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Research Report

Protocols for the measurement, monitoring and reporting of structure, biomass and carbon stocks in mangrove forests

J. Boone Kauffman
Daniel C. Donato
Copyright Date: Jan. 1, 2012
Pages: 50
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Table of Contents

  1. (pp. 1-10)

    Mangroves are defined as an association of halophytic trees, shrubs and other plants growing in brackish to saline tidal waters of tropical and subtropical coastlines (Mitsch and Gosselink 2007). Mangroves are generally restricted to the tidal zone. As such, mangroves in fringe areas will be inundated by practically all high tides, while those at the higher topographic boundaries may be flooded only during the highest of tides (spring tides) or during storm surges. Mangroves are typically found along tropical and subtropical coastlines between about 25° N and 25° S.

    Globally, there are at least 68 mangrove-obligate species. The centre of...

  2. (pp. 11-20)

    Mangroves have many unique features that must be considered in project design. They often have extremely high stem densities with abundant prop roots and/or pneumatophores (figures 1 and 2). Mangroves are frequently dissected by tidal channels that are difficult to cross, especially at high tides. These and a number of other hazards limit mobility and create safety concerns.

    Most mangroves are also subject to semidiurnal tidal cycles and can only be sampled during low tides, limiting both the timing and duration of the sampling, especially for components on the forest floor. In the lowest elevation mangroves, sampling may be limited...

  3. (pp. 21-32)

    To determine the carbon pool of aboveground components, it is necessary to first determine the biomass of each component of the forest (e.g. large trees, small trees, palms, downed wood, etc.; Figure 4). Carbon pools of aboveground biomass are then determined by multiplying the biomass of individual components by their specific carbon concentration (percentage). To determine the carbon concentration of aboveground biomass, samples of each component can be analysed via dry combustion (i.e. using an elemental analyser). If this is not practical, published carbon concentrations may be used. For example, Kauffman et al. (2011) reported the carbon concentration of the...

  4. (pp. 33-36)

    The final and perhaps most important steps in the inventory are presentation and publication of results in an interpretable manner. Reporting may be as simple as presenting the species composition, biomass and ecosystem carbon pool (aboveground and belowground), as in Figure 3. In contrast, where long-term baselines are needed, it may be desirable to partition the biomass and carbon pools by ecosystem components (figures 4 and 22). Partitioning the ecosystem into components based on forest structure and soil depth is especially important for interpretation of long-term or permanent plots, where objectives include quantifying changes in ecosystem structure and carbon pools...