Organic carbon burial rates in mangrove sediments: strengthening the global budget

Global Biogeochemical Cycles
By: , and 



Mangrove wetlands exist in the transition zone between terrestrial and marine environments and as such were historically overlooked in discussions of terrestrial and marine carbon cycling. In recent decades, mangroves have increasingly been credited with producing and burying large quantities of organic carbon (OC). The amount of available data regarding OC burial in mangrove soils has more than doubled since the last primary literature review (2003). This includes data from some of the largest, most developed mangrove forests in the world, providing an opportunity to strengthen the global estimate. First-time representation is now included for mangroves in Brazil, Colombia, Malaysia, Indonesia, China, Japan, Vietnam, and Thailand, along with additional data from Mexico and the United States. Our objective is to recalculate the centennial-scale burial rate of OC at both the local and global scales. Quantification of this rate enables better understanding of the current carbon sink capacity of mangroves as well as helps to quantify and/or validate the other aspects of the mangrove carbon budget such as import, export, and remineralization. Statistical analysis of the data supports use of the geometric mean as the most reliable central tendency measurement. Our estimate is that mangrove systems bury 163 (+40; -31) g OC m-2 yr-1 (95% C.I.). Globally, the 95% confidence interval for the annual burial rate is 26.1 (+6.3; -5.1) Tg OC. This equates to a burial fraction that is 42% larger than that of the most recent mangrove carbon budget (2008), and represents 10–15% of estimated annual mangrove production. This global rate supports previous conclusions that, on a centennial time scale, 8–15% of all OC burial in marine settings occurs in mangrove systems.
Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Organic carbon burial rates in mangrove sediments: strengthening the global budget
Series title Global Biogeochemical Cycles
DOI 10.1029/2012GB004375
Volume 26
Year Published 2012
Language English
Publisher American Geophysical Union
Publisher location Washington, D.C.
Contributing office(s) Southeast Ecological Science Center
Description 11 p.; GB3011
Larger Work Type Article
Larger Work Subtype Journal Article
Larger Work Title Global Biogeochemical Cycles
Google Analytic Metrics Metrics page
Additional publication details