Sea level rise will have the greatest impacts on rural land in places where knowledge is insufficient to best inform decisions about encroaching marshlands, according to a review published in a scientific journal. The decisions involve complex tradeoffs in the value of land uses. Many landowners see upland-to-wetland conversion as an economic loss, but wetlands provide valuable ecosystem services by improving water quality, supporting marine fisheries and protecting against flooding. The paper is the first to synthesize studies of land conversion driven by sea level rise. One of the clearest signs of this conversion are "ghost forests": stands of dead trees with new marshlands surrounding their bleached trunks.
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