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The global distribution and trajectory of tidal flats

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dc.contributor Australian Institute Of Marine Science
dc.contributor Google
dc.contributor Sch Biol Sci
dc.contributor Ctr Ecosyst Sci
dc.contributor Univ Queensland
dc.contributor Sch Biol Earth & Environm Sci
dc.contributor Google Incorporated
dc.contributor Sch Earth & Environm Sci
dc.contributor University Of New South Wales Sydney
dc.contributor Remote Sensing Res Ctr
dc.contributor University Of Queensland
dc.contributor Univ New South Wales
dc.contributor Australian Inst Marine Sci FULLER, RICHARD A. MURRAY, NICHOLAS J. PHINN, STUART R. DEWITT, MICHAEL FERRARI, RENATA JOHNSTON, RENEE LYONS, MITCHELL B. CLINTON, NICHOLAS THAU, DAVID 2019-01-20T18:42:45Z 2019-01-20T18:42:45Z 2019-07-08T02:43:09Z 2019-01-20T18:42:45Z 2019-01-20T18:42:45Z 2019-07-08T02:43:09Z 2019-01-10
dc.identifier.citation Murray NJ, Phinn SR, DeWitt M, Ferrari R, Johnston R, Lyons MB, Clinton N, Thau D, Fuller RA (2019) The global distribution and trajectory of tidal flats. Nature 565: 222-225
dc.identifier.issn 0028-0836
dc.description.abstract Increasing human populations around the global coastline have caused extensive loss, degradation and fragmentation of coastal ecosystems, threatening the delivery of important ecosystem services(1). As a result, alarming losses of mangrove, coral reef, seagrass, kelp forest and coastal marsh ecosystems have occurred(1-6). However, owing to the difficulty of mapping intertidal areas globally, the distribution and status of tidal flats-one of the most extensive coastal ecosystems-remain unknown(7). Here we present an analysis of over 700,000 satellite images that maps the global extent of and change in tidal flats over the course of 33 years (1984-2016). We find that tidal flats, defined as sand, rock or mud flats that undergo regular tidal inundation(7), occupy at least 127,921 km(2) (124,286-131,821 km(2), 95% confidence interval). About 70% of the global extent of tidal flats is found in three continents (Asia (44% of total), North America (15.5% of total) and South America (11% of total)), with 49.2% being concentrated in just eight countries (Indonesia, China, Australia, the United States, Canada, India, Brazil and Myanmar). For regions with sufficient data to develop a consistent multi-decadal time series-which included East Asia, the Middle East and North America-we estimate that 16.02% (15.62-16.47%, 95% confidence interval) of tidal flats were lost between 1984 and 2016. Extensive degradation from coastal development1, reduced sediment delivery from major rivers(8,9), sinking of riverine deltas(8,10), increased coastal erosion and sea-level rise(11) signal a continuing negative trajectory for tidal flat ecosystems around the world. Our high-spatial-resolution dataset delivers global maps of tidal flats, which substantially advances our understanding of the distribution, trajectory and status of these poorly known coastal ecosystems.
dc.description.sponsorship This project was funded by a Google Earth Engine Research Award. Landsat data are courtesy of NASA Goddard Space Flight Center and the US Geological Survey. We thank Google for developing Google Earth Engine, and J. Wilshire, N. Hill, D. Keith, R. Kingsford, N. Mallot, C. Roelfsema, Z. Xie and R. Lucas for support throughout the project.
dc.language English
dc.subject Validation
dc.subject Accuracy
dc.subject Science & Technology - Other Topics
dc.subject Multidisciplinary Sciences
dc.subject Water Index Ndwi
dc.subject Classification
dc.subject Extraction
dc.subject Dongsha Sandbank
dc.subject Surface-water
dc.subject Sea-level Rise
dc.subject Mangrove Forests
dc.subject Vulnerability
dc.title The global distribution and trajectory of tidal flats
dc.type journal article
dc.identifier.doi 10.1038/s41586-018-0805-8
dc.identifier.wos WOS:000455231000044

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