Source and stability of soil carbon in mangrove and freshwater wetlands of the Mexican Pacific coast

Source and stability of soil carbon in mangrove and freshwater wetlands of the Mexican Pacific coast

Wetlands can store large quantities of carbon (C) and are considered key sites for C sequestration. However, the C sequestration potential of wetlands is spatially and temporally variable, and depends on processes associated with C production, preservation and export. In this study, we assess the soil C sources and processes responsible for C sequestration of riverine wetlands (mangroves, peat swamp forest and marsh) of La Encrucijada Biosphere Reserve (LEBR, Mexican south Pacific coast). We analysed soil C and nitrogen (N) concentrations and isotopes (d13C and d15N) from cores dated from the last century. We compared a range of mangrove forests in different geomorphological settings (upriver and downriver) and across a gradient from fringe to interior forests. Sources and processes related to C storage differ greatly among riverine wetlands of the Reserve. In the peat swamp forest and marsh, the soil C experienced large changes in the past century, probably due to soil decomposition, changes in plant community composition, and/or changes in C sources. In the mangroves, the dominant process for C accumulation was the burial of in situ production. The C buried in mangroves has changed little in the past 100 years, suggesting that production has been fairly constant and/or that decomposition rates in the soil are slow. Mangrove forests of LEBR, regardless of geomorphological setting, can preserve very uniform soil N and C for a century or more, consistent with efficient C storage.

Authors: Adame, M.F.; Fry, B.

Topic: soil,carbon,mangroves,wetlands,peatlands,swamps

Geographic: Mexico

Publication Year: 2016

ISSN: 0923-4861

Source: Wetlands Ecology and Management 2(24): 129-137

DOI: 10.1007/s11273-015-9475-6

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