Resource Details

Mangrove forests: Resilience, protection from tsunamis, and responses to global climate change

Literature: Journal Articles

Alongi, D.M. 2008. “Mangrove forests: Resilience, protection from tsunamis, and responses to global climate change” Estuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science, vol. 76, pp. 1-13.

Contact Info

Corresponding author:


Australian Institute of Marine Science, PMB No. 3, Townsville MC, Queensland 4810, Australia


Estuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science

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  • In this article, the authors assess the degree of resilience of mangrove forests to tsunamis and their role in coastal protection and climate change.
  • Mangroves have considerable resilience over geological timescales and from natural disturbances (storms, hurricanes) as demonstrated by historical sea-level reconstruction and forest development and due to zonation and their pioneer-phase characteristics, physiological tolerances, and competitive interactions.
  • Models using realistic forest variables suggest significant reduction in tsunami wave flow pressure for forests at least 100 m in width depending on a variety of relevant features and conditions such as width of forest, slope of forest floor, tree density, tree diameter and height, root biomass, and size, speed and angle of the tsunami.
  • Although climate change may lead to a maximum global loss of 10-15% of mangrove forest and possible whole-forest changes in community composition in relation to sea-level rise, increased temperature, and changing nutrient flows, the authors contend that the greater threat is the current average annual rates of 1-2% deforestation. 

Geographical Region

  • South Asia
  • Ecosystems

  • Mangrove
  • Country

  • Sri Lanka
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