Changes in mangrove carbon stocks associated with natural die-off

Supervisors: Lalao Aigrette, Trevor Jones 
Location: desk/field (Madagascar)
Duration: min 6 months

Madagascar’s west coast includes approximately 213,000 hectares of mangrove ecosystems, which sequester significant amounts of carbon dioxide, support high levels of biodiversity and provide vital goods and services to increasingly poor and vulnerable coastal communities. Despite their importance, Madagascar’s mangroves are  being rapidly overexploited resulting in widespread anthropogenic degradation and deforestation.

While the impact of anthropogenic activities on mangrove ecosystems is rising, natural forest succession and phenomena also play a prominent role in forest loss. The Blue Forests project continues to estimate above- and below-ground carbon stocks in Madagascar’s primary mangrove ecosystems and is establishing a network of measurement plots in both naturally and human degraded and deforested areas.

This desk/field based project involves analysing and comparing existing measurements from a variety of different mangrove ecosystem types and conditions. In addition,  the project will involve augmenting existing data-sets to facilitate comparisons of carbon stock values from measurement plots exhibiting different stages of natural die-off. The project helps fill a critical knowledge gap and directly enhances a growing understanding of natural mangrove dynamics.