Thanks to advice and support of Prof. Cath Lovelock, a member of the Blue Forests Carbon Scientific and Technical Advisory Panel, the Madagascar intervention recently installed the first mangrove Rod Surface Elevation Tables (RSETs) in Africa. We are using RSETs to work out two key things:
- to identify the vulnerability of the mangroves at our northwest pilot site to sea level rise. By using the RSETs to monitor intertidal surface-elevation trajectories, particularly in intact forests, the future vulnerability of these forests can be predicted by analysing results with respect to regional rates of sea level rise.
- to study changes in sediment elevation following mangrove deforestation for charcoal production. This will allow us to ascertain the level of sediment compaction and erosion following deforestation. Analysis of data from RSETs in both intact and recently deforested mangroves, along with carbon data from soil cores already collected from these plots, will allow us to estimate the amount of carbon lost from the soil following deforestation.
What’s involved in installing an RSET? See this video for a comical look at the process.
We completed this field work at the start of the rainy season, which is the hottest time of year in the one of the hottest parts of Madagascar! Needless to say, it was sweaty but satisfying work.
By Leah Glass, Blue Ventures