University Of Tasmania
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Adapting to Pacific Island mangrove responses to sea level rise and climate change

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journal contribution
posted on 2023-06-23, 11:04 authored by EL Gilman, Joanna EllisonJoanna Ellison, V Jungblut, H Van Lavieren, L Wilson, F Areki, G Brighouse, J Bungitak, E Dus, M Henry, M Kilman, E Matthews, I Sauni Jr, N Teariki-Ruatu, S Tukia, K Yuknavage
Stresses associated with effects of climate change, including rise in relative mean sea level, present one set of threats to mangroves. Coastal development and ecosystems in the Pacific Islands region are particularly vulnerable to climate change effects. We investigated the capacity of Pacific Island countries and territories to assess mangrove vulnerability to the effects of climate change, and their capacity to adapt to mangrove responses to these forces. Technical and institutional capacity-building priorities include: (1) strengthening management frameworks to conduct site-specific assessment of mangrove vulnerability and incorporate resulting information into land-use plans to prepare for any landward mangrove migration and offsetting anticipated losses; (2) reducing and eliminating stresses on and rehabilitating mangroves, in part, to increase mangrove resilience to climate change effects; and (3) augmenting abilities to establish mangrove baselines, and monitor gradual changes using standardized techniques through a regional network to distinguish local and climate change effects on mangroves. Other priorities are to: (4) assess how mangrove margins have changed over recent decades; (5) determine projections of trends in mean relative sea level and trends in the frequency and elevation of extreme high water events; (6) measure trends in changes in elevations of mangrove surfaces; and (7) incorporate this information into land-use planning processes. Also in (8) some locations require spatial imagery showing topography and locations of mangroves and coastal development. Land-use planners can use information from assessments predicting shoreline responses to projected sea level rise and other climate change effects to reduce risks to coastal development, human safety, and coastal ecosystems. This advanced planning enables coastal managers to minimize social disruption and cost, minimize losses of valued coastal ecosystems, and maximize available options


Publication title

Climate Research





Article number









Geography, Planning and Spatial Sciences



Publication status

  • Published

Repository Status

  • Open

Socio-economic Objectives

189999 Other environmental management not elsewhere classified