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Looking for mangroves: detection of the northernmost West-African mangroves in a non-mangrove dominated landscape using remote sensing

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  • Biology
  • Design
  • Earth Science
  • Ecology
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Abstract

- 86 - Looking for mangroves: detection of the northernmost West-African mangroves in a non-mangrove dominated landscape using remote sensing Otero Viviana 1 , Katrien Quisthoudt 2 , Nico Koedam 1 and Farid Dahdouh-Guebas 1,2 1 Laboratory of Plant Biology and Nature Management, Mangrove Management Group, Faculty of Science, Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB), Pleinlaan 2, B-1050 Brussels, Belgium E-mail: [email protected] 2 Laboratory of Systems Ecology and Resource Management, Faculté des Sciences, Université Libre de Bruxelles (ULB), Avenue F.D. Roosevelt 50, B-1050 Brussels, Belgium Detection of mangrove forests in the Parc National du Banc d’Arguin (PNBA), Mauritania, in two satellite images is the overall objective of this study. These forests have an extremely discontinuous distribution and are only composed of Avicennia germinans (L.) Stearn. The mangroves do not provide a direct social or economic benefit for the fishermen villages located in the PNBA (Dahdouh- Guebas & Koedam, 2001). Nevertheless, mangroves provide breeding, spawning, hatching and nursing areas for fish and shellfish, maintenance of biodiversity, coastal protection, and aesthetic value (Walters et al., 2008). Furthermore, the mangroves of the PNBA are interesting because of their biogeographical characteristics. They are the northernmost mangroves in West Africa and are able to survive in a very dry environment (Dahdouh-Guebas and Koedam, 2001; Blasco, 2010). The mangrove forests of the PNBA have a poor regeneration rate and there are records of a more extended mangrove area 4,000 to 5,000 years ago (Mahé, 1985; Gowthorpe, 1993; Dahdouh- Guebas and Koedam, 2001). Remote sensing is a technique used to detect, describe, quantify and monitor changes of land cover and land-use patterns in spatial and temporal dimensions (Dahdouh- Guebas, 2002; Dahdouh-Guebas and Koedam, 2008). This study analyses two satellite images from Cap Timiris

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