Mangrove forests' expansion and contraction follows a lunar cycle.

Mangrove forests' expansion and contraction follows a lunar cycle.

The study, published in the journal Science, found that when the tide is low and the moon is high in the sky, the roots of the mangroves are busiest taking in oxygen

It’s well known that the moon affects the tides. Now, researchers say it also appears to play a role in the long-term expansion and contraction of mangrove forests. In a study published September 16 in Science Advances, researchers analyzed satellite data of mangrove forests in Australia over a 35-year period. They found that the forests expanded and contracted in

Mangroves are a type of tree that typically grows in coastal areas. They provide important habitat for fish and other animals, as well as protect against erosion. However, in some areas, mangroves are under threat from things like coastal development, pollution, and land clearing for agriculture. To get a better understanding of how these forests are changing over time, researchers turned to satellite imagery. By looking at data from NASA and the U.S. Geological Survey,

Mangrove forests play an important role in global carbon cycles and coastal protection, so it is crucial to understand how they will respond to changing environmental conditions. Saintilan and his colleagues' research shows that mangrove forests are likely to experience significant changes in the coming years, with potential implications for the ecological services they provide

The moon has long been known to have an effect on the tides, which in turn helps to deliver water and nutrients to mangroves. The researchers hypothesized that a rhythm called the lunar nodal cycle could explain the observed growth pattern of the mangroves.

The moon's orbit around Earth is slowly tilted over the course of 18.6 years. When the moon's orbit is the least tilted relative to our planet's equator, semidiurnal tides (which consist of two high and two low tides each day) tend to have a larger range. That means that in areas that experience semidiurnal tides, higher high tides and lower low tides are more likely. The effect is caused by the angle at which the moon tugs

A new study has found that mangrove forests tend to be larger and denser when high tides are expected to be higher based on the moon’s orbit. The effect even seems to outweigh other climatic drivers of mangrove growth, such as El Niño conditions. The study’s lead author, Dr. Nathan Saintilan, and his

According to Saintilan, having access to data that stretches back decades was key to this discovery. “We’ve never really picked up before some of these longer-term

It's important to recognize the effect of climate change on mangrove populations, says Octavio Aburto-Oropeza, a marine ecologist at the Scripps Institution of

Scientists have found that there are certain times when mangroves are more likely to flourish, and thus should take extra care to promote their growth. This involves added limitations on human activity in areas that could harm the forests. In other words, we should be more proactive in order to protect these carbon-

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