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J. Mar. Sci. Eng. 2015, 3(3), 793-820; doi:10.3390/jmse3030793

The Dynamics, Ecological Variability and Estimated Carbon Stocks of Mangroves in Mahajamba Bay, Madagascar

1
Blue Ventures Conservation, Villa Bella Fiharena, Rue Gambetta, Lot 259, Toliara 601, Madagascar
2
Dynamic Ecosystems and Landscapes Lab, Department of Environmental Science and Management, Portland State University, Portland, OR 97207, USA
3
Department of Forestry, University of Antananarivo, PO Box 175, Antananarivo 101, Madagascar
4
The Song Saa Foundation 108 e1, Street 19, Phnom Penh 12206, Cambodia
5
United States Geological Survey, Earth Resources Observation and Science Center, Duke University, Durham, NC 27708, USA
6
Catholic Institute of Arts and Crafts, 75 Avenue de Grande Bretagne, Toulouse 313000, France
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Joseph M. Smoak
Received: 30 May 2015 / Accepted: 29 July 2015 / Published: 4 August 2015
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biogeochemical Cycles in Mangrove Forests)
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Abstract

Mangroves are found throughout the tropics, providing critical ecosystem goods and services to coastal communities and supporting rich biodiversity. Globally, mangroves are being rapidly degraded and deforested at rates exceeding loss in many tropical inland forests. Madagascar contains around 2% of the global distribution, >20% of which has been deforested since 1990, primarily from over-harvest for forest products and conversion for agriculture and aquaculture. While historically not prominent, mangrove loss in Madagascar’s Mahajamba Bay is increasing. Here, we focus on Mahajamba Bay, presenting long-term dynamics calculated using United States Geological Survey (USGS) national-level mangrove maps contextualized with socio-economic research and ground observations, and the results of contemporary (circa 2011) mapping of dominant mangrove types. The analysis of the USGS data indicated 1050 hectares (3.8%) lost from 2000 to 2010, which socio-economic research suggests is increasingly driven by commercial timber extraction. Contemporary mapping results permitted stratified sampling based on spectrally distinct and ecologically meaningful mangrove types, allowing for the first-ever vegetation carbon stock estimates for Mahajamba Bay. The overall mean carbon stock across all mangrove classes was estimated to be 100.97 ± 10.49 Mg C ha−1. High stature closed-canopy mangroves had the highest average carbon stock estimate (i.e., 166.82 ± 15.28 Mg C ha−1). These estimates are comparable to other published values in Madagascar and elsewhere in the Western Indian Ocean and demonstrate the ecological variability of Mahajamba Bay’s mangroves and their value towards climate change mitigation. View Full-Text
Keywords: Madagascar; mangrove; carbon; Landsat; dynamics; coastal; Payments for Ecosystem Services (PES) Madagascar; mangrove; carbon; Landsat; dynamics; coastal; Payments for Ecosystem Services (PES)
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Jones, T.G.; Ratsimba, H.R.; Ravaoarinorotsihoarana, L.; Glass, L.; Benson, L.; Teoh, M.; Carro, A.; Cripps, G.; Giri, C.; Gandhi, S.; Andriamahenina, Z.; Rakotomanana, R.; Roy, P.-F. The Dynamics, Ecological Variability and Estimated Carbon Stocks of Mangroves in Mahajamba Bay, Madagascar. J. Mar. Sci. Eng. 2015, 3, 793-820.

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