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Coastal wetlands are among the most valuable and threatened ecosystems across the globe. Given their declining status, significant effort has been devoted to their conservation and restoration. However, most efforts fail to meet stated goals because of an emphasis on practices rooted in an incomplete ecological understanding of these ecosystems. Due to conventional restoration approaches where the focus is on recovering the physical attributes of an ecosystem, a knowledge gap exists in our understanding of the additional factors, such as species interactions, that maintain the health and functioning of coastal wetlands. Therefore, this project aims to address a biological knowledge gap by determining how different species impact the health of mangrove ecosystems in American Samoa.
Using field experiments and statistical modeling approaches, we aim to identify the ways in which the presence or absence of certain species may influence the health and functioning of these essential coastal ecosystems.
The CBC's research on mangrove ecology and restoration in American Samoa is led by CBC Postdoctoral Fellow, Dr. Alex Moore, and is made possible by funding from the National Science Foundation.