‘Dirty Science’: Excavating the truth about mangroves and carbon

Mangrove science is dirty, but important to find out more about these unique ecosystems. Kate Evans/CIFOR

Mangrove science is dirty, but important to find out more about these unique ecosystems. Kate Evans/CIFOR

Chest-deep in brackish, tea-coloured water, a team of scientists wades into a towering mangrove forest in West Kalimantan, Indonesia.

It’s not the easiest place to do research. The trees are up to 25 metres tall and densely packed, with webs of entangled prop roots extending like skirts from each trunk. High tide floods the forest, while low tide means negotiating sucking mud and clouds of biting insects.

Nevertheless, the team from the Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR) and the Indonesian Government’s Forestry Research and Development Agency (FORDA) is committed to finding out more about this unique ecosystem.

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