Land use patterns and influences of protected areas on mangroves of the eastern tropical Pacific

Mangroves are one of the most productive ecosystems in the world, sustaining millions of coastal livelihoods. However, their area of occurrence has been greatly reduced over the last century. In this study, we identify potential drivers of land use and land cover change adjacent to mangroves on the Pacific shorelines of Colombia, Panama and Costa Rica. We also evaluate the effectiveness of protected areas at halting mangrove deforestation between 2000 and 2012. Across all countries, agriculture was the most dominant land use type adjacent to mangroves, inside and outside protected areas.