Posts Tagged 'Rhizophoraceae'

Elevated carbon dioxide and reduced salinity enhance mangrove seedling establishment in an artificial saltmarsh community

The global phenomenon of mangrove encroachment into saltmarshes has been observed across five continents. It has been proposed that this encroachment is driven in part by rising atmospheric CO2 concentration and reduced salinity in saltmarshes resulting from rising sea levels enhancing the establishment success of mangrove seedlings. However, this theory is yet to be empirically tested at the community-level. In this study, we examined the effect of CO2 and salinity on seedling growth of two mangrove species, Aegiceras corniculatum and Avicennia marina, grown individually and in a model saltmarsh community in a glasshouse experiment. We found that the shoot (210%) and root (91%) biomass of the saltmarsh species was significantly greater under elevated CO2. As a result, both mangrove species experienced a stronger competitive effect from the saltmarsh species under elevated CO2. Nevertheless, A. marina seedlings produced on average 48% more biomass under elevated CO2 when grown in competition with the saltmarsh species. The seedlings tended to allocate this additional biomass to growing taller suggesting they were light limited. In contrast, A. corniculatum growth did not significantly differ between CO2 treatments. However, it had on average 36% greater growth under seawater salinity compared to hypersaline conditions. Avicennia marina seedlings were not affected by salinity. From these results, we suggest that although CO2 and salinity are not universal drivers determining saltmarsh–mangrove boundaries, it is likely that rising atmospheric CO2 concentration and reduced salinity associated with sea level rise will enhance the establishment success of mangrove seedlings in saltmarshes, which may facilitate mangrove encroachment in the future.

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Carbon budgets in coastal estuaries of the northwestern Gulf of Mexico under hydrologic control

Globally, estuaries are considered as important CO2 sources to the atmosphere. However, previous studies on estuarine carbon fluxes have mostly focused on temperate and high latitude regions, leaving a significant knowledge gap in subtropical and tropical estuaries. In addition, the drivers that cause large spatiotemporal variability in estuarine inorganic and organic carbon fluxes remain insufficiently explored. In this dissertation, carbon budgets in four northwestern Gulf of Mexico (nwGOM) estuaries along a climatic gradient, Lavaca-Colorado Estuary (LCE), Guadalupe Estuary (GE), Mission-Aransas Estuary (MAE), and Nueces Estuary (NE), were evaluated. All these estuaries, with annual CO2 emission ranging 2.7—35.9 mol·C·m-2·y-1, are moderate to strong CO2 sources. However, there was large spatiotemporal variability that corresponded to changes in hydrologic conditions. The two northern estuaries (LCE and GE), due to larger riverine discharges, had an order of magnitude higher CO2 emissions than the
southern estuaries (MAE and NE). In addition, episodic flooding made the entire regional CO2 fluxes differ significantly under dry (-0.7—20.9 mmol·C·m-2·d-1) and wet (11.6—170.0 mmol·C·m-2·d-1) conditions. A mass balance model for carbon budget predicted lateral transport of total organic matter (TOC) and dissolved inorganic carbon (DIC) from tidal wetlands, which accounted for ~95% and 70% of total TOC and DIC inputs to the open estuarine water, respectively. However, the loss of coastal saltmarsh-mangrove habitats due to sea level rise could result in ~1% per year decline in estuarine CO2 fluxes at the expense of decreasing lateral carbon transport. Finally, this dissertation suggested that the average estuarine CO2 flux from nwGOM was about 8 times higher than previously estimated North America estuarine CO2 flux. Additionally, flooding condition was estimated to elevate CO2 emission and lateral fluxes by 10 times in this region.

Continue reading ‘Carbon budgets in coastal estuaries of the northwestern Gulf of Mexico under hydrologic control’

Low CO2 evasion rate from the mangrove surrounding waters of Sundarban

Globally, water bodies adjacent to mangroves are considered sources of atmospheric CO2. We directly measured the partial pressure of CO2 in water, pCO2(water), and other related biogeochemical parameters with very high (1-min) temporal resolution at Dhanchi Island in India’s Sundarbans during the post-monsoon season. We used elemental, stable isotopic, and optical signatures to investigate the sources of dissolved inorganic carbon (DIC) and organic matter (OM) in these waters. Diel mean pCO2(water) was marginally oversaturated in creeks (efflux, 69 ± 180 µmol m−2 h−1) and undersaturated along the island boundary and in the main river (influx, −17 ± 53 and −31 ± 73 µmol m−2 h−1, respectively) compared to the atmospheric CO2 concentration. The possibility in earlier studies of over- or underestimating the CO2 flux because of an inability to capture tidal minima and maxima was minimized in the present study, which confirmed that the waters surrounding mangroves in this region can act as a sink or a very weak source of atmospheric CO2. δ13C values for DIC suggest a mixed DIC source, and a three-end-member stable isotope mixing model and optical signatures of OM suggest negligible riverine contribution of freshwater to OM. We conclude that the CO2 sink or weak source character was due to a reduced input of riverine freshwater [which usually has high pCO2(water)] and the predominance of pCO2-lean water from the coastal sea, which eventually increases the buffering capacity of the water as evidenced by the Revelle factor. Up-scaling the CO2 flux data for all seasons and the entire estuary, we propose that the CO2 evasion rate observed in this study is much lower than the recently estimated world average. Mangrove areas having such low emissions should be given due emphasis when up-scaling the global mangrove carbon budget from regional observations.

Continue reading ‘Low CO2 evasion rate from the mangrove surrounding waters of Sundarban’

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Ocean acidification in the IPCC AR5 WG II

OUP book