Special Issue "Climate Change Impacts on the Ecosystem Functions and Services of Mangrove Forests"

A special issue of Forests (ISSN 1999-4907). This special issue belongs to the section "Forest Ecology and Management".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (1 March 2020).

Special Issue Editors

Prof. Dr. Chih-Yu Chiu
Website
Guest Editor
Biodiversity Research Centre, Academia Sinica, Nankang, Taipei 11529, Taiwan
Interests: forest ecosystem; soil biochemistry; microbiology and biogeochemistry
Prof. Dr. Hsing-Juh Lin
Website
Guest Editor
Department of Life Sciences, National Chung Hsing University, Taichung 402, Taiwan
Interests: system ecology; wetland ecology; marine ecology; estuarine

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Mangroves are both economically and ecologically important, covering 70% of the tropical and subtropical sheltered coastlines. They provide many critical ecological functions and ecosystem services, including coastal protection, habitat provision, biodiversity support, food security, tourism and recreation. Recent scientific advances have showed that mangrove forests represent important carbon sinks and are able to serve as the natural solution to global greenhouse effects and contribute mitigation effort to climate change. However, mangroves have been extensively eliminated by human-induced habitat destruction and deforestation, inland hydrological alteration, and pollution in recent decades. If such exploitation of mangroves is uncontrolled, it will result in rapid decrease in abundance and diversity of mangroves and subsequently leading to permanent loss in biodiversity and many ecosystem services. Moreover, mangrove ecosystems are continuously affected by the catastrophic climate changes, such as rise in sea levels, temperature and atmospheric CO2 concentrations. Clearly, there is a pressing need for effective conservation, restoration and management of mangrove ecosystems for the battle against climate change and the sustainable future of nature and humans. The patterns and processes, and mechanisms of how mangrove ecosystem structures, functions and services respond to climate changes and various human impacts need to be better understood to enable the precise prediction of changes in ecological functions and ecosystems services of mangroves in the future. We encourage studies from all fields, including experimental studies, monitoring approaches and models, to contribute to this Special Issue in order to promote knowledge and adaptation strategies for the preservation, management, and future development of mangrove forest ecosystems.

Prof. Dr. Chih-Yu Chiu
Prof. Dr. Hsing-Juh Lin
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

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Keywords

  • Climatic changes
  • Disturbances
  • Ecological impacts
  • Carbon sequestration
  • Biodiversity
  • Microbiology
  • Biogeochemistry
  • Ecosystem services
  • Conservation, restoration and management

Published Papers (7 papers)

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Research

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Open AccessArticle
Assessing Impacts of Metallic Contamination along the Tidal Gradient of a Riverine Mangrove: Multi-metal Bioaccumulation and Biomagnification of Filter-Feeding Bivalves
Forests 2020, 11(5), 504; https://doi.org/10.3390/f11050504 - 01 May 2020
Abstract
Most riverine mangroves (characterized by salinity fluctuations and tidal inundations), are seriously threatened by metallic pollution. Whether differences in salinity and tidal effects along the river continuum can affect metallic bioaccumulation and the biomagnification of species is still unknown. Bivalves are representative sessile [...] Read more.
Most riverine mangroves (characterized by salinity fluctuations and tidal inundations), are seriously threatened by metallic pollution. Whether differences in salinity and tidal effects along the river continuum can affect metallic bioaccumulation and the biomagnification of species is still unknown. Bivalves are representative sessile inhabitants in mangrove ecosystems, with a high capacity to bioaccumulate metallic contaminants. The present study used two bivalves, Meretrix lusoria and Mytilopsis sallei, to monitor inter-site changes in metallic contamination and assess the associated ecological impacts along the tidal gradients of riverine mangroves. The concentrations of a total of six metals (Cr, Ni, Cu, Zn, Cd and Pb) in M. lusoria and M. sallei, collected at three different sites along Danshuei Riverine Mangrove, were investigated. The metallic concentrations of the whole soft body of the studied bivalves, and the associated surface sediment from each site, were analyzed using inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (ICP-MS) to determine the inter-site effects on the bioaccumulation and biomagnification of metallic contaminants in bivalves. There are increasing concentrations of four metallic contaminants, Zn, Cr, Cd and Cu, in the seaward direction of the bivalves. The increasing mean metallic concentrations along the seaward direction may be the effect of salinity, further decreasing the rate of the elimination of these metals, thus resulting in a net increase in metallic contaminants. Our results clearly show prominent inter-site changes in the metallic burdens of bivalves in our study on riverine mangrove ecosystems associated with different levels of bioaccumulation and biomagnification of metallic contaminants. Thus, it is important to monitor multiple sites along the dynamic environment of riverine mangroves in order to gain a good understanding of the ecological impact of metallic pollution risks. The present findings provide important evidence of the use of simple indices to assess the ecological impacts of metallic pollution in riverine mangroves. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Spatial Habitat Suitability Models of Mangroves with Kandelia obovata
Forests 2020, 11(4), 477; https://doi.org/10.3390/f11040477 - 23 Apr 2020
Abstract
Mangrove forests provide important estuarine ecosystem services but are threatened by rising sea levels and anthropogenic impacts. Understanding the habitat characteristics required for mangrove growth is significant for mangrove restoration and integrated management. This study aims to build spatial habitat suitability index (HSI) [...] Read more.
Mangrove forests provide important estuarine ecosystem services but are threatened by rising sea levels and anthropogenic impacts. Understanding the habitat characteristics required for mangrove growth is significant for mangrove restoration and integrated management. This study aims to build spatial habitat suitability index (HSI) models for Kandelia obovata mangrove trees. Biological and habitat-related environmental data were collected in the Wazwei and Guandu wetlands in northern Taiwan. We adopted inundation frequency, soil sorting coefficient, and water salinity as the key environmental factors to build HSI models. The dependent variable of these environmental factors was the mangrove biomass per unit area. Significant differences were found for the mangrove biomass on different substrata and shore elevations. The tidal creek had the lowest elevation, and mangrove areas were found at the highest elevations. The oxidization level of the substrate under mangrove forests was high, indicating that the root system of mangroves could carry oxygen into the soil and result in oxidation. Human activities were found to lead to the reduced growth conditions of mangroves. The validation of the HSI model, considering the inundation frequency and soil sorting coefficient, proved to be reliable, with an accuracy ranging from 78% to 90%. A better simulation was found after revising the model by incorporating the factor of water salinity. The model forecast of the mangrove responses to the sea-level rise indicated an increase in the inundation frequency and thus an induced shift and shrinkage of the mangrove area. The increased HSI values of the bare mudflat area demonstrate an option for the potential restoration of mangrove trees. Given the findings of this study, we concluded that mangroves could spread from estuaries to upstream areas due to rising sea levels and might be limited by humanmade impacts. Restoring degraded floodplains is suggested for mangrove habitat rehabilitation. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Methane Emissions from Subtropical and Tropical Mangrove Ecosystems in Taiwan
Forests 2020, 11(4), 470; https://doi.org/10.3390/f11040470 - 21 Apr 2020
Abstract
Mangroves are one of the blue carbon ecosystems. However, greenhouse gas emissions from mangrove soils may reduce the capacity of carbon storage in these systems. In this study, methane (CH4) fluxes and soil properties of the top 10 cm layer were [...] Read more.
Mangroves are one of the blue carbon ecosystems. However, greenhouse gas emissions from mangrove soils may reduce the capacity of carbon storage in these systems. In this study, methane (CH4) fluxes and soil properties of the top 10 cm layer were determined in subtropical (Kandelia obovata) and tropical (Avicennia marina) mangrove ecosystems of Taiwan for a complete seasonal cycle. Our results demonstrate that CH4 emissions in mangroves cannot be neglected when constructing the carbon budgets and estimating the carbon storage capacity. CH4 fluxes were significantly higher in summer than in winter in the Avicennia mangroves. However, no seasonal variation in CH4 flux was observed in the Kandelia mangroves. CH4 fluxes were significantly higher in the mangrove soils of Avicennia than in the adjoining mudflats; this trend, however, was not necessarily recapitulated at Kandelia. The results of multiple regression analyses show that soil water and organic matter content were the main factors regulating the CH4 fluxes in the Kandelia mangroves. However, none of the soil parameters assessed show a significant influence on the CH4 fluxes in the Avicennia mangroves. Since pneumatophores can transport CH4 from anaerobic deep soils, this study suggests that the pneumatophores of Avicennia marina played a more important role than soil properties in affecting soil CH4 fluxes. Our results show that different mangrove tree species and related root structures may affect greenhouse gas emissions from the soils. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Effects of Salt on Root Aeration, Nitrification, and Nitrogen Uptake in Mangroves
Forests 2019, 10(12), 1131; https://doi.org/10.3390/f10121131 - 11 Dec 2019
Cited by 2
Abstract
The potential effects of salt on the growth, root anatomy, radial oxygen loss (ROL), and nitrogen (N) dynamics in mangroves were investigated using the seedlings of Avicennia marina (Forsk.) Vierh. The results showed that a moderate salinity (200 mM NaCl) appeared to have [...] Read more.
The potential effects of salt on the growth, root anatomy, radial oxygen loss (ROL), and nitrogen (N) dynamics in mangroves were investigated using the seedlings of Avicennia marina (Forsk.) Vierh. The results showed that a moderate salinity (200 mM NaCl) appeared to have little negative effect on the growth of A. marina. However, higher salt stresses (400 and 600 mM NaCl) significantly inhibited the biomass yield. Concentrations of N in the roots and leaves decreased sharply with increasing salinity. Nevertheless, the presence of salt directly altered root anatomy (e.g., reduced root porosity and promoted suberization within the exodermis and endodermis), leading to a significant reduction in ROL. The results further showed that reduced ROL induced by salt could restrain soil nitrification, resulting in less ammonia-oxidizing archaea and bacteria (AOA and AOB) gene copies and lower concentrations of NO3 in the soils. While increased root suberization induced by salt inhibited NH4+ and NO3 uptake and influx into the roots. In summary, this study indicated that inhibited root aeration may be a defense response to salt, however these root symptoms were not advantageous for rhizosphere nitrification and N uptake by A. marina. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Propagule Dispersal Determines Mangrove Zonation at Intertidal and Estuarine Scales
Forests 2019, 10(3), 245; https://doi.org/10.3390/f10030245 - 10 Mar 2019
Cited by 4
Abstract
Propagule dispersal has generally been recognized as a vital factor affecting the spatial structure of tropical forest plants. However, available research shows that this hypothesis does not apply to mangrove species the propagules of which are dispersed by water. Due to the lack [...] Read more.
Propagule dispersal has generally been recognized as a vital factor affecting the spatial structure of tropical forest plants. However, available research shows that this hypothesis does not apply to mangrove species the propagules of which are dispersed by water. Due to the lack of comprehensive and quantitative information as well as the high spatio-temporal heterogeneity of the mangrove environment, the exact factors affecting the spatial structure of mangrove forests are poorly understood. To assess this, we selected a mangrove estuary with high mangrove species richness that experiences great changes in water salinity. After investigating the zonation of mature mangrove individuals across tides and the estuary, we measured the size and initial specific gravity of the propagules and then selected the eight most common species from which to observe the changes in specific gravity, buoyancy, and root initiation during dispersal at different sites with different water salinity regimes. The relationships among distribution patterns, propagule establishment, and dispersal behavior were investigated. We found that mangrove propagule dispersal is not a passively buoyant process controlled by water currents. During dispersal, mangrove propagules can actively adjust their specific gravity and root initiation. The dynamic specific gravity of the propagules was negatively related to propagule buoyancy and surface elevation. The differences in propagule specific gravity corroborated the distribution patterns of the species across the intertidal zone and estuary. Mangrove zonation on both the intertidal and estuarine scale can be explained by the tidal sorting hypothesis, as zonation is controlled by the tidal sorting of the propagules according to buoyancy and by the differential ability of the propagules to establish in the intertidal zones. The results add new understanding of observed mangrove species zonation and should inform conservation managers when restoring mangroves or evaluating the potential impacts of global change and anthropogenic disturbances that might alter the hydrology, including the water salinity regime. Full article
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Review

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Open AccessReview
Biogeochemical Processes of C and N in the Soil of Mangrove Forest Ecosystems
Forests 2020, 11(5), 492; https://doi.org/10.3390/f11050492 - 27 Apr 2020
Abstract
The mangrove forest provides various ecosystem services in tropical and subtropical regions. Many of these services are driven by the biogeochemical cycles of C and N, and soil is the major reservoir for these chemical elements. These cycles may be influenced by the [...] Read more.
The mangrove forest provides various ecosystem services in tropical and subtropical regions. Many of these services are driven by the biogeochemical cycles of C and N, and soil is the major reservoir for these chemical elements. These cycles may be influenced by the changing climate. The high plant biomass in mangrove forests makes these forests an important sink for blue C storage. However, anaerobic soil conditions may also turn mangrove forests into an environmentally detrimental producer of greenhouse gases (such as CH4 and N2O), especially as air temperatures increase. In addition, the changing environmental factors associated with climate change may also influence the N cycles and change the patterns of N2 fixation, dissimilatory nitrate reduction to ammonium, and denitrification processes. This review summarizes the biogeochemical processes of C and N cycles in mangrove forest soils based on recently published studies, and how these processes may respond to climate change, with the aim of predicting the impacts of climate change on the mangrove forest ecosystem. Full article
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Open AccessReview
Impact of Global Change on Nutrient Dynamics in Mangrove Forests
Forests 2018, 9(10), 596; https://doi.org/10.3390/f9100596 - 25 Sep 2018
Cited by 13
Abstract
The cycling of essential nutrients is central to mangrove productivity. A mass balance shows that mangroves rely on soil ammonification, nitrification, and dissimilatory reduction to ammonium for available nitrogen. Mangroves are often nutrient limited and show tight coupling between nutrient availability and tree [...] Read more.
The cycling of essential nutrients is central to mangrove productivity. A mass balance shows that mangroves rely on soil ammonification, nitrification, and dissimilatory reduction to ammonium for available nitrogen. Mangroves are often nutrient limited and show tight coupling between nutrient availability and tree photosynthesis. This relationship and, thus, forest productivity can be disrupted by various disturbances such as deforestation, changes in hydrology due to impoundments, land-use change, increasing frequency and intensity of storms, increasing temperatures, increasing atmospheric CO2 concentrations, and a rising sea-level. Deforestation and hydrological changes are the most devastating to soil nutrient-plant relations and mangrove productivity. Land-use changes can result in positive and negative impacts on mangroves and can also results in increasing frequency of storms and intensity of storms. Increasing temperatures and atmospheric CO2 levels have an initially enhanced effect on mangroves and microbial transformation rates of nitrogen and phosphorus. The effects of rising seas are complex and depend on the local rate of sea-level rise, the soil accretion rate, the subsidence or uplift rate, and the tidal position. If mangroves cannot keep pace with a sea-level rise, seaward mangroves will likely drown but landward mangroves will expand and show enhanced growth and more rapid nutrient cycling if space permits. Full article
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