Mangroves shelter coastal economic activity from cyclones

Hochard et al (2019) Proc Natl Acad Sciences USA

This study is the first to provide global evidence on the capacity of mangroves to buffer the economic activity of coastal communities during tropical storms. Drawing on data on nighttime luminosity across 2,000 tropical and sub-tropical communities from 23 countries, the study found that areas with average-sized mangrove forests (6.3 m per metre of coastline) suffer a permanent loss of 5.4–6.7 months of economic activity while those with extensive mangrove forests (25.6 m) suffer only 2.6–5.5 months of loss. The findings strengthen the economic case for restoring and protecting mangroves, especially given the increasing intensity of tropical storms under climate change. Direct article link.