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Cross-cutting research themes for future mangrove forest research

We identified the function of mangrove ecosystems that underpin ecosystem services, their responses to extreme weather and climatic events, and their role as crucial social-ecological systems as important paradigms shaping mangrove research now and in times to come. Since themes around functions and connectivity, ecological resilience to extreme events, and human–environment interactions are likely to be important underpinnings for other coastal and terrestrial ecosystems too, this paper aims to promote discussion within and beyond the mangrove research community and to help the broader plant science field in viewing and understanding the issue of safeguarding mangrove forests for the future.

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Fig. 1: Spatio-temporal diagrams of climate, direct human influences and their consequences, exemplifying how they in turn (green arrow) affect mangrove ecosystem benefits.
Fig. 2: Reality framework showing that management and governance should be at the heart of a local community’s socio-cultural, economic, environmental and climatic reality.

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Acknowledgements

F.D.-G. acknowledges the support of the Belgian National Science Foundation, the Belgian Science Policy Office - BELSPO (EVAMAB BL/58/UN32 and MAMAFOREST SR/00/323) and the EC-funded Erasmus Mundus Joint Master Degree in Tropical Biodiversity and Ecosystems (TROPIMUNDO). C.E.L. acknowledges support of the Australian Research Council (FL200100133). R.M.C. appreciates the support of the Global Wetlands Project, supported by a charitable organisation which neither seeks nor permits publicity for its efforts, and the Australian Research Council (DP180103124). S.C. acknowledges the financial support of the TUYF Charitable Trust and the HKU Seed Fund for Research. We thank the editorial office of the journal for the critical reviews and advice.

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All authors contributed equally to the writing of the paper under coordination of F.D.-G.

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Correspondence to Farid Dahdouh-Guebas.

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Dahdouh-Guebas, F., Friess, D.A., Lovelock, C.E. et al. Cross-cutting research themes for future mangrove forest research. Nat. Plants 8, 1131–1135 (2022). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41477-022-01245-4

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