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Possible Impacts of Predicted Sea-Level Rise on South Pacific Mangroves


Ellison, JC, Possible Impacts of Predicted Sea-Level Rise on South Pacific Mangroves, Sea-Level changes and their effects, World Scientific Publishing Co Ltd, BJ Noye, MP Grezchnik (ed), Singapore, pp. 49-72. ISBN 981-02-3618-2 (2001) [Research Book Chapter]

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World Scientific Publishing Co., 1999

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In the Pacific islands the total mangrove area is about 343,735 ha, with largest areas in Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, Fiji and New Caledonia. A total of 34 species of mangroves occur, and 3 hybrids. These are of the Indo-Malayan assemblage, and decline in diversity from west to east across the Pacific, reaching a limit at American Samoa. Mangrove resources are traditionally exploited in the Pacific islands, for construction and fuel wood, medicines, and food supplies. There are two main environmental settings for mangroves of the Pacific, deltaic and estuarine mangroves of high islands, and embayment, lagoon and reef flat mangroves of low islands. Past analogues indicate that the intertidal habitat of mangroves makes them sensitive to sea-level rise. Pacific island stratigraphic records and paleoecological reconstruction of mangrove response to Holocene sea-level rise has shown that low island mangroves could keep up with a sea-level rise of up to 12 cm/100 years. High island mangroves can keep up with sea-level rates of up to 45 cm/100 years, according to the supply of fluvial allochthonous sediment input. A present analogue to sea-level rise impacts on Pacific island mangroves is provided by Bermuda, where tide gauge records since 1932 show sea-level rise at a rate of 28 cm/ 100 years. The largest mangrove area at Hungry Bay has problems with recent retreat of the seaward edge, and mangroves showing stress symptoms. With ecological change likely in Pacific mangroves with sea-level rise, a regional monitoring system is needed. This has been the intention of a number of programs, but none is yet implemented.

Item Details

Item Type:Research Book Chapter
Keywords:mangroves, sea-level rise, Pacific, Tonga, American Samoa
Research Division:Earth Sciences
Research Group:Physical geography and environmental geoscience
Research Field:Physical geography and environmental geoscience not elsewhere classified
Objective Division:Environmental Management
Objective Group:Coastal and estuarine systems and management
Objective Field:Rehabilitation or conservation of coastal or estuarine environments
UTAS Author:Ellison, JC (Associate Professor Joanna Ellison)
ID Code:22041
Year Published:2001
Deposited By:Geography and Environmental Studies
Deposited On:2001-08-01
Last Modified:2010-06-30
Downloads:4 View Download Statistics

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