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Revista de la Academia Colombiana de Ciencias Exactas, Físicas y Naturales

versión impresa ISSN 0370-3908


BLANCO-LIBREROS, Juan F.  y  ALVAREZ-LEON, Ricardo. Mangroves of Colombia revisited in an era of open data, global changes, and socio-political transition: Homage to Heliodoro Sánchez-Páez. Rev. acad. colomb. cienc. exact. fis. nat. [online]. 2019, vol.43, n.166, pp.84-97. ISSN 0370-3908.

Colombia is the only South American country with coasts in both the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea thus providing great contrasts for mangroves in terms of climatic types and geomorphic settings. For instance, mangroves are extensive along the Pacific coast due to both high annual rainfall rates and the presence of many world-class deltas. Besides, they are the habitat of the only Neotropical endemic mangrove (Pelliciera rhizophorae), which is also a threatened species. In contrast, mangroves are discontinuously distributed along the Caribbean coast and they are extensive in the three major deltas and a few coastal lagoons. In addition, dwarf and stunt mangroves are found in northern arid lands sprung by seasonal streams and rivers. Recent studies have highlighted the global significance of the Colombian mangroves in terms of their extension, low deforestation rates (particularly in the Pacific coast), and high reservoirs of ecosystem carbon scattered nation-wide. Nonetheless, most of the current understanding of the biogeography of our mangroves has been obtained by integrating studies independently conducted in different sites and years. The voluminous information collected by Heliodoro Sánchez-Páez and his colleagues in the largest national inventory of mangroves (MCP: Mangroves of Colombia Project, Ministry of the Environment) undertaken in the mid 1990's provides an opportunity to re-assess biogeographic hypotheses (e.g., that high rainfall promotes the increase in the importance value of red mangroves) and to explore macroecological patterns when combined with open data sets. The objective of this paper was to introduce HELIO_SP.CO v.1, an open database derived from this mangrove inventory as a homage to Heliodoro Sánchez-Páez, who passed away in 2017, as a platform for macroecological studies and benchmark for future impact assessments of climate change and land-use change on mangroves in Colombia. In addition, the contributions of the MCP were reviewed and the general geographic patterns were explored by using HELIO_SP.CO v. 1. For instance, the shift of the two dominant mangrove species in Colombia across the rainfall gradient observed from Nariño to La Guajira was clearly depicted. Using WorldClim 2, we also explored the rainfall and temperature spaces where the species occur. Finally, we briefly reviewed the progress of mangrove science since 1997 and identified some challenges regarding climate change and post-armed conflict scenarios in Colombia. © 2019. Acad. Colomb. Cienc. Ex. Fis. Nat.

Palabras clave : Biogeography; macroecology; Rhizophora spp.; Avicennia germinans; Laguncularia racemosa; Pelliciera rhizophorae; HELIO_SP.CO v.1; Climatic space; Post-conflict.

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