Evolution of mangrove research in an extreme environment: Historical trends and future opportunities in Arabia

Guillermo Friis, John A. Burt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Mangrove forests occur throughout the coastlines of Arabia, one of the most environmentally extreme regions of their global distribution. The gray mangrove [Avicennia marina (Forsk.) Vierh.] is the only widespread tree species in this region, providing a unique evergreen habitat that supports high mangrove-associated biodiversity and many ecosystem services of socio-economic importance. This study provides the first literature-based analysis of the status and historical development of mangrove science in Arabia. The goal was to identify trends and gaps in regional mangrove research, providing information essential to guiding future science and conservation programs. The analyses incorporated 400 publications from over six decades since the first article in 1955, each classified into 11 major research topics and including studies from each of the regional seas (Red Sea, Arabian Sea, Sea of Oman, and the Persian/Arabian Gulf). The results demonstrate that there has been exponential growth in research on regional mangroves in recent decades (particularly around human impacts and ecology). The study further reveals knowledge gaps in important research topics and geographical areas that could be exploited to provide insights into broader biogeographic issues. These results provide a comprehensive assessment of the growing body of knowledge on regional mangroves, and provide direction for future research that can guide conservation, management and scientific knowledge of these critical ecosystem engineers.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number105288
JournalOcean and Coastal Management
StatePublished - Sep 1 2020


  • Arabian Sea
  • Avicennia marina
  • Mangrove
  • Persian/Arabian Gulf
  • Red Sea
  • Sea of Oman

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oceanography
  • Aquatic Science
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law


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