Biomass and carbon stocks in mangrove stands of Kadalundi estuarine wetland, south-west coast of India


Mangroves are keystone ecosystems which provide numerous environmental services. Mangroves assume significance as standing stores of sequestered atmospheric carbon and are therefore, important in the light of climate change mitigation. In this study, we attempted to assess the biomass of mangroves in the Kadalundi wetland, south-west coast of India and evaluated the potential of these mangroves to sequester and store carbon. The C-stocks of above-ground and root biomass were 83.32±11.06 t C ha-1 and 34.96±4.30 t C ha-1 respectively, while the C-stock in sediment was estimated to be 63.87±8.67 t C ha-1. The estimates of mean combined C-stocks in the mangrove biomass and sediment of Kadalundi shows that this estuarine mangrove wetland stored 182.15 t C ha-1, which was equivalent to 668.48 t CO2 ha-1. The mangroves which cover an area of 13.23 ha in the Kadalundi wetland is assumed to have a potential to sequester and store a substantial quantity of 2,409.84 t C which is equivalent to 8,844.11 t CO2. The study underscores the importance of these intertidal forests for climate change mitigation and stresses the importance of protecting the mangroves which provide many other important ecosystem services that benefit communities.