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Asia-Pacific Network for Global Change Research

Asia-Pacific Network for Global Change Research

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Peer-reviewed publication

Assessing the Effect of Age and Geomorphic Setting on Organic Carbon Accumulation in High-Latitude Human-Planted Mangroves

Mangroves are highly productive blue carbon ecosystems that preserve high organic carbon concentrations in soils. In this study, particle size, bulk elemental composition and stable carbon isotope were determined for the sediment cores collected from the landward and seaward sides of two mangrove forests of different ages (M1, ca. 60; M2, ca. 4 years old) to determine the effects of geomorphic setting and age (L1 = old mangrove and S1 = salt marsh stand in M1; L2 = young mangrove and S2 = bare mudflat in M2) on sediments and organic carbon accumulation. The objective of this study was to determine the feasibility of the northernmost human-planted mangroves in China to accumulate sediment and carbon. Our results showed that fine-grained materials were preserved well in the interior part of the mangroves, and the capacity to capture fine-grained materials increased as the forest aged. The biogeochemical properties (C/N: 5.9 to 10.8; δ13C: −21.60‰ to −26.07‰) indicated that the local organic carbon pool was composed of a mixture of autochthonous and allochthonous sources. Moreover, the accumulation of organic carbon increased with the forest age. The interior part of the old mangrove had the highest organic carbon stock (81.93 Mg Corg ha−1). These findings revealed that mangrove reforestation had positive effects on sediments and organic carbon accretion.