Last updated: May 26, 2016
"Modeling Hurricane Effects on Mangrove Ecosystems"
USGS Factsheet 95-97
Mangrove ecosystems are at their most northern limit along the coastline of Florida and in isolated areas of the gulf coast in
Louisiana and Texas. Mangroves are marine-based forests that have adapted to colonize and persist in salty intertidal waters.
Three species of mangrove trees are common to the United States, black mangrove
(Avicennia germinans), white mangrove
(Laguncularia racemosa), and red mangrove (Rhizophora mangle). Mangroves are highly productive ecosystems and
provide valuable habitat for fisheries and shorebirds. They are susceptible to lightning and hurricane disturbance, both of
which occur frequently in south Florida. Climate change studies predict that, while these storms may not become more
frequent, they may become more intense with warming sea temperatures. Sea-level
rise alone has the potential for increasing
the severity of storm surge, particularly in areas where coastal habitats and barrier shorelines are rapidly deteriorating. Given
this possibility, U.S. Geological Survey researchers modeled the impact of hurricanes on south Florida mangrove communities.
Mangrove forest struck by Hurricane Andrew, 1992.
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Last updated: 26 May, 2016 @ 09:29 AM(KP)