Modeled approaches to estimating blue carbon accumulation with mangrove restoration to support a blue carbon accounting method for Australia

Publication Name

Limnology and Oceanography


The development and refinement of methods for estimating organic carbon accumulation in biomass and soils during mangrove restoration and rehabilitation can encourage uptake of restoration projects for their ecosystem services, including those of climate change mitigation, or blue carbon. To support the development of a blue carbon method for Australia under the Emission Reduction Fund scheme we investigated; (1) whether carbon accumulation data from natural mangroves could be used to estimate carbon accumulation during restoration; (2) modeling mangrove biomass accumulation; and (3) how modeled carbon accumulation could be achieved over heterogeneous sites. First, we assessed carbon accumulation in soil and biomass pools from the global literature, finding that estimating carbon accumulation using data from natural mangroves provided similar estimates as those for restored or rehabilitated mangroves. We assessed mangrove biomass accumulation from global chronosequence studies, which we used to develop regional models for estimating biomass accumulation with restoration in Australia using values from local natural mangroves. Estimating biomass carbon accumulation using site-based means of stand biomass provided similar estimates as values estimated through use of regional means values stratified by elevation; and reduced overestimates of biomass carbon accumulation that were based on regional mean values. Modeling soil carbon accumulation over environmentally heterogeneous project sites can apply a similar approach, stratifying over variation in site elevation. Our analysis provides a strategy for modeling blue carbon pools for an Australian blue carbon method that accommodates regional differences and is based on data from natural mangroves.

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