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Creators/Authors contains: "Muller-Karger, Frank E."

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  1. Free, publicly-accessible full text available March 1, 2023
  2. Abstract

    Sea-level rise is impacting the longest undeveloped stretch of coastline in the contiguous United States: The Florida Big Bend. Due to its low elevation and a higher-than-global-average local rate of sea-level rise, the region is losing coastal forest to encroaching marsh at an unprecedented rate. Previous research found a rate of forest-to-marsh conversion of up to 1.2 km2 year−1during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, but these studies evaluated small-scale changes, suffered from data gaps, or are substantially outdated. We replicated and updated these studies with Landsat satellite imagery covering the entire Big Bend region from 2003 to 2016 and corroborated results with in situ landscape photography and high-resolution aerial imagery. Our analysis of satellite and aerial images from 2003 to 2016 indicates a rate of approximately 10 km2 year−1representing an increase of over 800%. Areas previously found to be unaffected by the decline are now in rapid retreat.

  3. Free, publicly-accessible full text available February 1, 2023
  4. In September of 2017, Hurricane Irma made landfall within the Rookery Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve of southwest Florida (USA) as a category 3 storm with winds in excess of 200 km h−1. We mapped the extent of the hurricane’s impact on coastal land cover with a seasonal time series of satellite imagery. Very high-resolution (i.e., <5 m pixel) satellite imagery has proven effective to map wetland ecosystems, but challenges in data acquisition and storage, algorithm training, and image processing have prevented large-scale and time-series mapping of these data. We describe our approach to address these issues to evaluate Rookery Bay ecosystem damage and recovery using 91 WorldView-2 satellite images collected between 2010 and 2018 mapped using automated techniques and validated with a field campaign. Land cover was classified seasonally at 2 m resolution (i.e., healthy mangrove, degraded mangrove, upland, soil, and water) with an overall accuracy of 82%. Digital change detection methods show that hurricane-related degradation was 17% of mangrove forest (~5 km2). Approximately 35% (1.7 km2) of this loss recovered one year after Hurricane Irma. The approach completed the mapping approximately 200 times faster than existing methods, illustrating the ease with which regional high-resolution mapping may be accomplishedmore »efficiently.« less
  5. Successful management and mitigation of marine challenges depends on cooperation and knowledge sharing which often occurs across culturally diverse geographic regions. Global ocean science collaboration is therefore essential for developing global solutions. Building effective global research networks that can enable collaboration also need to ensure inter- and transdisciplinary research approaches to tackle complex marine socio-ecological challenges. To understand the contribution of interdisciplinary global research networks to solving these complex challenges, we use the Integrated Marine Biosphere Research (IMBeR) project as a case study. We investigated the diversity and characteristics of 1,827 scientists from 11 global regions who were attendees at different IMBeR global science engagement opportunities since 2009. We also determined the role of social science engagement in natural science based regional programmes (using key informants) and identified the potential for enhanced collaboration in the future. Event attendees were predominantly from western Europe, North America, and East Asia. But overall, in the global network, there was growing participation by females, students and early career researchers, and social scientists, thus assisting in moving toward interdisciplinarity in IMBeR research. The mainly natural science oriented regional programmes showed mixed success in engaging and collaborating with social scientists. This was mostly attributed to themore »largely natural science (i.e., biological, physical) goals and agendas of the programmes, and the lack of institutional support and push to initiate connections with social science. Recognising that social science research may not be relevant to all the aims and activities of all regional programmes, all researchers however, recognised the (potential) benefits of interdisciplinarity, which included broadening scientists’ understanding and perspectives, developing connections and interlinkages, and making science more useful. Pathways to achieve progress in regional programmes fell into four groups: specific funding, events to come together, within-programme-reflections, and social science champions. Future research programmes should have a strategic plan to be truly interdisciplinary, engaging natural and social sciences, as well as aiding early career professionals to actively engage in such programmes.« less