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From sinks to sources: vulnerability of mangrove soils as carbon sinks in the face of global climate change

Grant number: 21/00221-3
Support type:Scholarships in Brazil - Post-Doctorate
Effective date (Start): September 01, 2021
Effective date (End): August 31, 2023
Field of knowledge:Physical Sciences and Mathematics - Geosciences
Principal researcher:Tiago Osório Ferreira
Grantee:Hermano Melo Queiroz
Home Institution: Escola Superior de Agricultura Luiz de Queiroz (ESALQ). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). Piracicaba , SP, Brazil


Mangroves are coastal ecosystems widely recognized for its provided ecosystem services, for instance, global warming mitigation, which led to the creation of Blue Carbon term. However, this ecosystem is among the most impacted by extreme weather events (increased hotter or colder days frequency, lower rainfall, and inputs freshwater in estuarine regions). These impacts may affect short-term the soil C dynamics, however, the long-term effects in relation to the biogeochemical processes that control the storage soil carbon of these ecosystems and which may be affected by climate change are still scarce. In Brazil, in the Southeast region, a temperature increases from 4-7 ° C to 2200 due to climate changes is expected, leading to lower rainfall and greater drought events. These predicted scenarios may, for instance, alter the biogeochemical characteristics (e.g., reducing conditions, which result in low decomposition of organic matter) in mangrove soils, which is one of the most important mechanisms accountable for the C accumulation in the soil from these ecosystems. Thus, this study aims to evaluate the effects of lower rainfall, increased salinity, and increased temperature on soil organic matter mineralization, contents and stocks of soil organic C, and greenhouse gas emissions from mangrove soils using an experimental approach (mesocosms and field experiment). Furthermore, it will be observed how possible changes in the geochemical environment and in the mineral phase of soil affect the soil organic matter stability and the soil microbial communities in response to increased temperatures, lower rainfall rates, and increased salinity. (AU)

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