A functional analysis reveals extremely low redundancy in global mangrove invertebrate fauna.

Stefano Cannicci, Shing Yip Lee, Henrique Bravo, Jaime Ricardo Cantera-Kintz, Farid Dahdouh-Guebas, Sara Fratini, Marco Fusi, Pedro J Jimenez, Inga Nordhaus, Francesca Porri, Karen Diele

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38 Scopus citations


Deforestation results in habitat fragmentation, decreasing diversity, and functional degradation. For mangroves, no data are available on the impact of deforestation on the diversity and functionality of the specialized invertebrate fauna, critical for their functioning. We compiled a global dataset of mangrove invertebrate fauna comprising 364 species from 16 locations, classified into 64 functional entities (FEs). For each location, we calculated taxonomic distinctness (Δ+), functional richness (FRi), functional redundancy (FRe), and functional vulnerability (FVu) to assess functional integrity. Δ+ and FRi were significantly related to air temperature but not to geomorphic characteristics, mirroring the global biodiversity anomaly of mangrove trees. Neither of those two indices was linked to forest area, but both sharply decreased in human-impacted mangroves. About 60% of the locations showed an average FRe < 2, indicating that most of the FEs comprised one species only. Notable exceptions were the Eastern Indian Ocean and west Pacific Ocean locations, but also in this region, 57% of the FEs had no redundancy, placing mangroves among the most vulnerable ecosystems on the planet. Our study shows that despite low redundancy, even small mangrove patches host truly multifunctional faunal assemblages, ultimately underpinning their services. However, our analyses also suggest that even a modest local loss of invertebrate diversity could have significant negative consequences for many mangroves and cascading effects for adjacent ecosystems. This pattern of faunal-mediated ecosystem functionality is crucial for assessing the vulnerability of mangrove forests to anthropogenic impact and provides an approach to planning their effective conservation and restoration.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)e2016913118
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number32
StatePublished - Jul 27 2021

Bibliographical note

KAUST Repository Item: Exported on 2021-08-05
Acknowledgements: We thank the many colleagues, students, and collaborators for their invaluable help in the field and for fruitful discussion and constructive criticisms. We thank Dr. Louise A. Ashton for valuable comments on the manuscript and Dr. Colin Beasley for help with the list of
mollusks from Península Ajuruteua. S.C., H.B., and P.J.J. were supported bythe Hong Kong Government Environment and Conservation Fund Project 69/2016 and by internal HKU Research Assessment Exercise improvement funds and seed funds. J.R.C.-K. received financial support from Colciencias and Universidad del Valle internal research funds in different grants in Colombia from 1994 to 2014. M.F. was supported by King Abdullah University of Science and Technology through Baseline funding to Prof. Daniele Daffonchio. M.F. and K.D. acknowledge funding from the Natural Environment Research Council (Grant No. NE/S006990/1), and K.D. was supported by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (Mangrove Dynamics and Management project). F.D.-G. was supported by the Belgian NSF, the Flemish Interuniversity Council for University Development Cooperation GREENDYKE: The use of natural barriers for coastal protection in Sri Lanka Project (ZEIN2008PR347), and the Erasmus Mundus Masters Course in Tropical Biodiversity and Ecosystems (TROPIMUNDO). I.N. acknowledges the financial support by the German Federal Ministry for Education and Research (Grant 03F0391A, SPICE: Science for
the Protection of Indonesian Coastal Ecosystems project). F.P. was supported by the European Union International Cooperation - Developing Countries program (Contract IC 18-CT96 -0127) and National Research Foundation - South African Institute for Aquatic Biodiversity.

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