Carbon Storage in Mangrove and Peatland Ecosystems: A Preliminary Account from Plots in Indonesia
This 2009 report summarizes a study by the authors in Indonesia that measured the above and below ground carbon storage of mangrove ecosystems in North Sulawesi, Central Kalimantan and Central Java.
The issue is vital because in Southeast Asia, the conversion rates of mangrove to other land uses, such as shrimp farms and settlements, are among the highest for any forest type. Furthermore, the conversion of peat swamp forests to oil palm and pulp wood plantations and associated fires have been the main sources of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in the region in the past decade.
The study found that mangrove ecosystems’ carbon storage is exceptionally high, with belowground pools comprising much of it. One threat is sea level rise: Projected rates are much higher than typical mangrove sediment accrual rates, suggesting a high susceptibility and a potential positive climate feedback through the loss of carbon stocks. The combination of very high carbon stocks, susceptibility to land use activities and many ecosystem services, they found, makes tropical mangroves ideal candidates for REDD+.