Preprint Opinion Version 1 This version is not peer-reviewed

Global Significance of Mangrove Blue Carbon in Climate Change Mitigation (Version 1)

Version 1 : Received: 9 July 2020 / Approved: 13 July 2020 / Online: 23 July 2020 (00:00:00 CEST)

A peer-reviewed article of this Preprint also exists.

Alongi, D.M. Global Significance of Mangrove Blue Carbon in Climate Change Mitigation. Sci 2020, 2, 67. Alongi, D.M. Global Significance of Mangrove Blue Carbon in Climate Change Mitigation. Sci 2020, 2, 67.

Journal reference: Sci 2020, 2, 67
DOI: 10.3390/sci2030067

Abstract

Mangrove forests store and sequester large area-specific quantities of blue carbon (Corg). Except for tundra and peatlands, mangroves store more Corg per unit area than any other ecosystem. Mean mangrove Corg stock is 738.9 Mg Corg ha−1 and mean global stock is 6.17 Pg Corg, which equates to only 0.4–7% of terrestrial ecosystem Corg stocks but 17% of total tropical marine Corg stocks. Seagrasses sequester more Corg per unit area than mangroves (179.6 g Corg m−2·a−1) but twice the Corg sequestered by mangroves globally (15 Tg Corg a−1). Mangroves sequester only 4% (range 1.3–8%) of Corg sequestered by terrestrial ecosystems, indicating that mangroves are a minor contributor to global C storage and sequestration. CO2 emissions from mangrove losses equate to 0.036 Pg CO2-equivalents a−1 based on rates of C sequestration but 0.088 Pg CO2-equivalents a−1 based on complete destruction for conversion to aquaculture and agriculture. Mangrove CO2 emissions account for only 0.2% of total global CO2 emissions but 18% of CO2 emissions from the tropical coastal ocean. Despite significant data limitations, the role of mangrove ecosystems in climate change mitigation is globally insignificant but may be more significant and effective at the national and regional scale.

Subject Areas

blue carbon; carbon; carbon stock; carbon sequestration; climate change; CO<sub>2</sub> emissions; mangrove; mitigation

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