Science Talk

Sharing knowledge to protect our mangrove forests

Mangroves dying across a 1,000km length of coast in northern Australia in 2016. Experts believe a combination of extreme temperatures, drought and sea level changes was responsible, and likened the mangrove death to the large-scale bleaching of coral
Mangroves dying across a 1,000km length of coast in northern Australia in 2016. Experts believe a combination of extreme temperatures, drought and sea level changes was responsible, and likened the mangrove death to the large-scale bleaching of corals that is now seen more frequently in the region.PHOTO: COURTESY OF JAMES COOK UNIVERSITY

Mangroves in much of S-E Asia threatened by aquaculture, agriculture, urban development

Mangrove forests are one of the most unique habitats we have in Singapore. They have evolved to survive in a dynamic and stressful coastal environment, where their plants and animals must tolerate changing waves, tides and salt.

But their position between the land and sea means they are a crucial buffer for coastal populations, protecting communities from storms, trapping pollution from rivers, providing a safe nursery habitat for fish and even cooling the urban climate.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 06, 2019, with the headline 'Sharing knowledge to protect our mangrove forests'. Print Edition | Subscribe