Land use patterns and influences of protected areas on mangroves of the Eastern Tropical Pacific

Juliana Lopez Angarita, Alex Tilley, Julie Patricia Hawkins, C Pedraza, Callum Michael Roberts

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Mangroves are one of the most productive ecosystems in the world, sustaining millions of coastal livelihoods. However, their area of occurrence has been greatly reduced over the last century. In this study, we identify potential drivers of land use and land cover change adjacent to mangroves on the Pacific shorelines of Colombia, Panama and Costa Rica. We also evaluate the effectiveness of protected areas at halting mangrove deforestation between 2000 and 2012. Across all countries, agriculture was the most dominant land use type adjacent to mangroves, inside and outside protected areas. Results show that a combined total of 564 ha were lost, representing an average loss rate of only 0.02% per year. 75% of the total mangrove loss occurred in locations outside protected areas, with only 138 ha cleared from inside protected areas. Results suggest current conservation policies for mangrove protection in the study countries are effective at reducing deforestation and set a positive example for regions where mangroves are in decline.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)82-91
Number of pages10
JournalBiological Conservation
Early online date8 Sept 2018
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2018

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© 2018 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved. This is an author-produced version of the published paper. Uploaded in accordance with the publisher’s self-archiving policy.


  • Agriculture
  • Aquaculture
  • Coastal development
  • Land-cover change
  • Land-use change
  • Wetland

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