Sea-level Rise Vulnerability of Mangrove Forests on the Micronesian Island of Pohnpei

Fact Sheet 2021-3030
Prepared in cooperation with the U.S. Department of Agriculture-U.S. Forest Service, Micronesia Conservation Trust, Conservation Society of Pohnpei, Pacific Island Climate Adaptation Science Center, and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
By:  and 



The mangrove forests across the Federated States of Micronesia provide critical resources and contribute to climate resilience. Locally, mangrove forests provide habitat for fish and wildlife, timber, and other cultural resources. Mangrove forests also protect Micronesian communities from tropical cyclones and tsunamis, providing a buffer against powerful waves and winds. Mangrove forests in Micronesia can store 700–1,800 metric tons of carbon per hectare (Donato and others, 2011), contributing to the estimated 5–10 billion metric tons of carbon stored by mangroves around the world (Alongi, 2018). This carbon storage is essential for global climate resilience.

Mangrove forests and the benefits these ecosystems provide are threatened by accelerating sea-level rise and human activities. Healthy mangrove forests are resilient systems and have kept pace with some amounts of sea-level rise, but rapid sea-level rise could outpace the mangroves’ ability to adapt. Degraded mangroves are at greater risk where natural processes have been altered. Overharvest and clearing of timber, infrastructure development, and altered hydrology are just a few of the human activities that can damage mangrove forests.

Suggested Citation

Thorne, K.M., and Buffington, K.J., 2021, Sea-level rise vulnerability of mangrove forests on the Micronesian Island of Pohnpei: U.S. Geological Survey Fact Sheet 2021-3030, 4 p.,

ISSN: 2327-6932 (online)

Study Area

Table of Contents

  • Introduction  
  • Modeling Mangrove Dynamics  
  • Management Takeaways  
  • Model Projections-Resilience and Change  
  • Summary  
  • References Cited
Publication type Report
Publication Subtype USGS Numbered Series
Title Sea-level rise vulnerability of mangrove forests on the Micronesian Island of Pohnpei
Series title Fact Sheet
Series number 2021-3030
DOI 10.3133/fs20213030
Year Published 2021
Language English
Publisher U.S. Geological Survey
Publisher location Reston, VA
Contributing office(s) Western Ecological Research Center
Description 4 p.
Other Geospatial Island of Pohnpei
Google Analytic Metrics Metrics page
Additional publication details