Mangroves in Australia

Carbon that is retained within the coastal zone (blue carbon) has gained increasing interest by scientists, stakeholders and managers. This is in part because ecosystem engineers based in tropical areas such as mangrove trees and seagrass plants have high retention rates of particulate material and because the ecosystem's vertical accretion of sediment allows their substrates to absorb carbon without the soil becoming saturated.

The overall goal of this project is to enhance understanding of carbon cycling in connected ecosystems of the tropical coastal seascape, like mangrove forests and seagrass beds. At the landscape scale we want to establish the physical, biological and chemical drivers of spatial distribution of carbon sequestration, carbon supply and carbon dioxide (CO2) release from the sediment in the present and for the future.

To achieve this we monitor sites in four different global regions to gain an in-depth understanding of how carbon cycling changes across global latitudes. Field sites are in Florida (America), Zanzibar (Africa), Singapore (Asia) and Adelaide (Oceania).

This line of research is of upmost importance as there are large knowledge gaps in the global database of carbon cycling in connected mangrove forests and seagrass beds. In addition, future understanding of CO2 release from mangrove and seagrass sediment is vital for understanding how the tropical coastal seascape may affect the global carbon cycle with climate induced temperature increases.

International Project Partner

Institute of Marine Sciences (IMS), Zanzibar, Tanzania