Journal of Geographical Sciences ›› 2022, Vol. 32 ›› Issue (9): 1831-1846.doi: 10.1007/s11442-022-2025-2

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Spatial characteristics of the stability of mangrove ecosystems in freshwater and seawater floods in Southeast Asia

LI Xia1,2(), LIU Zhenhai3,*(), WANG Shaoqiang3,4,5,6, LI Fengting1, LI Hui3, ZHU Tongtong3, QIAN Zhaohui2, TU Yongkai3, LIU Yuanyuan5,6, WANG Xiaobo5,6, WANG Qinyi3, SHI Weibo3, LI Donghui3   

  1. 1.College of Environmental Science and Engineering, Tongji University, Shanghai 200092, China
    2.Foreign Environmental Cooperation Center, Ministry of Ecology and Environment, Beijing 100035, China
    3.Key Laboratory of Regional Ecology and Environmental Change, School of Geography and Information Engineering, China University of Geosciences, Wuhan 430074, China
    4.State Key Laboratory of Biogeology and Environmental Geology, China University of Geosciences, Wuhan 430074, China
    5.Key Laboratory of Ecosystem Network Observation and Modeling, Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources Research, CAS, Beijing 100101, China
    6.College of Resources and Environment, University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China
  • Received:2021-08-02 Accepted:2022-04-02 Online:2022-09-25 Published:2022-11-25
  • Contact: LIU Zhenhai;
  • About author:Li Xia (1976-), Senior Engineer, specialized in adaptive research on climate change. E-mail:
  • Supported by:
    Scientific Research Foundation of China University of Geosciences(162301192642);China-ASEAN Marine Life Corridor Construction Cooperation Project(144022000000180031);Carbon Cycle of Forest Ecosystem in Mufu Mountain(GKZ21Y653)


In tropical regions, mangrove forests are located in the inter-tidal areas between land and sea, and are at risk from both freshwater and seawater floods. Using satellite-derived Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) products, this study compared the differences in resistance and resilience of mangrove ecosystems to freshwater and seawater floods in Southeast Asia, and analyzed the spatial characteristics of the stability of mangrove ecosystems under floods in representative areas. Results show that mangroves tended to have lower mean resistance (28.24 vs. 37.32) and higher mean resilience (3.74 vs. 3.56) under freshwater floods, compared to seawater floods. Their resistance increased with the distance from rivers, such that the resistance of coastal areas to freshwater and seawater floods was lower than that of inland areas. These areas with lower resistance showed higher resilience compared to those with higher resistance. Damaged mangroves hardly fully recovered to their normal NDVI levels one year after seawater floods, especially in coastal areas. Although the occurrence of seawater floods was relatively rare in the past, it is likely to increase under more-intense climate extremes in the future, and the threat to the survival of mangroves may also increase. Thus, it is essential to evaluate the stability of mangrove ecosystems under floods.

Key words: mangrove, flood, ecosystem stability, resistance, resilience, Southeast Asia