Vinod, K.; Asokan, P.K.; Zacharia, P.U.; Ansar, C.P.; Vijayan, G.; Anasukoya, A.; Kunhi Koya, V.A., and Nikhiljith, M.K., 2019. Assessment of biomass and carbon stocks in mangroves of Thalassery estuarine wetland of Kerala, south-west coast of India. In: Jithendran, K.P.; Saraswathy, R.; Balasubramanian, C.P.; Kumaraguru Vasagam, K.P.; Jayasankar, V.; Raghavan, R.; Alavandi, S.V., and Vijayan, K.K. (eds.), BRAQCON 2019: World Brackishwater Aquaculture Conference. Journal of Coastal Research, Special Issue No. 86, pp. 209-217. Coconut Creek (Florida), ISSN 0749-0208.
The mangrove ecosystems render many goods and services ranging from coastal protection to climate regulation. These ecosystems are also reservoirs of carbon stocks, due to their ability to sequester and store carbon in their biomass and the underlying sediment, and therefore significant in view of the climate change mitigation. The present study attempted to assess the biomass and carbon stock of mangroves of Thalassery estuarine wetland of Kerala, south-west coast of India. We assessed the carbon stocks of three carbon pools viz., above-ground, below-ground (root) and sediment. A total of eight species of mangroves were recorded from the Thalassery estuarine wetland, and of these, Avicennia officinalis was the dominant species with an average tree density of 729.37 individuals ha-1 and contributed most (45.05±23.79 t ha-1) to the total carbon. The overall mean above-ground biomass was 189.26±97.80 t ha-1, while the overall mean root biomass was 83.06±40.48 t ha-1. The estimated mean above-ground carbon was 94.63±48.90 t C ha-1, while the mean carbon stock in root and sediment were 41.53±20.24 t C ha-1 and 17.48±7.30 t C ha-1, respectively. In the present study, the estimates of mean combined C-stocks in mangrove and sediment showed that the mangroves of Thalassery estuarine wetland stored 153.64 t C ha-1 which was equivalent to 563.86 t CO2 ha-1. The mangroves of Thalassery wetland cover an area of approximately 5.8 ha and thus it can be assumed that this wetland has the potential to sequester and store 891.11 t C, equivalent to an estimated amount of 3270.37 t CO2. The study reinforces the importance of mangrove forests as useful carbon sinks and the need for protection of these critical habitats in the light of climate change mitigation.