Contributions to an Australian Mangrove Monitoring System

The need for a mangrove monitoring system for Australia was highlighted by the 2015/2016 dieback event across the northern coastline which has resulted in the mortality of over 7000 ha of mangroves (Duke et al., 2017) over a period of several months. Such an event was unexpected given that previous remote sensing observations had reported a steady landward and seaward expansion of mangroves along sections of this coastline since 1985 (Asbridge et al., 2016a,b). Ongoing monitoring is also vital as beyond the initial alert, there is not overall indication as to whether the mangroves are continuing to dieback or are recovering.

The following sections outline the basis behind an Australian Mangrove Monitoring System that can be supported by TERN Landscape Assessment and provide a range of openly available datasets to support scientific research and conservation, management and sustainable utilisation of mangroves and policy development and evaluation. The TERN Mangrove Data Portal provides key elements that can contribute to a mangrove monitoring system for Australia. A wide range of datasets are available through the portal and capacity has been provided to allow continual upload of new and existing datasets.