Virtual increase or latent loss? A reassessment of mangrove populations and their conservation in Guangdong, southern China
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Contrary to the global trend, the area of mangrove in Guangdong Province, southern China, has been increasing over the last two decades. Currently, three exotic mangrove species have been introduced for large-scale afforestation since 1985. A reassessment of the overall status of the mangrove species, habitat change, population of introduced species, was conducted through a comprehensive literature review as well as field investigations covering 96 sites. The success of conservation efforts is also evaluated. Upstream and high intertidal habitats are more vulnerable than downstream and lower intertidal ones, with habitat alteration being the biggest threats. Five mangrove species have narrow distributional extents with small populations, which could incur regional extinction. With the introduced species having naturalized at 42 sites, their role in mangrove management needs to be reconsidered. These findings collectively suggest a need to manage latent species loss and habitat degradation beyond the apparent increase in mangrove area and protection.
Marine Pollution Bulletin
Marine and Estuarine Ecology (incl. Marine Ichthyology)