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CO2 efflux from cleared mangrove peat

TitleCO2 efflux from cleared mangrove peat
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2011
AuthorsLovelock, CE, Ruess, RW, Feller, IC
JournalPLOS One

Background: CO2 emissions from cleared mangrove areas may be substantial, increasing the costs of continued losses ofthese ecosystems, particularly in mangroves that have highly organic soils.Methodology/Principal Findings: We measured CO2 efflux from mangrove soils that had been cleared for up to 20 years onthe islands of Twin Cays, Belize. We also disturbed these cleared peat soils to assess what disturbance of soils after clearingmay have on CO2 efflux. CO2 efflux from soils declines from time of clearing from ,10 600 tonnes km22 year21 in the firstyear to 3000 tonnes km2 year21 after 20 years since clearing. Disturbing peat leads to short term increases in CO2 efflux(27 umol m22 s21), but this had returned to baseline levels within 2 days.Conclusions/Significance: Deforesting mangroves that grow on peat soils results in CO2 emissions that are comparable torates estimated for peat collapse in other tropical ecosystems. Preventing deforestation presents an opportunity forcountries to benefit from carbon payments for preservation of threatened carbon stocks.

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