Global patterns in mangrove soil carbon stocks and losses


Mangrove soils represent a large sink for otherwise rapidly recycled carbon (C). However, widespread deforestation threatens the preservation of this important C stock. It is therefore imperative that global patterns in mangrove soil C stocks and their susceptibility to remineralization are understood. A recent study in which Xabier Irigoien, Ikerbasque researcher at AZTI, took part, presents patterns in mangrove soil C stocks across hemispheres, latitudes, countries and mangrove community compositions, and estimate potential annual CO2 emissions for countries where mangroves occur. The article has been published by Nature Climate Change. 

According to the research developed by scientists from several institutions in United States, Australia, Saudi Arabia and Spain, global potential CO2 emissions from soils as a result of mangrove loss were estimated to be ~7.0 million tons CO2eper year. Countries with the highest potential CO2 emissions from soils are Indonesia (3,410 Gg -thousands of tones- CO2e per year) and Malaysia (1,288 Gg CO2e per year). The patterns described serve as a baseline by which countries can assess their mangrove soil C stocks and potential emissions from mangrove deforestation.

Atwood, Trisha B., Rod M. Connolly, Hanan Almahasheer, Paul E. Carnell, Carlos M. Duarte, Carolyn J. Ewers Lewis, Xabier Irigoien, et al. 2017. “Global Patterns in Mangrove Soil Carbon Stocks and Losses.” Nature Climate Change 7 (7). Springer Nature: 523–28. doi:10.1038/nclimate3326.