Most of the Texas coastline is fringed with grassy marshes, which are dotted with scattered groups of small, tropical, salt-tolerant trees called black mangroves (Avicennia germinans). Over the coming decades, however, these patches of mangroves are expected to expand due to rising global temperatures and milder winters. As a result, large areas of the Texas coast that historically have been grassy salt marshes may become dominated by mangroves. Will this disrupt the services — fishery nurseries, erosion control, water quality improvement — that wetlands provide?
Mangroves in Texas is a long-term research project studying which wetland values are most likely to be affected by the change from salt marsh to mangroves. This information will allow coastal industries such as fisheries and tourism to be efficiently managed in response to ongoing and future changes in the biological environment. Read more »