Stephen Henderson
Stephen Henderson

Washington State University scientists Stephen Henderson and Nikolay Strigul have developed a computer model that uses photographs to recreate the complex geometry of coastal plants.

“A large and growing percentage of Earth’s human population lives at low elevations along coastlines,” said Henderson, an associate professor in the School of the Environment at WSU Vancouver. “Developing a better understanding of the sheltering effects of aquatic vegetation on these environments will help us identify areas at risk from climate change and in the design of solutions to future problems.”

The research more efficiently gathers input for models that determine the effectiveness of mangrove forests, seagrass beds and other coastal plants at depositing sediment and reducing flooding and erosion. This could eventually help scientists predict how rising seas and more frequent extreme weather events will affect coastal population centers impacted by climate change.

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