Understanding the advantages and limitations of different methods for mapping marine and coastal habitats is essential for the appropriate...
Understanding the advantages and limitations of different methods for mapping marine and coastal habitats is essential for the appropriate practical application of these datasets in real-world monitoring, assessment, and decision making.
The World Atlas of Mangroves (2010) consists of a global mangrove layer of varying spatial and temporal resolutions compiled from various sources, including high resolution survey data, and having undergone substantial expert review and validation. By contrast, Giri et al (2010) performed a comprehensive global classification using supervised and unsupervised remote sensing, to produce a globally consistent, 30m resolution global mangrove database.
Here we present the results of a spatial comparative analysis of these two global mangrove datasets, and the implications of using different data sources for real-world environmental planning and decision-making. We consider the trade-offs between data resolution, extent, reliability, appropriateness to the decision-making problem, and the costs of procurement at a range of scales. Independently, both layers are a good indicator for mangrove presence globally. However, a more urgent need is to develop a scalable methodology to enable mangrove health and extent to be monitored through time. We present options and lessons learned from these two projects to inform the development of cost-effective, scale-appropriate monitoring of mangroves.