Carbon stocks of intact mangroves and carbon emissions arising from their conversion in the Dominican Republic

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Mangroves are recognized to possess a variety of ecosystem services including high rates of carbon sequestration and storage. Deforestation and conversion of these ecosystems continue to be high and have been predicted to result in significant carbon emissions to the atmosphere. Yet few studies have quantified the carbon stocks or losses associated with conversion of these ecosystems. In this study we quantified the ecosystem carbon stocks of three common mangrove types of the Caribbean as well as those of abandoned shrimp ponds in areas formerly occupied by mangrove—a common land-use conversion of mangroves throughout the world. In the mangroves of the Montecristi Province in Northwest Dominican Republic we found C stocks ranged from 706 to 1131 Mg/ha. The medium-statured mangroves (3-10 m in height) had the highest C stocks while the tall (>10 m) mangroves had the lowest ecosystem carbon storage. Carbon stocks of the low mangrove (shrub) type (

DOI:
https://doi.org/10.1890/13-0640.1
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