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Remote Sens. 2015, 7(12), 16504-16518; doi:10.3390/rs71215838

The Mangroves of the Zambezi Delta: Increase in Extent Observed via Satellite from 1994 to 2013

1
World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) Germany, Reinhardstr. 18, 10117 Berlin, Germany
2
United States Forest Service, 3734 Hwy 402, Cordesville, SC 29434, USA
3
Luftbild Umwelt Planung (LUP) GmbH, Große Weinmeisterstr.3A, 14469 Potsdam, Germany
4
Department of Geography, Humboldt University, Rudower Chaussee 16, 12489 Berlin, Germany
5
Departamento de Ciências Biológicas, Campus Universitário, Universidade Eduardo Mondlane, Maputo CP 257, Mozambique
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Chandra Giri, Randolph H. Wynne and Prasad S. Thenkabail
Received: 21 August 2015 / Accepted: 25 November 2015 / Published: 5 December 2015
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Remote Sensing of Mangroves: Observation and Monitoring)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [3975 KB, uploaded 5 December 2015]   |  

Abstract

Mangroves are recognized for their valued ecosystem services provision while having the highest carbon density among forested ecosystems. Yet they are increasingly threatened by deforestation, conversion to agriculture and development, reducing the benefits they provide for local livelihoods, coastal protection and climate change mitigation. Accordingly, accurate estimates of mangrove area and change are fundamental for developing strategies for sustainable use, conservation and Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation (REDD+). The Zambezi River Delta in Mozambique contains one of the largest mangrove forests in Africa, and deforestation has been reported to be substantial, however these estimates vary widely. We used Landsat imagery from 1994, 2000 and 2013, to estimate a total current mangrove area of 37,034 ha, which is a net increase of 3723 ha over 19 years. The land cover change assessment was also used to provide perspective on ecosystem carbon stocks, showing that the Zambezi Delta mangrove ecosystem acts as a large carbon sink. Our findings reinforce the importance of conducting land cover change assessments using coherent data and analytical models, coupled with field validation. Broader application of our approach could help quantify the rates of natural change from erosion and land aggradation contrasted with anthropogenic causes. View Full-Text
Keywords: mangrove mapping; Landsat; monitoring; deforestation; land use change detection; REDD+; blue carbon; remote sensing mangrove mapping; Landsat; monitoring; deforestation; land use change detection; REDD+; blue carbon; remote sensing
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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. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Shapiro, A.C.; Trettin, C.C.; Küchly, H.; Alavinapanah, S.; Bandeira, S. The Mangroves of the Zambezi Delta: Increase in Extent Observed via Satellite from 1994 to 2013. Remote Sens. 2015, 7, 16504-16518.

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