Mangrove production and carbon sinks: a revision of global budget estimates

Bouillon, Steven, Borges, Alberto V., Castañeda-Moya, Edward, Diele, Karen, Dittmar, Thorsten, Duke, Norman C., Kristensen, Erik, Lee, Shing Y., Marchand, Cyril, Middelburg, Jack J., Rivera-Monroy, Victor H., Smith, Thomas, and Twilley, Robert R. (2008) Mangrove production and carbon sinks: a revision of global budget estimates. Global Biogeochemical Cycles, 22 (2). GB2013.

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Abstract

Mangrove forests are highly productive but globally threatened coastal ecosystems, whose role in the carbon budget of the coastal zone has long been debated. Here we provide a comprehensive synthesis of the available data on carbon fluxes in mangrove ecosystems. A reassessment of global mangrove primary production from the literature results in a conservative estimate of ∼218 ± 72 Tg C a−1. When using the best available estimates of various carbon sinks (organic carbon export, sediment burial, and mineralization), it appears that >50% of the carbon fixed by mangrove vegetation is unaccounted for. This unaccounted carbon sink is conservatively estimated at ∼112 ± 85 Tg C a−1, equivalent in magnitude to ∼30–40% of the global riverine organic carbon input to the coastal zone. Our analysis suggests that mineralization is severely underestimated, and that the majority of carbon export from mangroves to adjacent waters occurs as dissolved inorganic carbon (DIC). CO2 efflux from sediments and creek waters and tidal export of DIC appear to be the major sinks. These processes are quantitatively comparable in magnitude to the unaccounted carbon sink in current budgets, but are not yet adequately constrained with the limited published data available so far.

Item ID: 30007
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1944-9224
Keywords: carbon budgets; mangroves; coastal zone
Funders: Research Foundation Flanders (FWO-Vlaanderen), Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (PIONIER), Danish Science Research Council, Australian Research Council (ARC), Jet Propulsion Laboratory– NASA (Land Cover Land Use Change program), NSF-FCE-LTER program
Projects and Grants: Danish Science Research Council (21020463), ARC ( (A0000284, DP0344546), NSF-FCE-LTER (DEB-9901514)
Date Deposited: 30 Oct 2013 09:41
FoR Codes: 05 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES > 0503 Soil Sciences > 050301 Carbon Sequestration Science @ 60%
05 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES > 0502 Environmental Science and Management > 050209 Natural Resource Management @ 10%
06 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 0602 Ecology > 060205 Marine and Estuarine Ecology (incl Marine Ichthyology) @ 30%
SEO Codes: 96 ENVIRONMENT > 9606 Environmental and Natural Resource Evaluation > 960601 Economic Incentives for Environmental Protection @ 10%
97 EXPANDING KNOWLEDGE > 970105 Expanding Knowledge in the Environmental Sciences @ 20%
96 ENVIRONMENT > 9605 Ecosystem Assessment and Management > 960503 Ecosystem Assessment and Management of Coastal and Estuarine Environments @ 70%
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