Mangroves are among the most threatened habitats in the world, with 35 per cent already gone.They play a vital role in protecting coral reefs by buffering shorelines from storms and floods and filtering runoff – earning them the title of the ‘kidneys of the coast’. They also absorb a vast amount of greenhouse gases, up to five times land based tropical forests, a process that is often referred to as 'blue carbon'. Together with James Cook University, Earthwatch is facilitating a scientific assessment of mangrove forests and their condition in the Daintree River estuary. The study will address key issues outlined above using innovative, best-practice methodologies, including:
1) blue carbon budgeting of the forest development processes of mangroves and
2) assessment of shoreline condition and tidal habitats along the estuary.
Meet the Scientists
Dr Norm Duke
Professorial Research Fellow, Mangrove Hub
TropWATER - Centre for Tropical Water and Aquatic Ecosystem Research
James Cook University
Norm Duke is a marine biologist with extensive experience on ecological research in tropical coastal ecosystems, particularly mangrove forests of Australia and Central America. His key research projects include: mangrove biogeography and evolution, mangrove ecosystem dynamics developing new models for forest turnover and growth, as well as investigations into damaged mangrove ecosystems, including mangrove dieback in the Mackay region, oil spill and typhoon damage in Yap, Micronesia, ecosystem deterioration in Marovo Lagoon, Solomon Islands, and oil spill damage in the Brisbane River.