Mangroves are a source of “ecological services” (or “ecosystem services”) that are often overshadowed by the negative perception of mangroves in the eyes of riparian societies, and which appear when the destruction of mangroves makes them unavailable: nursery for coastal species (shrimp, fish), protection of the coastline against erosion caused by swells or tsunamis, runoff water purification, “blue” carbon reservoir, biogeochemical cycles…
Scientists, managers and politicians are examining the future of mangroves with population growth, sea-level rise and numerous pollution, as well as the impact on the functioning of coastal systems and the balance of local populations associated with mangrove dynamics. The implementation of management, coastal conservation and restoration strategies requires a thorough knowledge of mangrove-dominated coastlines.
LEMAR studies on mangroves cover several aspects:
- Quantification of biogeochemical flows between different reservoirs (sediment-water-air) and exchanges with adjacent ecosystems (estuaries, coastal waters, reefs)
- Identification of the benthic biodiversity of the microflora and microfauna of mangrove mud
- Study of the role of this benthic biodiversity in bioturbation activities, on the degradation and recycling of mangrove organic matter, and in fine on the functioning of mangroves