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A comprehensive assessment of mangrove species and carbon stock on Pohnpei, Micronesia

August 4, 2022

Mangrove forests are the most important ecosystems on Pohnpei Island, Federated States of Micronesia, as the island communities of the central Pacific rely on the forests for many essential services including protection from sea-level rise that is occurring at a greater pace than the global average. As part of a multi-component assessment to evaluate vulnerabilities of mangrove forests on Pohnpei, mangrove forests were mapped at two points in time: 1983 and 2018. In 2018, the island had 6,426 ha of mangrove forest. Change analysis indicated a slight (0.76%) increase of mangrove area between 1983 and 2018, contrasting with global mangrove area declines. Forest structure and aboveground carbon (AGC) stocks were inventoried using a systematic sampling of field survey plots and extrapolated to the island using k-nearest neighbor and random forest species models. A gridded or wall to wall approach is suggested when possible for defining carbon stocks of a large area due to high variability seen in our data. The k-nearest neighbor model performed better than random forest models to map species dominance in these forests. Mean AGC was 167 ± 11 MgC ha-1, which is greater than the global average of mangroves (115 ± 7 MgC ha-1) but within their global range (37–255 MgC ha-1) Kauffman et al. (2020). In 2018, Pohnpei mangroves contained over 1.07 million MgC in AGC pools. By assigning the mean AGC stock per species per area to the map, carbon stock distributions were visualized spatially, allowing future conservation efforts to be directed to carbon dense stands.

Citation Information

Publication Year 2022
Title A comprehensive assessment of mangrove species and carbon stock on Pohnpei, Micronesia
DOI 10.1371/journal.pone.0271589
Authors Victoria Woltz, Elitsa I. Peneva-Reed, Zhiliang Zhu, Eric L. Bullock, Richard A. MacKenzie, Maybeleen Apwong, Ken Krauss, Dean B. Gesch
Publication Type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Series Title PLoS ONE
Series Number
Index ID 70234229
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization Earth Resources Observation and Science (EROS) Center