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La mangrove est une forêt qui couvre environ 75 % des littoraux tropicaux

Mangrove Forest’s Carbon Cycle

Study on the capacity of mangroves in the Indo-Pacific region to fix CO2

The Air Liquide Foundation is renewing its support for IRD and its project to conduct a full analysis of the carbon cycle of mangrove forests in New Caledonia, New Zealand, and Vietnam.


Etude sur la capacité des mangroves du Sud Vietnam à fixer le CO2

The mangrove’s essential role in the carbon cycle

The mangrove forest covers around 75% of the tropical coastline. It has an ecological role because it protects the coastline from erosion, an economic role thanks to the fishing activity it hosts, and a sociological role for coastal populations. It also has an essential role in the carbon cycle due to its ability to transform the CO2 in the atmosphere into organic matter and store it in its soil full of water. However, a precise analysis of the mangrove forest's ecosystem has never been undertaken. Thus, the IRD has set itself the mission of preparing a complete analysis of the mangrove forest's carbon cycle in three regions with different climates and different levels of biodiversity.

The mangrove observatory

Having set mangrove observatories in New Caledonia, New Zealand, and Vietnam, IRD is comparing these three regions and defining scenarios for a possible change in the mangrove's capacity to store greenhouse gases. To complete its work quantifying the carbon stored, IRD wants to:

  • qualify this carbon, i.e. to better understand the origin of CO2 transfers measured in the mangrove forest;
  • identify the respective influences of the mangrove trees, algae, and the decomposition of organic matter in the soil on the mangrove forest's carbon footprint.

IRD favors carbon 13 isotope analysis in the mangrove forest itself, as the carbon 13 concentration is a signature of the carbon's origin. This study begins in the mangrove forests of New Zealand, which have the unique characteristic of hosting just one species of tree and, contrary to the global trend, to be growing. The carbon 13 isotope analysis will also be carried out in New Caledonia and Vietnam.

Support for research on the CO₂ budget of the mangrove in New Caledonia

The contribution of the Air Liquide Foundation

The Air Liquide Foundation is helping to buy a device for analyzing the carbon 13 isotope and its accessories. The Foundation's grant amounts to €50,000. This contribution follows initial support for IRD in 2010 and 2011, for a research project on the mangrove in New Caledonia and in Vietnam.


  • Project initiator: Institut de Recherche pour le Développement (IRD)
  • Location: New Caledonia, New Zealand, and Vietnam
  • Year of support: 2015
  • R&D manager: Tracey Jacksier, Air Liquide Delaware Research Technical Center, USA
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