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Fla.'s mangroves expand up state's Atlantic coast

4:48 PM, Jan 4, 2014   |    comments
Florida, Ding Darling National Wildlife Refuge, Mangrove Forest. (Photo by Education Images/UIG via Getty Images)
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MIAMI (AP) -- Florida's mangroves are moving further up the state's east coast, the latest indicator of global climate change.

The Miami Herald reports Florida's Atlantic coast gained more than 3,000 acres of mangroves in the past three decades. That's according to new research published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences journal.

Scientists documented the mangrove growth by looking at satellite images from 1984 to 2011.

Brown University postdoctoral researcher Kyle Cavanaugh says that while there are examples of climate changing having a negative impact, this could be different. The mangroves are replacing salt marshes, but both are important and highly productive coastal systems.

Cavanaugh says scientists must determine what the changes mean for Florida's ecosystem but are likely no cause for alarm.

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