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Appears in Collections:Biological and Environmental Sciences Journal Articles
Peer Review Status: Refereed
Title: The novel mangrove environment and composition of the Amazon Delta
Author(s): Bernardino, Angelo F
Mazzuco, Ana Carolina A
Souza, Fernanda M
Santos, Thuareag M T
Sanders, Christian J
Massone, Carlos G
Costa, Rodolfo F
Silva, Antônio Elves B
Ferreira, Tiago O
Nóbrega, Gabriel N
Silva, Thiago S F
Kauffman, J. Boone
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Keywords: Amazon Delta
blue carbon
marine ecology
Issue Date: 22-Aug-2022
Date Deposited: 13-Jan-2023
Citation: Bernardino AF, Mazzuco ACA, Souza FM, Santos TMT, Sanders CJ, Massone CG, Costa RF, Silva AEB, Ferreira TO, Nóbrega GN, Silva TSF & Kauffman JB (2022) The novel mangrove environment and composition of the Amazon Delta. <i>Current Biology</i>, 32 (16), pp. 3636-3640.e2.
Abstract: Both freshwater floodplain (várzeas and igapós) forests and brackish-saline mangroves are abundant and well-described ecosystems in Brazil.1 However, an interesting and unique wetland forest exists in the Amazon Delta where extensive mangroves occur in essentially freshwater tidal environments. Unlike the floodplain forests found upriver, the hydrology of these ecosystems is driven largely by large macro-tides of 4–8 m coupled with the significant freshwater discharge from the Amazon River. We explored these mangroves on the Amazon Delta (00°52ʹ N to 01°41ʹ N) and found surface water salinity to be consistently <5; soil pore water salinity in these mangrove forests ranged from 0 nearest the Amazon mouth to only 5–11 at the coastal margins to the north (01°41ʹ N, 49°55′ W). We also recorded a unique mix of mangrove-obligate (Avicennia sp., Rhizophora mangle) and facultative-wetland species (Mauritia flexuosa, Pterocarpus sp.) dominating these forests. This unique mix of plant species and soil porewater chemistry exists even along the coastal strands and active coastlines of the Atlantic Ocean. Part of these unique mangroves have escaped current global satellite mapping efforts, and we estimate that they may add over 180 km2 (20% increase in mangrove area) within the Amazon Delta. Despite having a unique structure and function, these freshwater-brackish ecosystems likely provide similar ecosystem services to most mangroves worldwide, such as sequestering large quantities of organic carbon, protection of shoreline ecosystems from erosion, and habitats to many terrestrial and aquatic species (monkeys, birds, crabs, and fish).
DOI Link: 10.1016/j.cub.2022.06.071
Rights: This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons CC-BY license (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. You are not required to obtain permission to reuse this article.
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