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Carbon fluxes in mangrove – seagrass ecosystems

Project Description

Project Rationale:
Mangroves are an important and unique costal ecosystem. The carbon storage potential of mangrove and seagrass ecosystems is widely recognized [1]. However, less is known about the dynamics of carbon fluxes in a mangrove ecosystems, and how these may change at seasonal and longer time-scales, or through anthropogenic influences. There is also limited information on the carbon storage potential of seagrass meadows or the way in which seagrasses may capture and store organic carbon lost from nearby mangroves. Preliminary research in Belize by the supervisory team indicates that carbon from local mangroves may be captured by seagrasses and stored in sediments, along with carbon of local origin. Seagrass density, species composition and meadow proximity to mangrove-covered estuaries are likely factors controlling the capture - along with transport pathways through river plumes and tidal/coastal currents. The Belize study also indicates that the stored carbon may have been eroded from sediments in recent years - possibly due to land use changes or sea level rise, which in turn increase the exposure to wave erosion. A more extensive study is needed to establish patterns of spatial and temporal variability in carbon flux and storage and identify the key environmental factors that control these through mangrove/seagrass systems.

Funding Notes

You can apply for fully-funded studentships (stipend and fees) from INSPIRE if you:
Are a UK or EU national.
Have no restrictions on how long you can stay in the UK.
Have been 'ordinarily resident' in the UK for 3 years prior to the start of the project.

Please click View Website for more information on eligibilty and how to apply


[1] Duarte, C. M., Middelburg, J. J., & Caraco, N. (2004). Major role of marine vegetation on the oceanic carbon cycle. Biogeosciences discussions, 1(1), 659-679.
[2] Pastor-Guzman, J., Dash, J. , Atkinson, P.M. (2018): Remote sensing of mangrove forest phenology and its environmental drivers, Rem. Sens. Env., DOI: 10.1016/j.rse.2017.11.009

How good is research at University of Southampton in Earth Systems and Environmental Sciences?

FTE Category A staff submitted: 68.62

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