Mangrove forests are among the most threatened tropical ecosystems. Their role as providers of important ecosystem services such as coastal protection, carbon storage and nursery habitats for economically important species is increasingly acknowledged. But mangrove destruction continues, and we might have to face the prospect of a world deprived of the services offered by mangrove ecosystems. Mangrove transformation and destruction is often caused by mismatches in mangrove system management. These root in interests that focus on selected ecosystem services only, but also result from a problem of fit between the spatial scales at which ecosystem services are provided, and those at which their benefits are realized. We argue that a combination of the ecosystem services concept with a careful approach to the issue of scales will help to overcome these problems and improve the management of mangrove systems. Drawing on two case studies from Indonesia and Brazil, we illustrate the relevance of our findings for different ecosystem services.
AWI Organizations > Knowledge and Technology Transfer > Earth System Knowledge and Platform