Mapping global distribution of mangrove forests at 10-m resolution

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Mangrove forests deliver incredible ecosystem goods and services and are enormously relevant to sustainable living. An accurate assessment of the global status of mangrove forests warrants the necessity of datasets with sufficient information on spatial distributions and patch patterns. However, existing datasets were mostly derived from ∼30 m resolution satellite imagery and used pixel-based image classification methods, which lacked spatial details and reasonable geo-information. Here, based on Sentinel-2 imagery, we created a global mangrove forest dataset at 10-m resolution, namely, High-resolution Global Mangrove Forests (HGMF_2020), using object-based image analysis and random forest classification. We then analyzed the status of global mangrove forests from the perspectives of conservation, threats, and resistance to ocean disasters. We concluded the following: (1) globally, there were 145,068 km2 mangrove forests in 2020, among which Asia contained the largest coverage (39.2%); at the country level, Indonesia had the largest amount of mangrove forests, followed by Brazil and Australia. (2) Mangrove forests in South Asia were estimated to be in the better status due to the higher proportion of conservation and larger individual patch size; in contrast, mangrove forests in East and Southeast Asia were facing intensive threats. (3) Nearly, 99% of mangrove forest areas had a patch width greater than 100 m, suggesting that nearly all mangrove forests were efficient in reducing coastal wave energy and impacts. This study reports an innovative and up-to-date dataset and comprehensive information on mangrove forests status to contribute to related research and policy implementation, especially for supporting sustainable development.

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Science Bulletin