Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Mangroves and their significance for climate protection

26.03.2019

Many studies suggest that mangroves are gigantic carbon reservoirs and an important factor for climate protection. But so far there has been no precise calculation of how much carbon a mangrove forest stores in a given period of time. Such figures, however, are extremely relevant for climate protection programmes and emissions trading. A research team from the Leibniz Centre for Tropical Marine Research (ZMT) is now providing accumulation rates for Indonesian mangroves.

High concentrations of CO2 in the atmosphere and the associated global warming are increasing the awareness that it is imperative to preserve the carbon sinks of our planet referring to ecosystems that store particularly large amounts of carbon, such as the oceans or peat swamps on land.


Deep mud layers make walking in a mangrove difficult, here in Brazil

Photo: Martin Zimmer, Leibniz Centre for Tropical Marine Research


Extraction of a sediment core in a mangrove in the eastern part of the Segara Anakan Lagoon, Indonesia

Photo: Tim Jennerjahn, Leibniz Centre for Tropical Marine Research

Mangroves also help to protect climate: they are highly efficient carbon stores. As forests at the transition between land and sea, they are exposed to the tides and are regularly flooded. The thicket of their stilts and aerial roots, however, retains the sediment in the forest floor and prevents it from being washed out.

Enormous amounts of organic material accumulate in the silt: fallen leaves, dead wood and roots, fish and crab excreta, and deposited material from rivers and tides. The mud layers can be several metres thick.

In order to assess the efficiency of mangroves as carbon reservoirs, carbon stocks in the soil are being measured. In 2011, US scientists, for example, have determined the amount of carbon present in sediment: they found an average of more than 1,000 tons per hectare, four times as much as in tropical rainforests. Overall, the researchers estimated that between four and 20 billion tons of carbon are stored in the tidal forests.

“However, the value of the carbon stock in the sediment alone is misleading when it comes to the actual performance of a mangrove forest as a sink, because the organic material can have accumulated in the soil in 10, 100 or 1,000 years," comments biogeochemist Tim Jennerjahn of ZMT in Bremen, “The value only indicates how much carbon could be released if the mangroves were destroyed. But if we want to assess how much CO2 the mangrove forests currently absorb from the atmosphere, we have to calculate the carbon accumulation rates.”

Jennerjahn and his team investigated mangrove forests in Indonesia – on Java, Kalimantan and one of the Thousand Islands. They extracted sediment cores, dated them and determined the carbon accumulation rates per hectare and year. For their calculations, they also considered the aboveground biomass of the forest.

In the course of their investigations it became increasingly clear that the figures for the carbon stock on the one hand and the carbon accumulation rates on the other hand can differ considerably due to environmental conditions. In the east of the Segara Anakan lagoon on Java, for example, the mangrove forest directly borders the lagoon.

In addition to the biomass of the forest, the tides flush a lot of organic material into the mangrove. A high carbon stock of 450 tons per hectare is opposed by a low carbon accumulation rate of 20 tons.

In the west of the lagoon, on the other hand, the mangrove forest borders a river estuary. Especially during the monsoon season, the water masses of the Citanduy River transport large quantities of sediment from the volcanic hinterland and deposit it in the mangrove forest. The high sand content leads to a relatively low carbon stock of less than 200 tonnes per hectare, while the carbon accumulation rate is ten times higher than in the eastern part of the lagoon.

For countries such as Indonesia, India or Bangladesh, mangroves could play an important role in global emissions trading in the future. In the United Nations REDD Programme for “Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Destructive Forest Use”, an instrument of international climate protection policy, mangroves are increasingly being taken into account. “In order to assess the relevance of mangroves as carbon sinks, it is therefore extremely important to have reliable figures,” says Jennerjahn.

Wissenschaftliche Ansprechpartner:

Dr. Tim Jennerjahn
Leibniz Centre for Tropical Marine Research
Tel: 0421 / 23800-44
tim.jennerjahn@leibniz-zmt.de

Originalpublikation:

Mariska Astrid Kusumaningtyas, Andreas A.Hutahaean, Helmut W. Fischer, Manuel Pérez-Mayo, Daniela Ransby, Tim C.Jennerjahn: Variability in the organic carbon stocks, sources, and accumulation rates of Indonesian mangrove ecosystems. Estuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science, Volume 218, 5 March 2019. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ecss.2018.12.007

Dr. Susanne Eickhoff | idw - Informationsdienst Wissenschaft
Further information:
http://www.leibniz-zmt.de

More articles from Earth Sciences:

nachricht Strong storms generating earthquake-like seismic activity
16.10.2019 | Florida State University

nachricht The shelf life of pyrite
14.10.2019 | MARUM - Zentrum für Marine Umweltwissenschaften an der Universität Bremen

All articles from Earth Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Solving the mystery of quantum light in thin layers

A very special kind of light is emitted by tungsten diselenide layers. The reason for this has been unclear. Now an explanation has been found at TU Wien (Vienna)

It is an exotic phenomenon that nobody was able to explain for years: when energy is supplied to a thin layer of the material tungsten diselenide, it begins to...

Im Focus: An ultrafast glimpse of the photochemistry of the atmosphere

Researchers at Ludwig-Maximilians-Universitaet (LMU) in Munich have explored the initial consequences of the interaction of light with molecules on the surface of nanoscopic aerosols.

The nanocosmos is constantly in motion. All natural processes are ultimately determined by the interplay between radiation and matter. Light strikes particles...

Im Focus: Shaping nanoparticles for improved quantum information technology

Particles that are mere nanometers in size are at the forefront of scientific research today. They come in many different shapes: rods, spheres, cubes, vesicles, S-shaped worms and even donut-like rings. What makes them worthy of scientific study is that, being so tiny, they exhibit quantum mechanical properties not possible with larger objects.

Researchers at the Center for Nanoscale Materials (CNM), a U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Science User Facility located at DOE's Argonne National...

Im Focus: Novel Material for Shipbuilding

A new research project at the TH Mittelhessen focusses on the development of a novel light weight design concept for leisure boats and yachts. Professor Stephan Marzi from the THM Institute of Mechanics and Materials collaborates with Krake Catamarane, which is a shipyard located in Apolda, Thuringia.

The project is set up in an international cooperation with Professor Anders Biel from Karlstad University in Sweden and the Swedish company Lamera from...

Im Focus: Controlling superconducting regions within an exotic metal

Superconductivity has fascinated scientists for many years since it offers the potential to revolutionize current technologies. Materials only become superconductors - meaning that electrons can travel in them with no resistance - at very low temperatures. These days, this unique zero resistance superconductivity is commonly found in a number of technologies, such as magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).

Future technologies, however, will harness the total synchrony of electronic behavior in superconductors - a property called the phase. There is currently a...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

International Symposium on Functional Materials for Electrolysis, Fuel Cells and Metal-Air Batteries

02.10.2019 | Event News

NEXUS 2020: Relationships Between Architecture and Mathematics

02.10.2019 | Event News

Optical Technologies: International Symposium „Future Optics“ in Hannover

19.09.2019 | Event News

 
Latest News

Energy Flow in the Nano Range

18.10.2019 | Power and Electrical Engineering

MR-compatible Ultrasound System for the Therapeutic Application of Ultrasound

18.10.2019 | Medical Engineering

Double layer of graphene helps to control spin currents

18.10.2019 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>