Researchers from Charles Darwin University (CDU) are currently finalising field methodologies necessary to undertake a comparative assessment of Green House Gas (GHG) flux from degraded seagrass and mangrove ecosystems in Trang Province, Thailand.
The research design involves utilising a photoacoustic gas monitor (an INNOVA 1412) capable of simultaneously measuring the concentration of 5 gases (plus water vapour) in-situ to assess carbon dioxide, nitrogen dioxide, methane, and ammonium (a non –green house gas but important as an indicator of nutrient enrichment) flux. The methodological design will enable both soil – atmosphere and water – atmosphere (i.e. when soils are inundated) exchange measurements to be ascertained. Research will compare degraded seagrass and mangrove ecosystems with healthy reference sites in an attempt to understand how degradation impacts rates of atmospheric GHG flux.
A one-week reconnaissance trip is scheduled for late February 2016 to coincide with fieldwork colleagues from NUS are undertaking. This trip will enable any logistical hurdles to be ironed out and relationships between CDU researchers and Thailand counterparts established in advance of an intensive two week field campaign to be conducted in June / July 2016.
It is hoped that by working in the same sites as our colleagues from NUS while collecting different but complementary data sets, research outputs will be strengthened contributing towards an improved overall understanding of carbon dynamics in these important ecosystems.
PhD Candidate / Project Manager CDU RIEL – UNEP GRID Arendal Blue Forests Project