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Mangrove retreat with rising sea-level, Bermuda


Ellison, JC, Mangrove retreat with rising sea-level, Bermuda, Estuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science, 37, (1) pp. 75-87. ISSN 0272-7714 (1993) [Refereed Article]

Copyright Statement

Copyright 1993 Academic Pres

DOI: doi:10.1006/ecss.1993.1042


Low island mangroves keep up with slow sea-level rise by peat accumulation. Holocene stratigraphic records show that they maintain the same pace as sea-level rise at rates up to 9 cm/100 years. Tide gauge records from Bermuda since 1932 show sea-level rise at a rate of 28 cm/100 years. The largest mangrove area (626 acres) at Hungry Bay has for the last 2000 years been building peat at a rate of 85 to 106 cm/100 years. Retreat of the seaward edge has caused loss of 224 acres of mangroves, commencing in the last few hundred years, with a second dieback between 1900 and 1947, and a third dieback in the last decade. The substrate elevation of the seaward margin of mangroves is below mean sea-level, the normal lower limit for mangroves. Present dieback shows problems of erosion indicating that the Bruun Rule of beach erosion with sea-level rise is also appropriate for mangrove swamps. Stratigraphy shows that before 4000 BP sea-level rose at a rate of 25 cm/100 years, from 4000 to 1000 years BP the rate of sea-level rise declined to 6 cm/100 years during which time mangroves established, and in the last 1000 years there was an increase to 143 cm/100 years, during which time the mangroves died back. This study indicates that low island mangroves will experience problems with the rates of sea-level rise predicted for the next 50 years.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:mangrove swamps, accretion, erosion, sea-level rise, Bermuda
Research Division:Earth Sciences
Research Group:Physical geography and environmental geoscience
Research Field:Quaternary environments
Objective Division:Environmental Policy, Climate Change and Natural Hazards
Objective Group:Understanding climate change
Objective Field:Global effects of climate change (excl. Australia, New Zealand, Antarctica and the South Pacific) (excl. social impacts)
UTAS Author:Ellison, JC (Associate Professor Joanna Ellison)
ID Code:132755
Year Published:1993
Web of Science® Times Cited:152
Deposited By:Geography and Spatial Science
Deposited On:2019-05-20
Last Modified:2019-06-12

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