Shing Yip Lee

Shing Yip Lee
The Chinese University of Hong Kong | CUHK · School of Life Sciences

PhD FRSB

About

247
Publications
91,106
Reads
How we measure 'reads'
A 'read' is counted each time someone views a publication summary (such as the title, abstract, and list of authors), clicks on a figure, or views or downloads the full-text. Learn more
12,197
Citations
Introduction
I am an ecosystem ecologist currently working at the Simon F S Li Marine Science Laboratory, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, after spending 20 years in Australia researching its magnificent mangrove ecosystems. My research focuses on the trophodynamics and other functional aspects of tropical estuarine ecosystems. I also study the biology and ecology of crustaceans, particularly brachyuran crabs.
Education
July 1985 - November 1988
The University of Hong Kong
Field of study
  • Wetland ecology

Publications

Publications (247)
Article
Full-text available
Current mangrove planting schemes aimed at reversing global losses are prioritising short-term increases in area over long-term establishment. Without sound, evidence-based restoration policies, this approach could accelerate the demise of mangrove forests and the ecosystem services they provide.
Article
Full-text available
Intertidal mangrove forests are a dynamic ecosystem experiencing rapid changes in extent and habitat quality over geological history, today and into the future. Climate and sea level have drastically altered mangrove distribution since their appearance in the geological record ∼75 million years ago (Mya), through to the Holocene. In contrast, conte...
Article
Full-text available
Significance Global mangrove deforestation and degradation drive the loss of the associated invertebrate fauna vital to ecosystem services. The functional diversity and resilience of this fauna has not been assessed. We show that even small mangrove patches host functionally diverse faunal assemblages and can act as biodiversity reservoirs. However...
Article
Full-text available
Previous studies on mangrove carbon utilisation and mineralisation were focused on mangrove sesarmid crabs (Grapsoidea: Sesarmidae) because they are initial processors of mangrove organic carbon. Grapsoid crabs from other families and habitats were generally ignored although they also perform various levels of herbivory. It remains unclear how the...
Article
Full-text available
Protecting existing mangrove forests is a priority for global conservation because of the wide range of services that these coastal forests provide to humankind. Despite the recent reduction in global rates of mangrove loss, high historical loss rates mean that there are at least 800,000 ha globally that are potentially suitable for mangrove re-est...
Article
Full-text available
Prokaryotic species, defined with operational thresholds, such as 95% of the whole-genome average nucleotide identity (ANI) or 98.7% similarity of the 16S rRNA gene sequences, commonly contain extensive fine-grained diversity in both the core genome and the accessory genome. However, the ways in which this genomic microdiversity and its associated...
Article
Full-text available
Earth system models are widely used to estimate future changes in wetland extent but do not incorporate surface elevation change (SEC) into predicting wetland's real responses to sea level rise (SLR). A machine learning model (MLM) was used to investigate the impact of multiple drivers on SEC and sediment accretion rate (SAR) in tidal marshes, and...
Article
Full-text available
Tidal flats are widely distributed and provide a variety of ecosystem services. Nevertheless, the consequences of tidal flat loss and implications for services such as carbon (C) sequestration have not been assessed. In unvegetated tidal flat ecosystems, sediment is the most important carbon reservoir, similar to that of vegetated coastal wetlands...
Article
There is an urgent need to halt and reverse loss of mangroves and seagrass to protect and increase the ecosystem services they provide to coastal communities, such as enhancing coastal resilience and contributing to climate stability.1,2 Ambitious targets for their recovery can inspire public and private investment in conservation,3 but the expecte...
Book
Carbon Mineralization in Coastal Wetlands fills the current knowledge gap in carbon mineralization, providing a balanced view of the carbon dynamics of coastal wetlands. This book provides a holistic treatment of carbon mineralization, from the contributions of litter/root decomposition pathways to carbon mineralization and the processes and source...
Chapter
Carbon minerelization is significant to studying the whole carbon cycling dynamics and food webs in coastal wetlands. It reflects the fate of carbon from litter decomposition to greenhouse gas emission but is often less emphasized than carbon storage in the management of coastal wetlands. This chapter presents the basic concepts, the unique charact...
Chapter
This chapter discusses factors affecting processes of litter decomposition in coastal wetlands, including biotic, abiotic, as well as anthropogenic factors. A few indicators of litter decomposition are used to describe litter disappearance, including decomposition rate, mass loss percentage, half-life time, and residence time. We examine the variab...
Chapter
This synthesis and conclusion chapter aims to compare the processes and drivers of carbon mineralization in different coastal wetlands and provide recommendations on ‘blue carbon management’ in relation to greenhouse gas (GHG) emission and/or litter decomposition of different coast wetlands. Ecosystem carbon stocks in coastal wetlands almost double...
Article
Full-text available
Sesarmid crabs play an important role in mangrove biogeochemical processes due to their leaf-eating and burrowing activities. How leaf-eating mangrove crabs meet their nitrogen (N) needs remains a puzzle, as N-poor leaf litter (<1% dry weight) cannot support the growth of most macrofauna. Several strategies for overcoming this challenge have been p...
Article
Full-text available
Mangroves around the world settle along coasts and estuaries, where they usually encounter aquaculture effluent that causes eutrophication and regulates the nitrogen cycle in their ecosystems. Moreover, the physical–chemical features of sediment in mangrove habitats might be altered by coastal wind, waves, and currents more frequently under the con...
Article
Mangroves have lost one of their most ardent and passionate advocates. Dr. Ong Jin Eong, formerly of the Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM) in Penang, passed away at his home on August 5, 2021. Dr. Ong was not only a key figure in Asian mangrove research, management and conservation, his work also attracted significant global recognition. In addition...
Chapter
We discuss the significance of macrofaunal consumption as a process for mineralization of organic carbon in vegetated coastal wetlands, particularly mangrove forests. The high productivity of macrophytes (salt marsh and mangrove plants) in coastal wetlands results in high availability of organic matter generally recalcitrant to mineralization. In c...
Article
Full-text available
Aquaculture, particularly shellfish ponds, have expanded dramatically and become an important cause of mangrove deforestation and 'blue carbon' loss in China. We present the first study to examine CO2 efflux from marine aquaculture/shellfish ponds and that in relation to land use change from mangrove forests in China. Light and dark sediment CO2 ef...
Article
Full-text available
Global-scale conservation initiatives and policy instruments rely on ecosystem indicators to track progress towards targets and objectives. A deeper understanding of indicator interrelationships would benefit these efforts and help characterize ecosystem status. We study interrelationships among 34 indicators for mangroves, saltmarsh, and seagrass...
Article
Full-text available
Fine root dynamics have the potential to contribute to ecosystem biogeochemical cycling, especially for carbon. This is particularly true in mangroves which are the most productive and carbon-rich ecosystems of the world. However, few studies comprehensively evaluated the contribution of mangrove fine root dynamics to soil organic carbon accumulati...
Article
Full-text available
Introduction of species by humans breaks down biogeographic boundaries and results in the homogenization of species composition, yet empirical tests of this impact in marine forest ecosystems are still scarce. Large-scale planting aimed at reversing losses of mangroves has been the dominant strategy for mangrove restoration adopted by many organiza...
Article
Full-text available
Tidal marshes are not only lost to human disturbance but also face the threat of sea 1 level rise (SLR). However, current earth system models used to estimate future changes in 2 wetland extent omit wetland's real responses to SLR without field observations. We 3 synthesised global data on sediment accretion rate (SAR) and surface elevation change...
Article
The status and potential degradation of an ecosystem is often difficult to identify, quantify, and characterize. Multiple, concurrent drivers of degradation may interact and have cumulative and confounding effects, making mitigation and rehabilitation actions challenging to achieve. Ecosystem status assessments generally emphasize areal change (gai...
Book
Full-text available
A global review of mangrove forests - extent, condition, protection, ecosystem services, restoration, global mapping, policy, economics, community engagement
Article
Vegetated coastal wetlands, including seagrass, saltmarsh and mangroves, are threatened globally, yet the need to avert these losses is poorly recognized in international policy, such as in the Convention on Biological Diversity and the United Nations (UN) Sustainable Development Goals. Identifying the impact of overlooking coastal wetlands in ecos...
Article
Full-text available
Despite worldwide efforts to restore degraded mangrove forests in the past decades, defining and tracking restoration success remains a major challenge. In this study, we used a multi-isotope approach to trace ecosystem responses to forest clearing and replanting in a tropical mangrove forest reserve at Matang, Malaysia. We measured δ2H or δD deute...
Article
Full-text available
Mangrove fine roots are an important contributor to soil organic matter (SOC), yet how their production and decomposition affect SOC accumulation across the sea-land gradient is still elusive. This study aimed to investigate the influencing path of biotic and abiotic factors of fine root production and decomposition dynamics on SOC component ratios...
Article
Intertidal benthos link tertiary predators and primary producers in marine food webs as well as directly contribute to sediment CO2 emission. However, current methods for studying food sources of marine benthos are time-consuming and does not allow direct estimates on feeding regime-related (including different diets, active versus dormant) CO2 pro...
Article
Full-text available
Background The fast-growing introduced mangrove Sonneratia apetala is widely used for mangrove afforestation and reforestation in China. Some studies suggested that this exotic species outperforms native species in terms of carbon sequestration potential. This study tested the hypothesis that multi-species mangrove plantations might have higher car...
Article
Full-text available
Intertidal benthos link tertiary predators and primary producers in marine food webs as well as directly contribute to sediment CO2 emission. However, current methods for studying food sources of marine benthos are time-consuming and does not allow direct estimates on feeding regime-related CO2 production. We examined the foods of mangrove crabs an...
Article
Full-text available
A combination of elemental analysis, bulk stable isotope analysis (bulk SIA) and compound-specific stable isotope analysis of amino acids (CSIA-AA) was used to assess and monitor carbon (C), nitrogen (N) and sulfur (S) cycling of a mangrove ecosystem that suffered mass dieback of trees in the Gulf of Carpentaria, Australia in 2015-2016, attributed...
Article
Small-scale mangroves serve ecological functions similar to large-scale mangroves regarding biological conservation, environmental purification, and supporting biogeochemical processes. The rising aquaculture neighboring mangroves results in their serving as an important sink for massive nutrients and pollutants from aquaculture effluent. We assess...
Article
Full-text available
For centuries, mangrove forests and adjacent ecosystems have been cast in a negative light due to their (often perceived) ecosystem disservices. We give contemporary examples of how such viewpoints about mangroves continue to be communicated today, with potentially adverse consequences for mangrove conservation and public support. Since public perc...
Article
Cyclone disturbance results in mangrove foliage loss, tree mortality and other changes in ecosystem processes. However, the impact of cyclones on mangrove sediment nutrient density, sediment-air CO2 and CH4 fluxes and their isotopes remains largely unknown. Super-typhoon Mangkhut (maximum gust 256 km h−1) hit Hong Kong in September 2018. We investi...
Article
The paradigm that mangrove carbon supports secondary production in mangrove and adjacent habitats has been debated in recent years. Fatty acids (FA) are one of the classic biomarkers that have been frequently applied to track mangrove carbon pathways and assess trophic relationships. However, most previous studies did not evaluate the validity, pot...
Preprint
Full-text available
A combination of elemental analysis and stable isotope analysis (SIA) was used to assess and monitor C, N and S cycling of a mangrove ecosystem that suffered mass dieback of trees in the Gulf of Carpentaria, Australia in 2015–16, attributed to an extreme drought event. Three field campaigns were conducted over a period from 2016 to 2018, at 8, 20 a...
Article
The conservation of mangrove forests has become an important international policy priority in recent decades, and is mirrored by a large increase in research interest. Multiple disciplines now use mangroves as a study system, from molecular biology to social science. The variety of research conducted in mangroves is exemplified by the Mangrove Macr...
Article
Full-text available
Mangrove forests are found along the shorelines of more than 100 countries, and provide a wide range of ecosystem services that support the livelihoods and wellbeing of tens of millions of people. Despite their importance, loss of global mangrove area has been so substantial that twelve years ago academics warned of “a world without mangroves” [1]....
Article
Full-text available
On 1 March 2019, the United Nations (UN) General Assembly (New York) declared 2021–2030 the “UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration.” This call to action has the purpose of recognizing the need to massively accelerate global restoration of degraded ecosystems, to fight the climate heating crisis, enhance food security, provide clean water and protect b...
Article
The ecological role of intertidal microphytobenthos (MPB) is increasingly recognized in coastal production systems. MPB primary production (PP) measured in coastal wetlands of Korea, Cambodia, and Australia confirmed large variability at the global scale. Surprisingly, MPB biomass in mangrove forests almost doubled those measured in nearby bare tid...
Article
Full-text available
Tidal wetlands are global hotspots of carbon storage but errors exist with current estimates on their carbon density due to the use of factors estimated from other habitats for converting loss-on-ignition (LOI) to organic carbon (OC); and the omission of certain significant carbon pools. Here we show that the widely used conversion factor (LOI/OC =...
Article
Full-text available
Tidal wetlands are global hotspots of carbon storage but errors exist with current estimates on their carbon density due to the use of factors estimated from other habitats for converting loss-on-ignition (LOI) to organic carbon (OC); and the omission of certain significant carbon pools. Here we show that the widely used conversion factor (LOI/OC =...
Article
Despite carbon sequestration being an important service of mangrove ecosystems, many mangrove reforestation projects have little consideration of the carbon sequestration capacity of species to be planted. Species selection is mostly based on growth rate and convenience in planting. In this study, to compare the quantity and quality of carbon store...
Preprint
Background The exotic Sonneratia apetala and native Kandelia obovata have been widely planted in mangrove afforestation and reforestation programmes in China. However, their capacity for carbon sequestration is still controversial. Results The total vegetation biomass was highest in K. obovata monoculture, followed by the mixed forest and lowest in...
Preprint
Full-text available
Background:The exotic Sonneratia apetala and native Kandelia obovata have been widely planted in mangrove afforestation and reforestation programmes in China. However, their capacity for carbon sequestration is still controversial. Results: The total vegetation biomass was highest in K. obovata monoculture, followed by the mixed forest and lowest i...
Preprint
Full-text available
Background:The fast-growing introduced mangrove Sonneratia apetala is widely used for mangrove afforestation and reforestation in China. Some studies suggested that this exotic species outperforms native species in terms of carbon sequestration potential. This study tested the hypothesis that multi-species mangrove plantations might have higher car...
Article
Full-text available
China has lost about 50% of its mangrove forests from 1950 to 2001. Since 2001, mangrove forest area has increased by 1.8% per year due to strict protection of the remaining mangrove forests and large-scale restoration. By 2019, 67% of the mangrove forests in China had been enclosed within protected areas (PAs). In terms of the proportion of PAs of...
Article
Extreme climatic events can trigger sudden but often long-lasting impacts in ecosystems by causing near to complete mortality of foundation (habitat-forming) species. The magnitude and frequency of such events are expected to rise due to anthropogenic climate change, but the impacts that such events have on many foundation species and the ecosystem...
Article
Full-text available
In the Australian spanner crab (Ranina ranina) fishery, management and industry are looking for improvements to the existing indicators of stock abundance. Prior research linked several oceanographic indices to the catchability of spanner crabs; however, it was unclear whether nearshore (e.g. river-runoff) or region-specific oceanographic features...
Article
Full-text available
Policies aiming to preserve vegetated coastal ecosystems (VCE; tidal marshes, mangroves and seagrasses) to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions require national assessments of blue carbon resources. Here, we present organic carbon (C) storage in VCE across Australian climate regions and estimate potential annual CO2 emission benefits of VCE conservati...
Article
Full-text available
Animals are central to numerous ecological processes that shape the structure and function of ecosystems. It follows that species that are strongly linked to specific functions can represent these functions spatially and hence be useful in conservation planning. Here we test this notion of ‘functional species surrogacy’ for the conservation of seag...
Article
Full-text available
Human population growth and accelerating coastal development have been the drivers for unprecedented construction of artificial structures along shorelines globally. Construction has been recently amplified by societal responses to reduce flood and erosion risks from rising sea levels and more extreme storms resulting from climate change. Such stru...
Chapter
Full-text available
Human population growth and accelerating coastal development have been the drivers for unprecedented construction of artificial structures along shorelines globally. Construction has been recently amplified by societal responses to reduce flood and erosion risks from rising sea levels and more extreme storms resulting from climate change. Such stru...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Loss-on-ignition (LOI) is widely used to estimate organic carbon (OC) content, and thus carbon stocks, due to easy operation and low costs. The wide use of a conversion factor of 1.724 (LOI:OC) oversimplifies the relationship between LOI and OC, and may lead to significant biases in estimating global sediment carbon stocks in 'blue carbon' ecosyste...
Article
Full-text available
During daily fishing operations, spanner crab Ranina ranina catch rates can fluctuate substantially, but the environmental drivers responsible for these fluctuations largely remain unresolved. Earlier research suggests that spanner crab catchability increases with strengthening currents, but uncertainties surround the magnitude of the measured curr...
Article
Holistic ecosystem health indices are urgently needed for conserving and managing rapidly dwindling mangrove ecosystems. The appropriate indices should provide consistent outcomes that enable both the assessment of current conditions and assist future planning. The previous approaches mostly focus on the structural condition of trees, with mangrove...