Mangrove Sedimentation and Response to Relative Sea-Level Rise

  • C.D. Woodroffe, K. Rogers, K.L. McKee, C.E. Lovelock, I.A. Mendelssohn, N. Saintilan
  • Annual Review of Marine Science, January 2016, Annual Reviews
  • DOI: 10.1146/annurev-marine-122414-034025

Mangroves and sea-level rise

What is it about?

This review paper focuses on sediment (mud) accumulation and water movement (tides and currents) in mangrove forests to better understand how these coastal ecosystems respond to sea-level rise. We describe the various settings (lagoons, estuaries, deltas, reefs) that determine movements of water and sediment, which in turn influence the structure and function of mangroves. We also review methods used to measure sediment buildup in mangrove forests.

Why is it important?

Mangrove forests are important in stabilizing tropical and subtropical coastlines around the world. As sea-level rises globally, mangroves respond by accumulating mud and organic matter (leaves, wood, roots), which contribute to vertical soil development. This upward-building process allows coastal areas to keep pace with rising sea level as well as local land subsidence (sinking) caused by compaction and withdrawal of fluids such as water or oil. This paper provides an overview of the state of knowledge and points to information gaps where additional research is needed.


Dr Karen L. McKee
U.S. Geological Survey

This publication resulted from a workshop held in Gerringong, Australia, during which the authors discussed how mangroves adjust to sea-level rise and the role of sedimentation in this response.

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The following have contributed to this page: Dr Karen L. McKee