PhD candidate, Australian Rivers Institute/Griffith University
Mangroves deliver a large number of services, such as coastal defense, climate regulation, water purification and fisheries. Occurring along the land-sea interface, mangroves are affected by terrestrial as well as marine environmental drivers. This project aims to develop an ecosystem health assessment framework that effectively integrates elements of terrestrial, riverine and marine assessment approaches.
Abstract: Management of forest carbon (C) stocks is an increasingly prominent land-use issue. Knowledge of carbon storage in tropical forests is improving, but regional variations are still poorly understood, and this constrains forest management and conservation efforts associated with carbon valuation mechanisms (e.g., carbon markets). This deficiency is especially pronounced in tropical islands and low-lying coastal areas where climate change impacts are expected to be among the most severe. This study presents the first field estimate of island-wide carbon storage in ecosystems of Oceania, with special attention to the regional role of coastal mangroves, which occur on islands and coastal zones throughout the tropics. On two island groups of Micronesia (Yap and Palau), we sampled all above- and belowground C pools, including soil and vegetation, in 24 sites distributed evenly among the three major vegetation structural types: mangroves, upland forests, and open savannas (generally on degraded lands formerly forested). Total C stocks were estimated to be 3.9 and 15.2 Tg C on Yap and Palau, respectively. Mangroves contained by far the largest per-hectare C pools (830-1218 Mg C ha(-1)), with deep organic-rich soils alone storing more C (631-754 Mg C ha(-1)) than all pools combined in upland systems. Despite covering just 12-13% of land area, mangroves accounted for 24-34% of total island C stocks. Savannas (156-203 Mg C ha(-1)) contained significantly lower C stocks than upland forests (375-437 Mg C ha(-1)), suggesting that reforesting savannas where appropriate has high potential for carbon-based funding to aid restoration objectives. For mangroves, these results demonstrate the key role of these systems within the broader context of C storage in island and coastal landscapes. Sustainable management of mangrove forests and their large C stocks is of high importance at the regional scale, and climate change mitigation programs such as REDD+ could play a large role in avoiding deforestation of mangroves where this is a management objective.
Pub.: 14 Feb '12, Pinned: 27 Jul '17
Abstract: Blue carbon refers to the considerable amounts of carbon sequestered by mangroves, seagrass beds, tidal marshes and other coastal and marine vegetated ecosystems. At the present time, carbon market mechanisms to compensate those conserving blue carbon ecosystems, and thus reducing carbon emissions, are not yet in place. The ecosystem services provided by coastal vegetated ecosystems extend beyond their carbon storage capacity, and include their contribution to fishery production; shoreline protection; provision of habitat for wildlife and migratory species; flood water attenuation; nutrient cycling, pollution buffering; as well as their cultural, spiritual, subsistence and recreational uses. Because these services are of high economic, social and cultural value, the management and protection of blue carbon ecosystems could build collaboration between climate change and biodiversity practitioners on the national and international level. Such collaboration would also allow for the transfer of lessons learned from coastal management and conservation activities to carbon mitigation projects, and would include the need to work closely together with indigenous peoples and local communities. Resulting management activities on the local level could utilize and strengthen traditional knowledge and management systems related to blue carbon ecosystems, and increase both the resilience of biodiversity and that of coastal communities, as well as provide for long-term storage of blue carbon. While the challenge of scaling up local initiatives remains, some concrete examples already exist, such as the network of locally-managed marine areas (LMMAs) in the Pacific and beyond.
Pub.: 10 Oct '13, Pinned: 27 Jul '17
Abstract: Mangrove forest rehabilitation should begin much sooner than at the point of catastrophic loss. We describe the need for “mangrove forest heart attack prevention”, and how that might be accomplished in a general sense by embedding plot and remote sensing monitoring within coastal management plans. The major cause of mangrove stress at many sites globally is often linked to reduced tidal flows and exchanges. Blocked water flows can reduce flushing not only from the seaward side, but also result in higher salinity and reduced sediments when flows are blocked landward. Long-term degradation of function leads to acute mortality prompted by acute events, but created by a systematic propensity for long-term neglect of mangroves. Often, mangroves are lost within a few years; however, vulnerability is re-set decades earlier when seemingly innocuous hydrological modifications are made (e.g., road construction, blocked tidal channels), but which remain undetected without reasonable large-scale monitoring.
Pub.: 10 Mar '16, Pinned: 27 Jul '17
Abstract: Creating protected areas (PAs) intended to counteract the effects of human activities on the environment is a significant step towards conserving coastal and marine ecosystems. Various countries have introduced legal mechanisms to create and manage their important ecosystems, such as mangroves. Despite the significance of evaluating the effectiveness of PAs, literature on the topic is scarce, especially pertaining to the mangrove ecosystems. Therefore, the present study intended to evaluate the management of a PA located in northeastern Brazil throughout the first decade of the current century (2003, 2006, and 2012). The management of the PA was considered inadequate, and the level of efficacy even declined progressively, although a slight improvement was recorded in 2006. The respective levels of effectiveness were 35%, 50%, and 15% for 2003, 2006, and 2012. The improvement recorded in 2006 was attributed to a new management plan and the ensuing environmental actions, such as monitoring and management programs, PA zoning, and others. The worst management performance was indicated for the following assessment parameters, namely, administrative matters (public administration), biogeographic characteristics, and threats. One of the main reasons for the low management effectiveness is that the mangrove PA is located in an urban area of one the most densely populated cities in Brazil, namely, Fortaleza, (7786 inhabitant/km2). The location has led to an increase in the number of threats to the PA and has strongly influenced the biogeographic characteristics. The urbanization in and around the area has resulted in the PA being isolated, with no connection to other ecosystems through ecological corridors. Both direct measures and strategic planning are required to facilitate continuous improvement of the management effectiveness of PAs. This strategy is imperative in countries with tropical ecosystems characterized by significant biodiversity, which is vulnerable to anthropogenic effects.
Pub.: 28 Mar '16, Pinned: 27 Jul '17
Abstract: The mangrove formations of Godavari estuary are due to silting over many centuries. The estuary covers an area of 62,000 ha of which dense Coringa mangrove forest spread in 6,600 ha. Satellite sensor data was used to detect change in the mangrove cover for a period of 12 years (1992-2004). It was found that an area of about 1,250 ha of mangroves was destroyed by anthropogenic interference like aquaculture, and tree felling etc. It was found that mangrove's spectral response/digital number (DN) value is much lower than non-mangrove vegetation such as plantation and paddy fields in SWIR band. By taking this as an advantage, spectral data was utilized for clear demarcation of mangroves from nearby paddy fields and other vegetation. Simpson's diversity index, which is a measure of biodiversity, was found to be 0.09, showing mangroves dominance. Ecological parameters like mud-flats/swamps, mangrove cover alterations, and biodiversity status are studied in detail for a period of 12 years. The increase in mangrove front towards coast was delineated using remote sensing data. The major advantages of remote sensing data is monitoring of change periodically. The combination of moderate and high-resolution data provided detailed coastal land use maps for implementing coastal regulation measures. The classification accuracy has been achieved is 90%. Overall, simple and viable measures are suggested based on multi-spectral data to sustain this sensitive coastal ecology.
Pub.: 09 Mar '07, Pinned: 27 Jul '17
Abstract: Due to increasing recognition of the benefits provided by mangrove ecosystems, protection policies have emerged under both wetland and forestry programs. However, little consistency remains among these programs and inadequate coordination exists among sectors of government. With approximately 123 countries containing mangroves, the need for global management of these ecosystems is crucial to sustain the industries (i.e., fisheries, timber, and tourism) and coastal communities that mangroves support and protect. To determine the most effective form of mangrove management, this review examines management guidelines, particularly those associated with Integrated Coastal Zone Management (ICZM). Five case studies were reviewed to further explore the fundamentals of mangrove management. The management methodologies of two developed nations as well as three developing nations were assessed to encompass comprehensive influences on mangrove management, such as socioeconomics, politics, and land-use regulations. Based on this review, successful mangrove management will require a blend of forestry, wetland, and ICZM programs in addition to the cooperation of all levels of government. Legally binding policies, particularly at the international level, will be essential to successful mangrove management, which must include the preservation of existing mangrove habitat and restoration of damaged mangroves.
Pub.: 16 Apr '15, Pinned: 27 Jul '17