Research team

Quantifying and modelling soil carbon accumulation in mangrove forests in response to sea level rise. 01/11/2019 - 30/04/2024


Mangrove forests are coastal wetlands with highly valued functions, including climate regulation by capturing atmospheric CO2 and storing it into soil organic carbon (SOC). Mangroves and their SOC accumulation function are at risk to be lost by sea level rise (SLR) by the end of the 21st century. Mangroves are known to have a certain capacity to adapt to SLR by raising their elevation via sediment and SOC accumulation. But present insights and models, allowing to estimate changes in SOC accumulation rates in response to future SLR scenarios, are poorly developed. Here we will conduct for the first time an integrated field and modelling study on feedbacks between rates of SLR, sediment and SOC accumulation in mangroves. This will be studied in the Guayas river delta in Ecuador. We will test the hypotheses that: (1) the adaptability of mangroves to SLR is governed by the strength of feedbacks between increasing tidal flooding, sediment and SOC accumulation rates; (2) the strength of these feedbacks depends on the location along the land-to-sea gradient within a delta, with mangroves in river-dominated parts of a delta having more capacity to accrete sediments and SOC in balance with SLR; while marine-dominated parts of a delta will be more vulnerable to mangrove drowning by SLR. This project will generate novel scientific insights that will feed the development of an innovative model to simulate how SOC accumulation in mangroves will respond to future SLR.


Research team(s)

Project type(s)

  • Research Project