Mangrove forests hold some of the highest densities of carbon recorded in any ecosystem, but have experienced widespread deforestation through conversion to aquaculture and agriculture. Alongside deforestation, mangroves have shown simultaneous natural expansion in some parts of the world, and considerable investments have been made into restoration programmes. Here we estimate net changes in the global mangrove carbon stock due to land cover change between 1996 and 2016, using data on mangrove deforestation and forestation, and proportional changes in carbon stock during processes of mangrove loss and gain. The global mangrove carbon stock declined by 158.4 Mt (95% CI = −156.8–525.9 Mt); a reduction of 1.8% of the stock present in 1996. Efforts to conserve and restore mangroves appear to have had some success, and - along with natural forestation - have contributed to relatively low net losses of mangrove carbon stocks over two decades.
- Carbon credits
- Climate change