Mangrove expansion and rainfall patterns in Moreton Bay, Southeast Queensland, Australia
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Changes in rainfall pattern have been suggested as a mechanism for the landward incursion of mangrove into salt marsh. The aim of the research was to assess the relationship between rainfall patterns and the spatial distribution of mangrove forests at study sites in Moreton Bay, southeast Queensland, Australia, over a 32-year period from 1972 to 2004. To identify periods of relatively consistent rainfall patterns points at which rainfall patterns changed (change-points) were identified using the non-parametric Pettitt-Mann-Whitney-Statistic and the cumulative sum technique. The change-points were then used to define the temporal periods over which changes to mangrove area were assessed. Both mangrove and salt marsh area were measured by digitizing aerial photographs acquired in 1972, 1990 (the year with the most significant change-point), and 2004.The rates of change in mangrove area pre-1990 (a wetter period) and post-1990 (a drier period) were estimated. A significant positive relationship was demonstrated between rainfall variables and landward mangrove expansion, but not for seaward expansion. We concluded that rainfall variability is one of the principal factors influencing the rate of upslope encroachment of mangrove. However, the rate of expansion may vary from site to site due to site-specific geomorphological and hydrological characteristics and the level of disturbance in the catchment.
Estuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science
© 2009 Elsevier. This is the author-manuscript version of this paper. Reproduced in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher. Please refer to the journal's website for access to the definitive, published version.