Mangrove ecosystems: importance, threats, research, policy, and conservation

Published 18 October, 2022


Mangrove forests are very specialised ecosystems occupying an area of approximately 181,000 km² globally. They occur mainly along the coastal zones of tropical and subtropical regions, usually near estuaries, with only a few areas (around 2%) in temperate zones. Mangroves are strongly influenced by salinity, nutrient concentrations, soil type, tidal amplitudes and freshwater inputs, and are a hostile environment for most plant species. While the plants that inhabit these ecosystems, typically herbaceous, shrubby and woody types, are quite homogeneous and possess low species diversity (homogeneous phytophysiognomy), they do exhibit remarkable specialisations in morphology and physiology.

Mangroves are also highly productive ecosystems, providing several ecosystem services, such as  water purification, coastal protection from storms and soil erosion control. They also provide data for basic and applied research and education. In addition, several animal species, a number of which are of economic importance, use mangroves for a range of activities, including feeding, reproduction, nursing young and presenting and exhibiting specific behaviours.

Mangroves have been severely impacted by human activity. The coastal zones they usually occupy are some of the most populated areas, and are the most affected by human activities. Consequently, global mangrove areas are rapidly declining, making them a top priority for conservationists. For this topic issue, we welcome basic and applied research papers and case studies on mangrove ecosystems from authors with diverse backgrounds and professions.

Topics covered:

These include, but are not limited to:

  • Mangrove forest and ecosystem research
  • Management approaches
  • Indigenous knowledge
  • Policy and conservation

Important deadlines:

  • Submissions close: 30 June 2023
  • Expected time to first decision: 4 weeks after submission

Submission instructions:

Please read the Guide for Authors before submitting. All submissions should be made via the online editorial system.  Papers that are accepted after undergoing peer review will be published open access with no fee payable by the author.

Guest Editors:

Prof. Felipe Polivanov Ottoni

Universidade Federal do Maranhão (UFMA), Brazil.


Prof. Aaron Shultz

Michigan State University, USA.


Prof. Julie Elizabeth Claussen

University of Illinois, USA.


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