Mangrove Science Database


Welcome to the Mangrove Science Database, a global resource for lawyers and other professionals who are interested in the value of mangroves and their conservation.

A Case for Mangroves
The approximately 70 distinct species of mangroves in the world cover roughly 17,000,000 hectares globally (Valiela et al.  2001) - only 0.12 percent of the Earth’s surface (Sullivan 2005, Ellison 2008).  The greatest diversity is in Southeast Asia (36-46 species); the lowest diversity is in the United States and the Middle East (1-3 species) (Polidoro et al.  2010).  Mangroves are being cut down or otherwise destroyed at such a high rate that they may be functionally extinct by 2100 (Duke et al.  2007).  In just the last 50 years, 30-50 percent of the global acreage has been lost.  (Alongi 2002, Duke et al. 2007)  Mangroves are among the most valuable and most threatened ecosystems on Earth.  The ecosystems services they provide—e.g., buffering coastal communities against flooding and storms, fiber production, habitat for thousands of species of birds, mammals and marine species—are estimated to be worth US $1.6 billion dollars/year (Polidoro et al.  2010).  In addition, recent evidence suggests that mangroves sequester carbon more effectively than any other tropical forest (Donato et al.  2011).

The Mangrove Science Database includes summaries of more than 65 of the most influential scientific articles from the last 20 years on threats to mangroves and their value as irreplaceable ecosystems.  The articles that are associated with particular sites in various countries have been linked to a map, so that users can search for studies that may be relevant to areas where they are working.  The Database also includes brief summaries of the state of the scientific knowledge of the major threats to mangroves.  We will keep the database updated as the state of the scientific knowledge changes.  If you know of an important paper, please bring it to our attention (contact information below).

How To Use
The blue bar at the top of every page on the site provides navigational and search functionality on the site. Clicking on the "Search the Mangroves" link in the blue bar will allow you to conduct a full-text search of the reports in the database, with optional sorting by country and year that the report was created.  You can read details about each threat from the "Mangrove Threats" link in the main menu. Finally, if you are interested in a specific  geographic area, visit the Mangrove Map - where site-specific threats and research are marked on the map and linked to reports in the database.

Thank you for your interest.

For inquiries about the information in the database or to suggest new papers please contact Staff Scientist Heidi Weiskel: heidi at

For inquiries about the functioning of the database please contact Web Designer David Pugh: david at

Alongi, D.  M.  2002.  Present state and future of the world’s mangrove forests.  Environmental Conservation 29: 331–349.

Donato, D.  C., J.  B.  Kauffman, D.  Murdiyarso, S.  Kurnianto, M.  Stidham, and M.  Kanninen.  2011.  Mangroves among the most carbon-rich forests in the tropics.  Nature Geoscience 4: 293-297.

Duke, N.  C., J.-O.  Meynecke, S.  Dittmann, A.  M.  Ellison, K.  Anger, U.  Berger, S.  Cannicci, K.  Diele, K.  C.  Ewel, C.  D.  Field, N.  Koedam, S.  Y.  Lee, C.  Marchand, I.  Nordhaus, and F.  Dahdouh-Guebas. 2007.  A world without mangroves?  Science 317: 41–42.

Polidoro, B.  A., K.  E.  Carpenter, L.  Collins, N.  C.  Duke, A.  M.  Ellison, J.  C.  Ellison, E.  J.  Farnsworth, E.  S.  Fernando, K.  Kathiresan, N.  E.  Koedam, S.  R.  Livingstone, T.  Miyagi, G.  E.  Moore, N.  N.  Vien, J.  E.  Ong, J.  H.  Primavera, S.  G.  Salmo, J.  C.  Sanciangco, S.  Sukardjo, Y.  M.  Wang, and J.  W.  H.  Yong.  2010.  The loss of species: Mangrove extinction risk and geographic areas of global concern.  PLoS ONE 5(4): e10095.  10.1371/journal.pone.0010095.

Valiela I, J.  L.  Bowen, and J.  K.  York.  2001.  Mangrove forests: One of the world’s threatened major tropical environments.  BioScience 51: 807–815.