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Global potential distribution of mangroves: Taking into account salt marsh interactions along latitudinal gradients

January 3, 2024

Mangrove is one of the most productive and sensitive ecosystems in the world. Due to the complexity and specificity of mangrove habitat, the development of mangrove is regulated by several factors. Species distribution models (SDMs) are effective tools to identify the potential habitats for establishing and regenerating the ecosystem. Such models usually include exclusively environmental factors. Nevertheless, recent studies have challenged this notion and highlight the importance of including biotic interactions. Both factors are necessary for a mechanistic understanding of the mangrove distribution in order to promote the protection and restoration of mangroves. Thus, we present a novel approach of combining environmental factors and interactions with salt marsh for projecting mangrove distributions at the global level and within latitudinal zones. To test the salt marsh interaction, we fit the MaxEnt model with two predicting sets: (1) environments only and (2) environments + salt marsh interaction index (SII). We found that both sets of models had good predictive ability, although the SII improved model performance slightly. Potential distribution areas of mangrove decrease with latitudes, and are controlled by biotic and abiotic factors. Temperature, precipitation and wind speed are generally critical at both global scale and ecotones along latitudes. SII is important on global scale, with a contribution of 5.9%, ranking 6th, and is particularly critical in the 10–30°S and 20–30°N zone. Interactions with salt marsh, including facilitation and competition, are shown to affect the distribution of mangroves at the zone of coastal ecotone, especially in the latitudinal range from 10° - 30°. The contribution of SII to mangrove distribution increases with latitudes due to the difference in the adaptive capacity of salt marsh plants and mangroves to environments. Totally, this study identified and quantified the effects of salt marsh on mangrove distribution by establishing the SII. The results not only facilitate to establish a more accurate mangrove distribution map, but also improve the efficiency of mangrove restoration by considering the salt marsh interaction in the mangrove management projects. In addition, the method of incorporating biotic interaction into SDMs through establish the biotic interaction index has contributed to the development of SDMs.

Publication Year 2024
Title Global potential distribution of mangroves: Taking into account salt marsh interactions along latitudinal gradients
DOI 10.1016/j.jenvman.2023.119892
Authors Lina Cui, Don DeAngelis, Uta Berger, Minmin Cao, Yaqi Zhang, Xiaomin Zhang, Jiang Jiang
Publication Type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Series Title Journal of Environmental Management
Index ID 70251172
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization Wetland and Aquatic Research Center