Increased Carbon Storage In Diverse Mangrove Forests

Increased Carbon Storage In Diverse Mangrove Forests

Diverse Forests

A mangrove often consists of shrubs and small trees found in brackish water, which is otherwise called coastal saline. Mangrove forests reduce erosion by stabilising coastlines, thereby serving as a check to storm surges, waves and tides – factors that can easily fuel erosion. 

The root system of a mangrove forest prompts more wonder. Its intricate set up makes the forest look more attractive and serve as a fortress for possible prey from their predators. They grow on swamp soil and are mostly found in the coastal regions. Thus showing their salt tolerant tendencies.

These forests however have been discovered to house yet more wonders. They generate and conserve carbons. More in some forests than in the others though. 

A recent study revealed that mangrove forests that have a wider variety of animal and plant species successfully store more carbon than the more homogenous and biological ones. In fact, they yield a higher amount of biomass. 

Strong links have been established between forest health and biodiversity by a dozen and more studies in the last few decades. But none has specifically considered a biodiversity mangrove forest as a case study. 

For the survey, scientists considered recording the abundance of shrubs, trees and woody plants along the coast. The carbon specifications of each species would allow researchers to estimate how much carbon can be stored in these distinguishable lots of species. 

It is noteworthy to mention that biodiversity is not at all a random adventure. Scientists realised that the mangrove that possesses a higher level of soil nitrogen with a higher annual rainfall level had more chances of holding more biomass and higher biodiversity level. 

Over the years, the results from findings have suggested that mangrove forests with higher biodiversity levels possess greater carbon storage capacity and in fact, the potential to conserve these resources. 

Moreover, the conservation of mangrove biodiversity results in ensuring that Mangrove forests’ mitigation of climate change. Improving mangrove biodiversity by way of restoration and embarking on conservation projects is to do humanity more good. 

This explains why researchers are hopeful that their findings will persuade wildlife managers and policy makers to prioritize the care for the most diverse mangrove forests across all countries’ coastal regions. This is because, in developing countries especially, mangrove forests are easily and carelessly degraded by wildlife managers and this rash decision often paves the way for a punishment. Mostly through erosion. 

The need to preserve mangrove forests is not just to ensure the preservation of biodiversity in return. It stretches into increasing carbon storage potentials of these forests. 

As if boosting carbon storage is not enough, diverse mangrove forests (healthier forests) can as well better adapt to changes in climatic conditions. Also, they can prevent flooding, filter contaminants and protect coastlines when extreme weather threatens to destroy residential areas. 

To show how much importance mangrove forests can be, a recent survey was conducted and the results showed that, without a mangrove forest at all, close to 15 million people will become impacted by coastal floods.

Imagine when there are diverse mangrove forests in 15 thousand areas close to these people. They will not only be protected from flood, they will also seem informidable during extreme weather such as a hurricane. Not to mention the availability of at least 800 tons of carbon per acre. 

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