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Generic representation of Novo estudo revela a influência das correntes oceânicas na diversidade das florestas de mangal
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Keywords
ocean processes
biodiversity conservation
climate change
physical oceanography
climate and ocean
ocean life
press media
In addition to climate change and human impacts, ocean currents also play a major role in regulating the genetic diversity of mangrove forests on a global scale.

A study led by the Algarve Centre of Marine Sciences (CCMAR), including an international team of researchers reveals that, in addition to climate change and human impacts, ocean currents also play a key role in regulating the genetic diversity of mangrove forests on a global scale, with implications for their conservation.

Mangrove forests are distributed along tropical and subtropical coastal regions. While they offer various ecological and socio-economic benefits, such as carbon sequestration, coastal protection, and habitat for important commercial species, mangroves are threatened by factors such as climate change, deforestation and pollution. There is an urgent need to manage and conserve mangrove forests on a global scale, and to do this it is necessary to understand the factors that determine the distribution of their diversity.
 
 In this study led by CCMAR and published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the researchers developed global-scale biophysical models that allowed estimating the extent to which mangrove populations are interconnected or isolated by ocean current patterns. These estimates, when compared with information on the genetic diversity of thousands of populations, of dozens of mangrove species, allowed them to conclude that the direction and intensity of ocean currents are determinants of the diversity of mangrove forests.
 

"The results we obtained show that ocean currents play a key role in the genetic diversity of mangroves, allowing or interrupting the genetic flow between populations" explains Lidiane Gouvêa, CCMAR researcher and first author of the study. "Our study has implications for the conservation and management of mangroves in a context of climate change, as potential changes in the direction and intensity of ocean currents could lead to the isolation of populations and prevent them from exchanging genes. Over time, this isolation could lead to a decrease in the genetic diversity of populations, increasing the risk of their extinction, which has direct implications for communities in tropical countries that depend directly on mangrove forests," said Jorge Assis, CCMAR researcher and senior author of the study.

 

This study provides important insights into the role of ocean currents on mangrove biodiversity and underlines the urgent need to protect these ecosystems and the species that inhabit and depend on them. It can be consulted HERE.