Human impacts on methane emission from mangrove ecosystems in India
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This study deals with the emission of methane in relation to changing environmental conditions and human impact, in three mangrove ecosystems of south India. Time-varying fluxes of methane adopting the close chamber technique were used to estimate CH4 emission from an unpolluted site (Pichavaram mangroves) and two polluted sites viz. (1) Ennore Creek mangroves (affected by fertilizer effluents and crude oil discharges) and (2) Adyar estuary mangroves (affected by the discharges of organic and industrial wastes), covering monthly and seasonal variations. The results indicate annual average CH4 emissions of 7.4, 5.02 and 15.4 mg m−2 h−1 from the sediment–water interface of the Pichavaram, Ennore Creek and Adyar estuary respectively. Emission characteristics obtained at Pichavaram mangroves represent a natural variability with changing physico-chemical factors, whereas the emission characteristics at Ennore Creek and Adyar estuary mangroves show anthropogenic influence. Several environmental factors such as oxygen availability, organic matter, soil physical and chemical properties, in addition to human-mediated interventions have been identified as influencing emission rates in the mangrove ecosystems. Preliminary CH4 emission estimates for the mangrove ecosystems along the Indian sub- continent and the tropical and subtropical coastline of the world by linear extrapolation based on surface area range from 0.05 to 0.37 and 2.8 to 19.25 Tg CH4 year−1 respectively. Our results also highlight the impact of human activities on future emission of methane from the mangrove ecosystems.
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