This project will evaluate the distribution, status, and trends of mangrove forests in the tropical Americas (North, Central, South). The main objectives are (1) the production of 3D maps of mangrove forest structure and ecogeomorphology using multi-sensor data fusion (optical, radar, lidar), (2) the production of maps of proximal drivers of changes in mangrove forests, and (3) production of models of human and climate change drivers that are potentially adaptable to other areas and applicable to policy.
The selected regional and local validation sites of the project includes the Florida Coastal Everglades (FCE) region which encompass the largest mangrove area in the continental USA. The project will complement the current work performed by FCE-LTER researchers who are assessing how both mangrove forests growth and development are influenced by the impacts and legacies of hurricanes, sea level rise, and human impacts along coastal areas. The results from this study will facilitate valuable synergies to the ongoing FCE modeling synthesis and modeling efforts, as well as provide a valuable comparative framework at the continental scale.