Highlighted Articles

Rapid Losses of Surface Elevation following Tree Girdling and Cutting in Tropical Mangroves
This paper demonstrates the susceptibility of mangroves to rapid subsidence (with consequent enhanced vulnerability to sea level rise and erosion) and at least short-term carbon loss following relatively small-scale and controlled canopy removal.
Joseph Kipkorir Sigi Lang’at, James G. Kairo, Maurizio Mencuccini, Steven Bouillon, Martin W. Skov, Susan Waldron, Mark Huxham

Blue Carbon Library

Peer Reviewed Papers

  • Predicting global patterns in mangrove forest biomassFrom Abstract: Understanding spatial variation in carbon storage in natural habitats is critical for climate change mitigation efforts such as REDD. Terrestrial forests are being mapped with increasing accuracy, but the distribution of “blue carbon” in marine ecosystems remains poorlyJ. Hutchison, A. Manica, R. Swetnam, A. Balmfor & M. Spalding
  • Characterising the Spatial Structure of Mangrove Features for Optimizing Image-based Mangrove MappingFrom Abstract: Understanding the relationship between the size of mangrove structural features and the optimum image pixel size is essential to support effective mapping activities in mangrove environments. This study developed a method to estimate the optimum image pixel sizeM. Kamal, S. R. Phinn & K. Johansen
  • Towards understanding temporal and spatial dynamics of seagrass landscapes using time-series remote sensingFrom Abstract: The spatial and temporal dynamics of seagrasses have been well studied at the leaf to patch scales, however, the link to large spatial extent landscape and population dynamics is still unresolved in seagrass ecology. Traditional remote sensing approachesM. B. Lyons, S. R. Phinn & C. M. Roelfsema
  • An update to the Surface Ocean CO2 Atlas (SOCAT Version 2)From Abstract: The Surface Ocean CO2 Atlas (SOCAT), an activity of the international marine carbon research community, provides access to synthesis and gridded fCO2 (fugacity of carbon dioxide) products for the surface oceans. Version 2 of SOCAT is an update77 authors including N. J. Hardman-Mountford & B. Tilbrook
  • Mechanisms and ecological role of carbon transfer within coastal seascapesFrom Abstract: Worldwide, coastal systems provide some of the most productive habitats, which potentially influence a range of marine and terrestrial ecosystems through the transfer of nutrients and energy. Several reviews have examined aspects of connectivity within coastal seascapes, butG. Hyndes, I. Nagelkerken, R. McLeod, R. M. Connolly, P. Lavery & M. Vanderklift
  • Vegetation and soil characteristics as indicators of restoration trajectories in restored mangrovesFrom Abstract: We investigated the restoration trajectories in vegetation and soil parameters of monospecific Rhizophora mucronata stands planted 6, 8, 10, 11, 12, 17, 18, and 50 years ago (restored system). We tested the hypothesis that the changes in vegetationS. Salmo, N. Duke & C. E. Lovelock
  • Molecular indicators of chronic seagrass stress: a new era in the management of seagrass ecosystems?P. I. Macreadie, M. T. Schliep, M. A. Rasheed, K. Chartrand & P. J. Ralph
  • Variability in the Carbon Storage of Seagrass Habitats and Its Implications for Global Estimates of Blue Carbon Ecosystem ServiceFrom Abstract: The recent focus on carbon trading has intensified interest in ‘Blue Carbon’–carbon sequestered by coastal vegetated ecosystems, particularly seagrasses. Most information on seagrass carbon storage is derived from studies of a single species, Posidonia oceanica, from the MediterraneanP. S. Lavery, M. Mateo, O. Serrano, M. Rozaini
  • The role of coastal plant communities for climate change mitigation and adaptationFrom Abstract: Marine vegetated habitats (seagrasses, salt-marshes, macroalgae and mangroves) occupy 0.2% of the ocean surface, but contribute 50% of carbon burial in marine sediments. Their canopies dissipate wave energy and high burial rates raise the seafloor, buffering the impactsC. M. Duarte, I. J. Losada, I. E. Hendriks, I. Mazarrusa, N. Marba
  • Optimizing and managing coastal carbon: comparative sequestration and itigation opportunities across Australia’s landscapes and land usesFrom Abstract: This report summarises the ability of Australia’s coastal wetland ecosystems, particularly mangroves, saltmarsh and seagrass to capture and store carbon. Coastal carbon capture and storage was compared with carbon capture of Australia’s terrestrial ecosystems, including native forests, grasslands,A. Lawrence, E. Baker C. E. Lovelock
  • Quantifying and modelling the carbon sequestration capacity of seagrass meadows–a critical assessmentFrom Abstract: Seagrasses are among the planet’s most effective natural ecosystems for sequestering (capturing and storing) carbon (C); but if degraded, they could leak stored C into the atmosphere and accelerate global warming. Quantifying and modelling the C sequestration capacityP. I. Macreadie, M. E. Baird, S. M. Trevathan-Tackett, A. W. Larkum, & P. J. Ralph
  • Tracking the rapid loss of tidal wetlands in the Yellow SeaFrom Abstract: In the Yellow Sea region of East Asia, tidal wetlands are the frontline ecosystem protecting a coastal population of more than 60 million people from storms and sea-level rise. However, unprecedented coastal development has led to growing concernN. J. Murray, R. S. Clemens, S. R. Phinn, H. P. Possingham, & R. A. Fuller
  • Seasonal variability in carbonate chemistry and air–sea CO2 fluxes in the southern Great Barrier ReefFrom Abstract: There is presently little known about temporal variability in CO2 and carbonate chemistry (pH and aragonite saturation state (Ωarag)) in the Great Barrier Reef (GBR) region. In this study we investigated both the seasonal variability of the carbonateE. C. Shaw, B. I. McNeil
  • Interdependency of tropical marine ecosystems in response to climate changeFrom Abstract: Ecosystems are linked within landscapes by the physical and biological processes they mediate. In such connected landscapes, the response of one ecosystem to climate change could have profound consequences for neighbouring systems. Here, we report the first quantitativeM. L. Saunders, J. X. Leon, D. P. Callaghan, C. M. Roelfsema, S. Hamylton, C. J. Brown, T. Baldock, A. Golshani, S. R. Phinn, C. E. Lovelock, D. Hoegh-Guldberg, C. D. Woodroffe, & P. J. Mumby
  • Flexible C : N ratio enhances metabolism of large phytoplankton when resource supply is intermittentFrom Abstract: Phytoplankton cell size influences particle sinking rate, food web interactions and biogeographical distributions. We present a model in which the uptake, storage and assimilation of nitrogen and carbon are explicitly resolved in different-sized phytoplankton cells. In the model,D. Talmy, J. Blackford, N. J. Hardman-Mountford, L. Polimene, M. J. Follows, R. J. Geider
  • Elevated rates of organic carbon, nitrogen, and phosphorus accumulation in a highly impacted mangrove wetlandFrom Abstract: The effect of nutrient enrichment on mangrove sediment accretion and carbon accumulation rates is poorly understood. Here we quantify sediment accretion through radionuclide tracers to determine organic carbon (OC), total nitrogen (TN), and total phosphorus (TP) accumulation ratesC. J. Sanders, B. D. Eyre, I. R. Santos, W. Machado, W. Luiz-Silva, J. M. Smoak, J. L. Breithaupt, M. E. Ketterer, L. Sanders, H. Marotta, E. Silva-Filho
  • Transformation and fate of microphytobenthos carbon in subtropical, intertidal sediments: potential for long-term carbon retention revealed by 13C-labeling Limnology and OceanographyFrom Abstract: Microphytobenthos (MPB) in photic sediments are highly productive but the fate of this production remains uncertain. Over 33 d, tracing of 13C from added bicarbonate in subtropical shallow subtidal sand showed rapid transfer of MPB-derived carbon to deeperJ. M. Oakes, B. D. Eyre, J. J. Middelburg
  • Contribution of mangroves to coastal carbon cycling in low latitude seasFrom Abstract: The contribution of mangrove carbon to the coastal ocean in low latitudes was evaluated. Mangrove forests occupy only 2% of the world’s coastal ocean area yet they account for about 5% of net primary production, 12% of ecosystemD. M. Alongi, S. K. Mukhopadhyay
  • CO2 Efflux from shrimp ponds in IndonesiaFrom Abstract: The conversion of mangrove forest to aquaculture ponds has been increasing in recent decades. One of major concerns of this habitat loss is the release of stored ‘blue’ carbon from mangrove soils to the atmosphere. In this study,F. Sidik, C. E. Lovelock
  • ‘Blue carbon’ projects for the collective goodFrom Introduction: The benefits of coastal wetlands to coastal communities have been known for decades. But now these habitats (mangrove forests, tidal marshes and seagrass meadows) are being recognized for the high carbon stocks contained within them and their highC. E. Lovelock, R. R. J. McAllister
  • A blueprint for blue carbon: toward an improved understanding of the role of vegetated coastal habitats in sequestering CO2Recent research has highlighted the valuable role that coastal and marine ecosystems play in sequestering carbon dioxide (CO2). The carbon (C) sequestered in vegetated coastal ecosystems, specifically mangrove forests, seagrass beds, and salt marshes, has been termed “blue carbon”. AlthoughE. Mcleod, G. L. Chmura, S. Bouillon, R. Salm, M. Björk, C. M. Duarte, C. E. Lovelock, W.H. Schlesinger, B. R. Silliman
  • Contemporary rates of carbon sequestration through vertical accretion of sediments in mangrove forests and salt marshes of South East Queensland, AustraliaFrom Abstract: Mangrove forests and saltmarshes are important habitats for carbon (C) sequestration in the coastal zone but variation in rates of C sequestration and the factors controlling sequestration are poorly understood.We assessed C sequestration in Moreton Bay, South EastC. E. Lovelock, M. F. Adame, V. Bennion, M. Hayes, J. O. Mara, R. Reef, N. S. Santini
  • Variable effects of nutrient enrichment on soil respiration in mangrove forestsFrom Abstract: Background and Aims: Mangrove forests are globally important sites of carbon burial that are increasingly exposed to nutrient pollution. Here we assessed the response of soil respiration, an important component of forest carbon budgets, to nutrient enrichment overC. E. Lovelock, I. C. Feller, R. Reef, R. W. Ruess
  • Selecting Cost-Effective Areas for Restoration of Ecosystem ServicesFrom Abstract: Selection of areas for restoration should be based on cost-effectiveness analysis to attain the maximum benefit with a limited budget and overcome the traditional ad hoc allocation of funds for restoration projects. Restoration projects need to be plannedM. F. Adame, V. Hermoso, K. Perhans, C. E. Lovelock, and J. A. Herrera-Silveira
  • Tidal wetland stability in the face of human impacts and sea-level rise“Coastal populations and wetlands have been intertwined for centuries, whereby humans both influence and depend on the extensive ecosystem services that wetlands provide. Although coastal wetlands have long been considered vulnerable to sea-level rise, recent work has identified fascinating feedbacksKirwan, M.L. & Megonigal, J.P. (2013)
  • Predicting global patterns in mangrove forest biomassFrom Abstract: This paper synthesizes findings from a new review of mangrove biomass and productivity from 95 field studies and develops a climate based model for estimating mangrove above-ground biomass. By linking this global data on climate and mangrove distribution, this paper presents the first ever global map of predicted mangrove above-ground biomass.Hutchinson, J., Manica, A., Swetnam, R., Balmford, A., Spalding, M. Conservation Letters (2013).
  • Incorporating ecosystem services into the implementation of existing U.S. natural resource management regulations: Operationalizing carbon sequestration and storageFrom Abstract: Many agencies and organizations, including the U.S. federal government, are expressing interest in the measurement and valuation of ecosystem services. Specific guidance on whether and how to incorporate ecosystem services into federal activities remains scarce. This analysis examines three regulations that are important parts of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s mission to protect coastal habitats. The study concludes that incorporating carbon services into the implementation of existing environmental regulations could provide increased protection or restoration of coastal habitats.Sutton-Grier, A.E., Moore, A.K., Wiley, P.C., Edwards, P.E.T. Marine Policy (2013).
  • Estimating global “blue carbon” emissions from conversion and degradation of vegetated coastal ecosystemsFrom Abstract: This paper provides the first global impacts of carbon emissions that result from coastal ecosystem conversion, and also evaluates its economic implications. The paper estimates that 0.15-1.02 Pg (billion tons) of carbon dioxide are being released annually, resulting in economic damages of $US 6-42 billion annually.Pendleton, L., Donato, D.C., Murray, B.C., Crooks, S., Jenkins, W.A., Sifleet, S., Craft, C., Fourqurean, J.W., Kauffman, J.B., Marba, N., Megonigal, P., Pidgeon, E., Herr, D., Gordon, D., Baldera, A. PLos ONE 7:9, 1-7 (2012).
  • Whole-island carbon stocks in the tropical Pacific: Implications for mangrove conservation and upland restorationFrom Abstract: “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.”Donato, D.C., Kauffman, J.B., Mackenzie, R.A., Ainsworth, A., & Pfleeger, A.Z. Journal of Environmental Management. 97, 89-96 (2012).
  • Seagrass ecosystems as globally significant carbon stockThis paper compiles published and unpublished measurements of the organic carbon content of living seagrass biomass and underlying soils in 946 distinct seagrass meadows across the globe. It is estimated that, globally, seagrass ecosystems could store as much as 19.9 Pg organic carbon.Fourqurean, J.W., Duarte, C.M., Kennedy, H., Marba, N., Holmer, M., Mateo, M.A., Apostolaki, E.T., Kendrick, G.A., Krause-Jensen, D., McGlathery, K.J., & Serrano, O. Nature Geoscience. 1477: 1-5 (2012).
  • Temperate mangrove and salt marsh sediments are a small methane and nitrous oxide source but important carbon sourceFrom Abstract: “Tropical mangroves perform a critical role in the exchange and storage of terrestrial-marine carbon but can function as a source of methane and nitrous oxide. However, little is known of the biogeochemical processes in temperate mangrove and salt marsh systems in the southern hemisphere. In this study, the soil/sediment exchange of carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide was measured… along the Mornington Peninsula edge of Westernport Bay, Victoria, Australia.”Livelsley, S.J., & Andrusiak, S.M. Estuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science. 97, 19-27 (2012).
  • Global economic potential for reducing carbon dioxide emissions from mangrove lossFrom Abstract: Authors “consider the global economic potential for protecting mangroves based exclusively on their carbon.” Results show “that the majority of potential emissions from mangroves could be avoided at less than $10 per ton of CO2. Given the recent range of market price for carbon offsets and the cost of reducing emissions from other sources, this finding suggests that protecting mangroves for their carbon is an economically viable proposition.”Siikamaki, J., Sanchirico, J.N., Jardine, S.L. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. 109(36) 14369-14374 (2012).
  • Paleoreconstruction of estuarine sediments reveal human-induced weakening of coastal carbon sinksFrom Abstract: “We reconstructed the sedimentary records of cores taken from two sites within Botany Bay, Sydney – the site of European settlement of Australia – to look for human-induced changes in dominant sources of detritus in this estuary. Given the lower carbon burial efficiencies of microalgae (~0.1%) relative to seagrasses and C3 terres- trial plants (up to 10%), such changes represent a substantial weakening of the carbon sink potential of Botany Bay – this occurrence is likely to be common to human-impacted estuaries, and has consequences for the role these systems play in helping to mitigate climate change.”Macreadie, P.I., Allen, K., Kelaher, B.P., Ralph, P.J., Skilbeck, C.G. Global Change Biology 18, 891-901 (2012).
  • Salinity influence on methane emissions from tidal marshesFrom Abstract: The paper “used published and unpublished field data to investigate the relationships between tidal marsh methane emissions, salinity, and porewater concentrations of methane and sulfate, then used these relationships to consider the balance between methane emissions and soil carbon sequestration.”Poffenbarger, H.J., Needelman, B.A., & Megonigal, J.P. Society of Wetlands Scientists. 31: 831-842 (2011).
  • Mangroves among the most carbon-rich forests in the tropicsFrom Abstract: Data from this paper estimates emissions from mangrove deforestation. Results from this research reveal that “emissions range between 0.02-0.12 Pg carbon per year – as much as around 10% of emissions from deforestation globally, despite accounting for just 0.7% of tropical forest area.”Donato, D.C., Kauffman, J.B., Murdiyarso, D., Kurnianto, S., Stidham, M., & Kannimnen, M. Nature Geoscience. 4, 293-297 (2011).
  • CO₂ Efflux from Cleared Mangrove PeatThis paper concludes that deforesting mangroves that grow on peat soils results in CO₂ emissions that are comparable to rates estimated for peat collapse in other tropical ecosystems. Preventing deforestation presents an opportunity for countries to benefit from carbon payments for preservation of threatened carbon stocks.Lovelock, C.E., Ruess, R.W., & Feller, I.C. PLoS ONE. 6:6, 1-4 (2011).
  • A blueprint for blue carbon – toward an improved understanding of the role of vegetated coastal habitats in sequestering CO2“Recognition of the C sequestration value [of mangrove forests, seagrass beds and salt marshes] provides a strong argument for their protection and restoration… [Improved] scientific understanding of the underlying mechanisms that control C sequestration in these ecosystems is critical. This paper “identifies key areas of uncertainty and specific actions needed to address them.”Mcleod, E., Gail, C.L., Bouillon, S., Salm, R., Bjork, M., Duarte, C.M., Lovelock, C.E., Schlesinger, W.H., & Silliman, B. Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment. (2011)
  • Mapping of mangrove forest land cover change along the Kenya coastline using Landsat imageryFrom Abstract: The paper reviews the historic fluxes of mangrove distribution from 1985 to 2010 using Landsat satellite imagery and aerial photographs. “Landsat images proved adequate to detect changes in mangroves and revealed that Kenya shows rates of decline similar to (although slower than) global estimates.”Kirui, K.B., Kairo, J.G., Bosire, J., Viergever, K.M., Huxham, M., & Briers, R.A. Mapping of mangrove forest land cover change along the Kenya coastline using Landsat imagery. Ocean and Coastal Management. 10.1016/j.ocecoaman.2011.12.004.
  • Extinction risk assessment of the world’s seagrass speciesFrom Abstract: The focus of this paper is “to determine the risk of extinction for individual seagrass species… 14% of all seagrass species are at elevated risk of extinction. This species loss and degradation of seagrass biodiversity will have serious repercussions for marine biodiversity and the human populations that depend upon the resources and ecosystem services that seagrasses provide.”Short, F.T., Polidoro, B., Livingstone, S.R., Carpenter, K.E., Bandeira, S., Bujang, J.S., Calumpong, H.P., Carruthers, T.J.B., Coles, R.G., Dennison, W.C., Erftemeijer, P.L.A., Fortes, M.D., Freeman, A.S., Jagtap, T.G., Kamal, A.H.M., Kendrick, G.A., Kenworthy, W.J., La Nafie, Y.A., Nasution, I.M., Orth, R.J., Prathep, A., Sanciangco, J.C., van Tussenbroek, B., Vergara, S.G., Waycott, M., & Zieman, J.C. Biological Conservation. 144(7), 1961-1971 (2011).
  • Evaluating tidal marsh sustainability in the face of sea-level rise: A hybrid modeling approach applied to San Francisco BayFrom Abstract: This paper aims to answer whether existing and restored marshes will be resilient under a range of potential future conditions, and on prioritizing marsh restoration on conservation activities. Authors “recommend conserving adjacent uplands for marsh migration, redistributing dredged sediment to raise elevations, and concentrating restoration efforts in sediment-rich areas.”Stralberg, D., Brennan, M., Callaway, J., Wood, J.K., Schile, L.M., Jongsomjit, D., Kelly, M., Parker, V.T., Crooks, S. PLoS ONE. 6(11), 1-18 (2011).
  • Carbon payments for mangrove conservation: ecosystem constraints and uncertainties of sequestration potentialFrom Abstract: “Carbon payments… are dependent on the rate of carbon sequestration, not the size of carbon stocks… Large uncertainties in mangrove ecosystems must be factored into the design, timeframe and execution of Payment for Ecosystem Services (PES) and Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and forest Degradation (REDD+) schemes.”Alongi, D. Australian Institute of Marine Science. 14, 462-470 (2011).
  • Opportunities for reducing greenhouse gas emissions in tropical peatlandsThe paper discusses several opportunities for reducing greenhouse gas emissions from deforestation and degradation of tropical peatlands in Southeast Asia. Research is needed to identify how the carbon cycle is affected by peatland management and ecosystem rehabilitation measures, and researchMurdiyarso, D., Hergoulac’h, K., & Verchot, L.V. Opportunities for reducing greenhouse gas emissions in tropical peatlands. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. 107, 19655-19660 (2010).
  • The loss of species: Mangrove extinction risk and geographic areas of global concernFrom Abstract: “Mangrove forests provide at least US $1.6 billion each year in ecosystem services and support coastal livelihoods worldwide. Little is known about the effects of mangrove area loss on individual mangrove species and local or regional populations. To address this gap, species specific information data were compiled for each of the 70 known species of mangroves” to determine the level of threat to these species and project what this would mean for human populations that depend on them.Polidoro, B.A., Carpenter, K.E., Collins, L., Duke, N.C., Ellison, A.M., Ellison, J.C., Farnsworth, E.J., Fernando, E.S., Kathiresan, K., Koedam, N.E., Livingstone, S.R., Miyagi, T., Moore, G.E., Nam, V.N., Ong, J.E., Primavera, J.H., Salmo, III, S.G., Sanciangco, J.C., Sukardjo, S., Wang, J., Hong Yong, J.W. PLoS ONE. 5(4), 1-10 (2010).
  • Introduction to the special issue on climate change and Brazilian coastal zoneThis paper presents initial guidance on how Brazil can take first steps to mitigate the effects of climate change throughout the country’s coastline, discussing the potential for coastal wetlands to support Brazil in climate change adaptation strategies.Copertino, M.S., Garcia, A.M., Muelbert, J.H., & Garcia, C.A.E. Pan-American Journal of Aquatic Sciences. 5(2), I-VIII (2010).
  • Surface evolution and carbon sequestration in disturbed and undisturbed wetland soils of the Hunter estuary, southeast AustraliaFrom Abstract: “The aim of this work was to quantify the soil carbon storage and sequestration rates of undisturbed natural wetlands and disturbed wetlands subject to restriction of tidal flow and subsequent rehabilitation in an Australian estuary… The comparatively high carbon sequestration rates reported for the disturbed wetlands in this study indicate that wetland rehabilitation has positive benefits for regulation of atmospheric carbon concentrations, in addition to more broadly accepted ecosystem services.”Howe, A.J., Rodriguez, J.F., & Saco, P.M. Estuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science. 84, 75-83 (2009).
  • Centuries of human-driven change in salt marsh ecosystemsFrom Abstract: “[This paper] reviews historic and contemporary human activities in marsh ecosystems – exploitation of plant products; conversion to farmland, salt works, and urban land; introduction of non-native species; alteration of coastal hydrology; and metal and nutrient pollution… [Results] conclude that the best way to protect salt marshes and the services they provide is through the integrated approach of ecosystem-based management.”Bromberg Gedan, K., Silliman, B.R., & Bertness, M.D. Annual Review of Marine Science. 1, 117–141 (2009).
  • Accelerating loss of seagrasses across the globe threatens coastal ecosystemsFrom Abstract: This report gives a global assessment of seagrass loss, and finds “that seagrasses have been disappearing at a rate of 110 km2 yr_1 since 1980 and that 29% of the known areal extent has disappeared since seagrass areas were initially recorded in 1879.Waycott, M., Duarte, C.M., Carruthers, T.J.B., Orth, R.J., Dennison, W.C., Olyarnik, S., Calladine, A., Fourqurean, J.W., Heck, Jr., K.L., Hughes, A.R., Kendrick, G.A., Kenworthy, W.J., Short, F.T., & Williams, S.L. Procedings of the National Academy of Sciences. 106(30), 12377–12381 (2009)
  • The Charisma of coastal ecosystems: Addressing the imbalanceThis paper addresses the lack of scientific research being done on coastal wetlands – mangroves, tidal marshes and seagrasses – and argues for more effective communication of scientific knowledge to “inform and motivate effective management of these ecologically important coastal ecosystems.”Duarte, C.M., Dennison, W.C., Orth, R.J.W., Carruthers, T.J.B. Estuaries and Coasts. 31:233-238 (2008).
  • Coastal Ecosystem-based management with nonlinear ecological functions and valuesFrom Abstract: This paper “incorporates nonlinear wave attenuation in estimating coastal protection values of mangroves in Thailand” and shows the possibilities for integrating development and conservation to meet ecosystem-based management goals. “This result suggests that reconciling competing demands on coastal habitats should not always result in start preservation-versus-conversion choices.”Barbier, E., Koch, E.W., Silliman, B.R., Hacker, S.D., Wolanski, E., Primavera, J., Granek, E.F., Polasky, S., Aswani, S., Cramer, L.A., Stoms, D.M., Kennedy, C.J., Bael, D., Kappel, C.V., Perillo, G.M.E., & Reed, D.J. Science. 319, 321 (2008).
  • Mangrove forests: Resilience, protection from tsunamis, and responses to global climate changeFrom Abstract: “This review assesses the degree of resilience of mangrove forests to large, infrequent disturbance (tsunamis) and their role in coastal protection, and to chronic disturbance events (climate change) and the future of mangroves in the face of global change.”Alongi, D. Estuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science. 1-13 (2007).
  • China’s natural wetlands: Past problems, current status, and future challenges.Natural wetlands, occupying 3.8% of China’s land and providing 54.9% of ecosystem services, are unevenly distributed among eight wetland regions. This paper describes the current status of the natural wetlands in China, reviews past problems, and discusses current efforts and future challenges in protecting China’s natural wetlands.An, S., Li, H., Guan, B., Zhou, C., Wang, Z., Deng, Z., Zhi, Y., Liu, Y., Xu, C., Fang, S., Jiang J., & Li, H. Ambio. 36 (4), 335-342 (2007)
  • A Global Crisis for Seagrass EcosystemsFrom Abstract: Seagrasses provide many critical ecological services, but are currently being destroyed and degraded at alarming rates. “Reported seagrass losses have led to increased awareness of the need for seagrass protection, monitoring, management, and restoration… However, there is a critical need for a targeted global conservation effort.”Orth, R.J., Carruthers, T.J.B., Dennison, W.C., Duarte, C.M., Fourqurean, J.W., Heck, Jr., K.L., Hughes, A.R., Kendrick, G.A., Kenworthy, W.J., Olyarnik, S., Short, F.T., Waycott, M., & Williams, S.L. BioScience. 56(2), 987 (2006).
  • Whole-system metabolism and CO2 fluxes in a Mediterranean bay dominated by seagrass beds (Palma Bay, NW Med)Results of this paper suggest “that, on an annual scale in the whole Bay of Palma (Mallorca, Spain), the organic matter production by the Posidonia oceanica may not be sufficient to fully compensate the heterotrophy of the planktonic compartment, which may require external organic carbon inputs, most likely from land.”Gazeau, F., Duarte, C.M., Gattuso, J.P., Barron, C., Navarro, N., Ruiz, S., Prairie, Y.T., Calleja, M., Delille, B., Frankignoulle, M., & Borges, A.V. Biogeosciences. 2, 43-60 (2005).
  • Major role of marine vegetation on the oceanic carbon cycleThe paper reviews carbon burial estimates through various approaches to measuring carbon in the ocean. The paper also addresses the destruction of ocean ecosystems as important loss of CO2 sinks in the biosphere.Duarte, C.M., Middelburg, J.J., Caraco, N. Biogeosciences. 2:1-8 (2005).
  • Global carbon sequestration in tidal, saline wetland soilsFrom Abstract: The study estimates the amount of carbon stored globally in soils of salt marshes and mangrove swamps from 154 sites around the world. “Much attention has been given to the role of freshwater wetlands, particularly northern peatlands, as carbon sinks… Salt marshes and mangroves store more carbon per unit area.”Chmura, G.L., Anisfeld, S.C., Cahoon, D.R., & Lynch, J.C. Global Biogeochemical Cycles. 17:4, 1111 (2003).
  • Present state and future of the world’s mangrove forests“Mangroves are a valuable ecological and economic resource… [Their] destruction is usually positively correlated to human population density.” This paper discusses the current and likely future state of the world’s mangroves and what human populations can do to protect them.Alongi, D. Environmental Conservation. 29 (3): 331-349 (2002)
  • Mangrove forests: One of the world’s threatened major tropical environmentsFrom Abstract: “[This paper collates] published information to review the status of mangrove swamps worldwide.” The paper reviews the area of current mangrove forest, rates of loss, and human drivers of that loss.Valiela I, Bowen JL and York JK. Mangrove Forests: One of the World’s Threatened Major Tropical Environments. BioScience. 51(10), 807-815 (2001)


  • Coastal Blue Carbon Opportunity Assessment for the Snohomish Estuary: The Climate Benefits of Estuary RestorationThis report aims to: (1) inform policy makers of the scale of GHG emissions and removals associated with management of coastal lowlands under conditions of climate change; and (2) identify research needs to improve quantification of GHG fluxes with coastal wetlands management.Crooks, S., Rybczyk, J., O’Connell, K., Devier, D.L., Poppe, K., Emmett-Mattox, S. Report by Environmental Science Associates, Western Washington University, EarthCorps, and Restore America’s Estuaries (2014).
  • Blue carbon FAQsWhy does sound management of coastal ecosystems – key natural carbon sinks – matter for greenhouse gas emissions and global climate change? This document addresses some of the frequently asked questions about blue carbon.This document was produced by the International Blue Carbon Initiative
  • UNFCCC Workshop on technical and scientific aspects of ecosystems with high-carbon reservoirs not covered by other agenda items under the ConventionMeeting Report: The goal of the meeting was to update the SBSTA on the role of mangroves, tidal marshes, seagrass meadows, peatlands, and permafrost as viable climate change mitigation tools as well as significant sources of CO2 emissions.Jennifer Howard, Conservation International
  • Profiles in Blue Carbon Field WorkThis report presents a survey of blue carbon field projects found globally and analyzes them in order to establish baseline knowledge about the nature of such activities and how they might be relevant to climate change mitigation.Allison Bredbenner, Fellow, Conservation International
  • Protocols for the measurement, monitoring and reporting of structure, biomass and carbon stocks in mangrove forestsFrom Abstract: The purpose of this report is to provide ideas and approaches to accurately measure, monitor and report species composition and structure, aboveground biomass, and carbon socks of mangrove ecosystems.” The paper “outlines the rationale, design, field measurements, analysis and reporting for carbon assessments in mangrove systems. The approach can be generally applied to other types of wetland forests.Kauffman, J.B., & Donato, D.C. CIFOR, Bogor, Indonesia. Working Paper 86.
  • Mitigating climate change through restoration and management of coastal wetlands and near-shore marine ecosystems: Challenges and opportunitiesThis technical report highlights and analyzes “the important carbon sequestration potential of coastal wetlands and the significant and largely unaccounted for greenhouse gas emissions resulting from” degradation or destruction of coastal ecosystems.Crooks, S., Herr, D., Tamelander, J., Laffoley, D., & Vandever, J. Environment Department Papers, Marine Ecosystem Series. Paper 121 (2011).
  • State of the science on coastal blue carbon: A summary for policy makersFrom Summary: “This report examines the current science as it relates to [how coastal habitats sequester and store carbon, where on the planet carbon is stored in these habitats, how rapidly the habitat is being modified with a risk of carbon release, and the mechanisms and rate of carbon emissions that follow conversion]. In doing so, it aims to give policy makers a feel for what is known and unknown about coastal blue carbon.”Sifleet, S., Pendelton, L., & Murray, B. State of the science on coastal blue carbon: a summary for policy makers. Nicholas Institue for Environmental Policy Solutions Report. NI R 11-06 (2011)
  • Green Payments for Blue Carbon Economic Incentives for Protecting Threatened Coastal HabitatsFrom Abstract: This report examines the critical question of whether monetary payments for blue carbon can alter economic incentives to favor protection of coastal habitats. Like payments for REDD+, incentives to retain rather than emit blue carbon would preserve biodiversity as well as a variety of other ecosystem services at local and regional scales.Murray, B.C., Linwood, P., Jenkins, W.A., & Sifleet, S Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions Report. NI_R_11-04 (2011)
  • Addressing climate change adaptation and mitigation in tropical wetland ecosystems of IndonesiaFrom Abstract: “Tropical wetlands, especially peatlands and mangroves, are important in global carbon cycling… Standardized methods and protocols are needed for conservation and reduction of degradation to tropical wetlands. This is not only a sound mitigation approach, but is also an important adaptation strategy to climate change effects. Ecosystem-based or whole watershed approaches could provide the best options for communities to cope with changing climate conditions.”Murdiyarso, D., & Kauffman, J.B. CIFOR. Infobrief 41 (2011)
  • Carbon storage in mangrove and peatland ecosystems: A preliminary account from plots in IndonesiaFrom Abstract: The paper reviews total ecosystem carbon storage in mangrove ecosystems in North Sulawesi, Central Kalimantan and Central Java, Indonesia. Scientists assessed variations in mangrove carbon pools as well as their vulnerability to sea-level rise and land use.Murdiyarso, D., Donato, D., Kauffman, J.B., Kurnianto, S., Stidham, M., & Kanninen, M. Working Paper 48 (2009)
  • Blue carbon: The role of healthy oceans in binding carbonFrom Abstract: This report reviews the current rate of loss of coastal wetlands and argues that, “if we are going to tackle climate change, we need to recognize the role and the contribution of all the colours of carbon.”Nellemann, C., Corcoran, E., Duarte, C.M., Valdes, L., De Young, C., Fonseca, L., & Grimsditch, G. A Rapid Response Assessment. United Nations Environment Programme, GRID-Arendal. ISBN: 978-82-7701-060-1