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Between land and sea: Livelihoods and environmental changes in mangrove ecosystems of Senegal
Conchedda, G.; Lambin, E.F.; Mayaux, P. (2011). Between land and sea: Livelihoods and environmental changes in mangrove ecosystems of Senegal. Ann. Assoc. Americ. Geogr. 101(6): 1259-1284.
In: Annals of the Association of American Geographers. Taylor & Francis: London. ISSN 0004-5608; e-ISSN 1467-8306, more
Peer reviewed article  

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Author keywords
    human-environment interactions; integrated analysis; qualitativedegradation; spatial increase

Authors  Top 
  • Conchedda, G.
  • Lambin, E.F., more
  • Mayaux, P.

    Unlike the global trend, the area of mangrove forest increased in the estuaries of Low Casamance and Sine-Saloum, Senegal, between 1986 and 2006. We collected multisource data (social and spatial) and applied a mix of qualitative and quantitative analytical methods to investigate the human-mangrove interactions during this period and to understand the causes of the observed increase. Our research demonstrates that, after several decades of drought, the wetter conditions of recent years were the main determinant for the increase in mangrove area. Results, however, suggest that the increase in mangrove forest is not per se an indicator of sustainability and that the increase likely masked a decline in the capacity of these mangrove forests to provide key ecosystem goods and services. The surveyed communities clearly perceived a diverging trend between the increase in area and the decline in the productivity of mangrove forests. The increasing and unregulated pressure on mangrove-based fisheries and unsustainable practices such as the extensive use of mangrove wood for fish smoking heavily contributed to the perception of the qualitative degradation in these mangroves. As local livelihoods are intimately linked to the productivity of these mangrove ecosystems, policy interventions should integrate the social and environmental components of mangroves to ensure the sustainability of these human-mangrove coupled systems.

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