In the latest issue of the Nature Conservancy magazine, they are highlighting the use of mangrove trees to both protect coastlines and sequester atmospheric carbon. According to the Conservancy article the mangroves swamps are more effective than forest lands at gathering and holding the carbon.
Mangroves are effective at stabilizing and then growing tropical islands such as in Florida and off the Great Barrier Reef.
Zhai et al. used 60 years of photographs and satellite images to look at 15 islands in Florida Bay (between the Everglades National Park and the Florida Keys). Despite rising sea levels, these low-lying islands significantly increased in area. These islands showed resilience to inundation and mangrove expansion contributed to processes stabilizing these islands.
Magic mangroves a ‘blue carbon’ buffer for Great Barrier Reef
Mexican mangroves have been capturing carbon for 5,000 years
A UC Riverside and UC San Diego-led research team set out to understand how marine mangroves off the coast of La Paz, Mexico, absorb and release elements like nitrogen and carbon, processes called biogeochemical cycling…The team expected that carbon would be found in the layer of peat beneath the forest, but they did not expect that carbon to be 5,000 years old…
“What’s special about these mangrove sites isn’t that they’re the fastest at carbon storage, but that they have kept the carbon for so long,” said Emma Aronson, UCR environmental microbiologist and senior co-author of the study. “It is orders of magnitude more carbon storage than most other ecosystems in the region.”
Peat underlying the mangrove trees is a combination of submerged sediment and partially decayed organic matter. In some areas sampled for this study, the peat layer extended roughly 10 feet below the coastal water line.