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Remote Sens. 2011, 3(5), 878-928; doi:10.3390/rs3050878
Review

Remote Sensing of Mangrove Ecosystems: A Review

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Received: 18 February 2011; in revised form: 28 March 2011 / Accepted: 11 April 2011 / Published: 27 April 2011
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Abstract: Mangrove ecosystems dominate the coastal wetlands of tropical and subtropical regions throughout the world. They provide various ecological and economical ecosystem services contributing to coastal erosion protection, water filtration, provision of areas for fish and shrimp breeding, provision of building material and medicinal ingredients, and the attraction of tourists, amongst many other factors. At the same time, mangroves belong to the most threatened and vulnerable ecosystems worldwide and experienced a dramatic decline during the last half century. International programs, such as the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands or the Kyoto Protocol, underscore the importance of immediate protection measures and conservation activities to prevent the further loss of mangroves. In this context, remote sensing is the tool of choice to provide spatio-temporal information on mangrove ecosystem distribution, species differentiation, health status, and ongoing changes of mangrove populations. Such studies can be based on various sensors, ranging from aerial photography to high- and medium-resolution optical imagery and from hyperspectral data to active microwave (SAR) data. Remote-sensing techniques have demonstrated a high potential to detect, identify, map, and monitor mangrove conditions and changes during the last two decades, which is reflected by the large number of scientific papers published on this topic. To our knowledge, a recent review paper on the remote sensing of mangroves does not exist, although mangrove ecosystems have become the focus of attention in the context of current climate change and discussions of the services provided by these ecosystems. Also, climate change-related remote-sensing studies in coastal zones have increased drastically in recent years. The aim of this review paper is to provide a comprehensive overview and sound summary of all of the work undertaken, addressing the variety of remotely sensed data applied for mangrove ecosystem mapping, as well as the numerous methods and techniques used for data analyses, and to further discuss their potential and limitations.
Keywords: review; mangrove ecosystems; coastal zone remote sensing; mangrove mapping applications; reflectance and backscattering characteristics of mangroves; image processing methods for mangrove discrimination review; mangrove ecosystems; coastal zone remote sensing; mangrove mapping applications; reflectance and backscattering characteristics of mangroves; image processing methods for mangrove discrimination
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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MDPI and ACS Style

Kuenzer, C.; Bluemel, A.; Gebhardt, S.; Quoc, T.V.; Dech, S. Remote Sensing of Mangrove Ecosystems: A Review. Remote Sens. 2011, 3, 878-928.

AMA Style

Kuenzer C, Bluemel A, Gebhardt S, Quoc TV, Dech S. Remote Sensing of Mangrove Ecosystems: A Review. Remote Sensing. 2011; 3(5):878-928.

Chicago/Turabian Style

Kuenzer, Claudia; Bluemel, Andrea; Gebhardt, Steffen; Quoc, Tuan Vo; Dech, Stefan. 2011. "Remote Sensing of Mangrove Ecosystems: A Review." Remote Sens. 3, no. 5: 878-928.


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