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Wildlife & Ecosystems

Managing Mangroves and Capturing Carbon in Kenyan Communities

Earthwatchers investigated how rehabilitation of mangrove forests can slow erosion and support marine life in Gazi Bay, Kenya.

Previously Funded Expedition

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The facts

Why the research is important

Why the research is important

Despite their importance, mangroves suffer one of the fastest rates of destruction of any habitat.

Fast-disappearing mangrove forests are key to the survival of coastal communities.

Mangrove forests provide coastal protection from storms and tsunamis, woodland resources, wildlife habitat, and carbon storage. Despite their importance, mangroves suffer one of the fastest rates of destruction of any habitat; over the past 50 years, approximately one-third of the world’s original mangrove forests have been lost. This has serious implications for local communities, which not only benefit from the woodland resources mangroves supply, but are also reliant on the fish that use the mangroves as nursery habitats and on the protection that they provide to coastlines in times of severe weather events. Hence the conservation and rehabilitation of mangroves is a global conservation priority.

Experimental mangrove nursery

Understanding mangrove ecology and restoration is an international conservation priority.

The Managing Mangroves and Capturing Carbon in Kenyan Communities project ran long-term, large-scale experiments that measured a range of ecosystem functions in replanted mangrove stands, and recorded data on which species survive and grow best in the harsh conditions of these restoration sites. This information was used to help with restoration efforts.

About the research area

Gazi Bay, Kwale District, Kenya, Africa

Daily life in the field

Itinerary

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The Scientists

MEET THE LEAD SCIENTIST

Mark
Huxham
Professor, Edinburgh Napier University

ABOUT Mark Huxham

Earthwatch scientist Dr. Mark Huxham studies ecosystem functions and fish community structure and manages a major coastal mangrove restoration in Kenya.

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