Mangroves Shift North along Florida’s Coast
New analysis of 28-years of satellite imagery has shown that mangrove forests have been expanding northward along the Atlantic coast of Florida for the last few decades.
While one might assume that this may be occurring because of a general warming trend, researchers are claiming that this northern expansion is likely because cold snaps there are becoming a thing of the past.
Study lead author Kyle Cavanaugh, a postdoctoral researcher at Brown University and at the Smithsonian Institution states: “One unique aspect of this work is that we were able to use this incredible time series of large-scale satellite imagery to show that this expansion is a regional phenomenon. It’s a very large-scale change.”
Cavanaugh and his colleagues tested various hypotheses by correlating the satellite observations with reams of other data. What emerged from their tests of statistical significance was the area’s decline in the frequency of days where temperature dips below minus 4 C (25 F). That, not coincidentally, is a physiological temperature limit of mangrove survival.
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