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Mangrove Restoration

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Mangrove forests are essential blue carbon stores. Worldwide, mangrove ecosystems have experienced widespread disturbance, mainly through the conversion to other land uses such as aquaculture. Conversion of mangrove ecosystems to alternative land uses results in significant loss of ecosystem carbon stocks. Mangrove restoration, including both revegetation and restoring natural tidal cycles, has been proposed as a promising natural climate solution to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and increase carbon storage in soils. However, the timescale and magnitude of carbon cycle changes after ecosystem restoration is highly uncertain due to a lack of measurements in these subtropical and tropical ecosystems. We are collaborating with researchers from Universidad de Especialidades EspĂ­ritu Santo, Scripps Institute of Oceanography, and the Environmental Defense Fund to characterize how mangrove carbon stocks, greenhouse gas emissions, and other important metrics of ecosystem health like water quality and biodiversity respond to restoration. This research focuses on field site in Ecuador, where mangroves are understudied relative to other regions.