05-15 04:07

License

CC-By Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International

Additional Metadata

Language:
English