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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

Scenario‑based quantifcation of land‑use changes and its impacts on ecosystem services: A case of Bhitarkanika mangrove area, Odisha, India

Mangrove habitats play a vital role in balancing the coastal ecosystems by providing an array of provisioning, regulating, cultural, and supporting ecosystem services. Despite several conservation measures taken to protect mangroves, they have been facing economic, socio-environmental, and climatic threats. There is a need to quantify the mangroves’ ecosystem services (ES), especially in developing and under-developed nations, to fasten up mangrove conservation. To address this issue, in the present study, we quantified the ES of the mangroves in Odisha State on the eastern coast of India. And we projected the changes in ES according to the plausible future land-use changes using scenario analysis. The plausible future scenarios (by 2030) have been generated based on the participatory surveys and key informant interviews from the stakeholders in the region. The scenarios encompass socio-economic development, infrastructural development, mangrove conservation, agriculture and aquaculture expansion, and climate change. Coastal blue carbon sequestration, sediment retention and export, and nutrient export were quantified using the InVEST (Integrated valuation of ecosystem services and trade-ofs) model. Results indicate that disturbances to mangrove forests in Odisha can emit 2.16 Tg C back into the atmosphere by 2030. In an optimistic scenario, mangroves can sequester 1.55 Tg C from the atmosphere. An increase in mangrove and green cover has reduced sediment and nutrient export by a maximum of 24.9% and  7.6%, respectively. The findings will help in evidence-based decision-making about the socio-environmental systems comprising sensitive mangrove ecosystems.