ASSESSMENT AND COMPARISON OF RECOVERY OF BIODIVERSITY AND CARBON SEQUESTRATION IN PHILIPPINE MANGROVES AMONG NATURAL, REPLANTED AND NATURALLY RECOLONIZED MANGROVE STANDS (MANCORE)
Using Environmental DNA (eDNA) Metabarcoding Technology to study Philippine Mangroves
Mangroves are one of the most valuable ecosystems in the Philippines. They provide economic and environmental benefits like timber, fuel, and medicines, as well as help in regulating floods and erosion from the uplands. They also protect coastal communities from strong winds, storms, and tsunamis. Mangroves also have a high potential in mitigating climate change through carbon sequestration. The Philippines is one of the countries in the world with a high number of mangrove species.
The extent to which the mangrove ecosystem can provide ecosystem services depends on its spatial extent, health, and forest development. Mangroves are no stranger to changes that have occurred through time due to changing priorities in Philippine environment and development projects. They have been deforested, replanted, and restored in various parts of the country. The ability of mangroves to sequester carbon and support biodiversity is affected by its environment and whether they are natural, replanted, or naturally-recolonized.
The project “Assessment and comparison of recovery of biodiversity and carbon sequestration in Philippine mangroves among natural, replanted and naturally recolonized mangrove stands” funded by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine through the Partnerships for Enhanced Engagement in Research (PEER) from 2021-2023 aims to compare carbon sequestration, burial, sources, greenhouse gas emissions, and biodiversity among intact, replanted, and mangrove-recolonized fishponds. The project will conduct biodiversity assessments through the use of environmental DNA (eDNA) technology, pioneering efforts on studies of restoration ecology in Philippine mangroves.
The project will conduct technical research in collaboration with communities. The studies resulting from the project collaborations will be translated into policy briefs and infographics to improve mangrove research and management at the local and national level in the Philippines. Fishers, youth, women, local schools, and local government officials are important collaborators in the project and will benefit the most from local policies that will help sustain mangrove monitoring and management activities. The project team shares their activities and findings through their own website: https://mangroveecology.com
Severino Salmo III - University of the Philippines Diliman - Institute of Biology
Richard MacKenzie - United States Department of Agriculture/United States Forest Service
Elisa Gerona-Daga - University of the Philippines Diliman
John Ryan Navidad - University of the Philippines Los Banos
Camila Frances Naputo - University of the Philippines Diliman