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Can cheniers protect mangroves along eroding coastlines? – The effect of contrasting foreshore types on mangrove stability
van Bijsterveldt, C.E.J.; van der Wal, D.; Mancheño, A.G.; Fivash, G.S.; Helmi, M.; Bouma, T.J. (2023). Can cheniers protect mangroves along eroding coastlines? – The effect of contrasting foreshore types on mangrove stability. Ecol. Eng. 187: 106863.

Bijhorende data:
In: Ecological Engineering. Elsevier: Amsterdam; London; New York; Tokyo. ISSN 0925-8574; e-ISSN 1872-6992, meer
Peer reviewed article  

Beschikbaar in  Auteurs 

Author keywords
    Cheniers; Mudflats; Mangrove dynamics; Wave reduction; Foreshore

Auteurs  Top 
  • van Bijsterveldt, C.E.J., meer
  • van der Wal, D., meer
  • Mancheño, A.G.
  • Fivash, G.S., meer
  • Helmi, M.
  • Bouma, T.J., meer

    Mangrove forests are increasingly valued as wave-attenuating buffers in coastal flood defence strategies. However, as mangroves are vulnerable to wave-induced erosion, this raises the question, how can the stability of these protective mangrove forests be promoted? To address this question, we investigate how mangrove dynamics in a microtidal system can be related to different types of foreshores. We used remote sensing to investigate mangrove fringe stability over multiple years in relation to intertidal mudflat width (i.e., emerged at low tide) and the presence stability of cheniers, which are sand bodies on top of muddy foreshores that are characteristic for eroding coastlines. In addition, we investigated local and short-term foreshore effects by measuring wave propagation across two cross-shore transects, one with a mudflat and chenier and one with a deeper tidal flat foreshore. The satellite images (Sentinel-2) revealed that mangrove dynamics over multiple years and seasons were related to chenier presence and stability. Without a chenier, a mudflat width of 110 m (95%CI: 76–183 m) was required to make mangrove expansion more likely than mangrove retreat. When a stable chenier was present offshore for two years or more, a mudflat width of only 16 m (95%CI: 0–43 m) was enough to flip chances in favor of mangrove expansion. However, mangrove expansion remained heavily influenced by seasonal changes, and was highly event driven, succeeding only once in several years. Finally, although mudflat width was a direct driver of mangrove expansion, and could be targeted as such in coastal management, our field measurements demonstrated that cheniers also have an indirect effect on mangrove expansion. These sand banks significantly reduce wave height offshore, thereby likely creating favorable conditions for mudflat accretion landward, and thus mangrove habitat expansion. This makes stabilization - and possibly also the temporary creation - of cheniers an interesting target for mangrove conservation and restoration.

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