Impacts of Climate Variability and Climate Change on the Mangrove Ecosystem in Tumbes, Peru

The mangrove ecosystem of Tumbes plays a pivotal role in providing protection against tides, winds and storm surges, and habitat for a number of fish species. The native coastal communities of Tumbes rely on artisanal fishing for food and income generation. Already under threat from water pollution, deforestation and overfishing (black conch), climate change is affecting the stability and health of the mangrove ecosystem through increased sea level rise and variable rainfall. For example, reduced water flows during the dry season increase the salinity of the mangrove waters, while intense precipitation during the rainy season dilutes saline waters and increases sediment loads. Sustainable management of mangrove ecosystems is currently compromised by lack of basic scientific information.

This project aims to improve understanding of the ecosystem so that its human population can prepare effectively for the impacts of climate variability. Researchers, in cooperation with community associations, local authorities and other stakeholders, will document the impact of climate variability on the ecology and sustainability of the mangrove ecosystem, investigate the sensitivity of the black conch (Andara tuberculosa) and other species to changing salinity and sediment levels, and assess the economic value of environmental services provided by the mangrove ecosystem.

The project is expected to lead to the development of an adaptation plan for the mangrove ecosystem and local communities, including a concerted sustainable management plan for the extraction of the black conch. Given the importance of mangrove ecosystems to coastal areas throughout the world, this research has the potential to make a contribution to adaptation efforts by coastal communities beyond Peru.

Project ID


Project status


Start Date

Thursday, December 15, 2011

End Date

Thursday, April 30, 2015


36 months

IDRC Officer

Rondon, Marco

Total funding

CA$ 635,791


Peru, South America, North and Central America


Climate Change

Project Leader

Ken Takahashi


Instituto Geofísico del Perú

Institution Country


Institution Website