Mangroves of Brazil

Luiz Drude de Lacerda, Alexander Ferreira, Rebecca Borges, Raymond Ward

Research output: Chapter in Book/Conference proceeding with ISSN or ISBNChapterpeer-review


Brazil has the third mangrove extension in the world, occupying around one million hectares. These forests occur along almost the entire Brazilian coast but are unevenly distributed, showing distinct biological and ecological characteristics, depending on climate, fluvial contribution, and littoral geomorphology. Most extensive forests are in the north region, including the higher continuous mangrove fringe of the planet. Fossils of mangroves appear in the Paleocene of Brazil, but modern genera appeared in the Eocene and Miocene. More than 100 plant species appear associated to mangroves, which also host a great variety of invertebrates and vertebrates (around 600 species) and microorganisms. Mangroves provide many goods (fisheries, timber, and other products) and services (biodiversity conservation, fisheries breeding areas, coastal protection, carbon sequestering), mostly relative to their extent, compared to other Brazilian biomes. Mangrove ecosystems stock large amounts of carbon above and below ground, but biomass, productivity, and carbon allocation vary widely among Brazilian mangroves and are dependent on latitude, climate, and geomorphology. Despite categorized as protected areas, Brazilian mangroves suffer several impacts and permanent attempts to setback protective legislation. Direct (deforestation, pollution, occupation, aquaculture) and indirect (climate change) human pressures are sources of mangrove degradation and mortality. Climate change impacts, mainly sea level rise, decrease in rainfalls and intensification of droughts are presently threatening mangroves, at the northeastern and southeastern sectors of the Brazilian coast. Conservation of present stands and rehabilitation of degraded areas are a significant and urgent measures to continuing providing mangrove goods and services and help mitigate further impacts form climate change.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationMangroves
Subtitle of host publicationbiodiversity, livelihoods and conservation
EditorsSudhir Chandra Das, Pullaiah, Elizabeth C. Ashton
PublisherSpringer, Singapore
Number of pages43
ISBN (Electronic)9789811905193
ISBN (Print)9789811905193, 9789811905193, 9789811905193, 9789811905193, 9789811805186
Publication statusPublished - 25 May 2022


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