Published on 20 October 2022
Together with representatives from the IUCN Species Survival Commission's Mangrove Specialist Group and from the MMM5 Workshop held in Malaysia in 2019, Prof. Farid Dahdouh-Guebas (Systems Ecology and Resource Management Research Unit, Department of Organism Biology) published a paper that was selected as the front cover of the renowned scientific journal Nature Plants. The authors represent more than 200 years of accumulated mangrove research experience in more than 30 countries around the world.
The function of mangrove ecosystems that underpin ecosystem services, their responses to extreme weather and climatic events, and their role as critical socio-ecological systems are identified as key paradigms shaping mangrove research now and in the future. Ecosystem functions support the ecosystem services that mangroves provide to local and global communities, but remain poorly documented on a local scale. Extreme events and natural processes exacerbated by climate change are already affecting mangroves, and their impact is increasing due to human impact. Socio-environmental perspectives are important as much of the world's mangroves are used and influenced by humans. Social-ecological processes are relevant to mangrove management and conservation, linking mangrove science and application. Themes around functions and connectivity, ecological resilience to extreme events and interactions between humans and the environment are also likely to provide important underpinnings for other coastal and terrestrial ecosystems. This article aims to promote discussion within and beyond the mangrove research community and help the wider scientific field view and understand the issue of protecting mangrove forests for the future.
Prof Dahdouh-Guebas is no stranger to the STEREO programme. In fact, between 2015 and 2019 he led STEREO project MAMAFOREST, which was all about mangrove forests.
Photo by Janos Leo G. Andanar.
- Dahdouh-Guebas, F. (2022, October 14). Cross-cutting research themes for future mangrove forest research. Nature.
- MAMAFOREST: Managing mangrove forests from the sky. (2021, July 26). Belgian Platform on Earth Observation.