Nature Climate Change
The degree to which the distribution of mangrove forests will be impacted by climate change depends on the dispersal and establishment of sea-faring propagules, which drive forest rejuvenation, gene flow and range expansion. Climate change affects sea surface density via changes in temperature and salinity. However, these changes have not been mapped and it remains unclear how these factors may impact mangrove propagule dispersal. Here, we provide evidence for strong warming of coastal mangrove waters and elevated geographic variability in surface ocean density under representative concentration pathway RCP 8.5 by 2100. The largest changes will occur in the Indo West Pacific region, the primary hotspot of mangrove diversity. By comparing propagule densities to predicted sea surface density, we assessed potential effects on mangrove propagule dispersal. In the future, a warmer and fresher ocean is likely to alter dispersal trajectories of mangrove propagules and increase rates of sinking in unsuitable offshore locations, potentially reducing the resilience of mangrove forests.
H2020 Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions
Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
Moss Landing Marine Laboratories
Tom Van der Stocken, Bram Vanschoenwinkel, Dustin Carroll, Kyle C. Cavanaugh, and Nico Koedam. "Mangrove dispersal disrupted by projected changes in global seawater density" Nature Climate Change (2022): 685-691. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41558-022-01391-9