Template for evaluation of impacts of sea level rise on Caribbean coastal wetlands

Published predictions of the impacts of sea level rise on mangroves are too simplistic, due to the assumption that ecosystem structure and plant zonation are uniform

Peter R. Bacon

2003

Scholarcy highlights

  • Published predictions of the impacts of sea level rise on mangroves are too simplistic, due to the assumption that ecosystem structure and plant zonation are uniform
  • Field survey and analysis of over 200 coastal wetland sites in the Insular Caribbean suggests the likelihood of very variable system responses, because of the wide range of wetland types and geomorphic settings
  • A template is presented for use in predicting site-specific responses to sea level change in mangrove and associated coastal wetlands
  • Significant predictors are site physiography and relation to neighbouring coastal systems, plus the immediate hinterland and recent changes to wetlands resulting from human intervention
  • Impacts on mangroves may include some losses, but inland migration, change in species dominance, and increase in area are more likely in the short term, depending on the range of site characteristics
  • A preliminary version of the paper was presented at the INTECOL IV International Wetlands Conference in Ohio, September 1992

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