Wednesday, April 06, 2011

Mangroves - Worth Loving for Carbon Storage

Mangroves have been under threat as mankind increasingly lives near the water's edge - especially the saltwater edge!

Maybe recent events such as earthquakes and tsumanis might encourage a rethink living on the edge of the sea, but for now, many areas of mangroves are torn out for development - of various kinds.

One school of thought even suggests that their prsence along coastlines mitigates cyclonic storm surges and related events, preventing considerable damage, even some distance inland. I recall comments about several major storms in Asia where more damage occurred than might be expected due to the removal of protection from mangroves, torn out for aquaculture development.

Land developers commonly remove mangroves to develop canal estates too.

Some recent scientific research on tropical mangrove trees show they are better at storing carbon dioxide than most other forests, and cutting them down unleashes more greenhouse gas than deforestation elsewhere.
Mangroves are so efficient at keeping carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere that when they are destroyed, they release as much as 10 per cent of all emissions worldwide attributable to deforestation - even though mangroves account for just 0.7 per cent of the tropical forest area, according to some new research.

Daniel Donato, of the
US Agriculture Department's Forest Service and lead author of a study published in the journal Nature Geoscience, says mangroves store two to four times the carbon that tropical rainforests do. "Mangroves store a lot of carbon, much more so than most forests on Earth, on a per hectare basis," says Donato. "Since they store so much carbon, there's probably a lot being released from all the mangrove deforestation that's going on."

Yes, if you live near the coast you tend to dislike the mangroves - the source of mosquitoes and sand flies, midges and related biting insects.

Maybe it is better you protect yourself, and leave the mangroves to store carbon and protect us from natural disasters. provides more details.

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