Blue Carbon pp 23-36 | Cite as

Mangrove Forests

  • Daniel M. Alongi
Part of the SpringerBriefs in Climate Studies book series (BRIEFSCLIMATE)


Mangrove forests are composed of woody trees and shrubs living along many coasts within low latitudes. Mangroves sequester and store large quantities of blue carbon. Like salt marshes, mangroves actively and passively facilitate the capture and storage of sediment particles and associated carbon into soil horizons. Unlike salt marshes, above-ground biomass is significant and can be an important store for carbon if left uncut. About 75–95% of carbon in mangroves is stored as huge stocks below-ground in dead roots and soil. The rate of soil accretion averages 5.8 mm year−1 with a median of 3 mm year−1. Rates of carbon sequestration average 171 ± 17.1 g Corg m−2 year−1 with a median of 103 g Corg m−2 year−1. Global sequestration in mangroves equates to 14.2 Tg Corg year−1. There is no clear relationship with latitude as these rates are a function of interrelated factors such as tidal inundation frequency and forest age. Carbon stocks of mangroves average 761.4 ± 45.5 Mg Corg ha−1 with a median of 723.4 Mg Corg ha−1. The global carbon stock is estimated to be 10 Pg Corg. Mangrove deforestation results in a loss to the atmosphere of between 0.27 and 0.59 Pg CO2 equivalents year−1. These losses add another 5–11% to the most recent estimates of global deforestation.


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© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Daniel M. Alongi
    • 1
  1. 1.Tropical Coastal & Mangrove ConsultantsAnnandaleAustralia

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