Pore-water Methane in Evolving Mangrove Forests

Atmospheric carbon abatement through better management of mangroves is of interest in climate change mitigation. This study concerns methane (CH4), the second largest greenhouse gas, and in particular the CH4 pool in the mangrove pore-water. The specific aims were set as a) development of a pore-water CH4 measurement method; b) identification of the effect of mangrove regrowth on pore-water CH4 concentrations; and c) identification of the dominant pathway of CH4 production in determining pore-water CH4 concentrations.

This study has established a pore-water extraction method which is simple and inexpensive, being constructed using readily available PVC pipe and mesh. Pore-water CH4 concentrations ranged between 0.04 and 59.87 µmol L-1 or 1000-1000000 times the saturated value. The variability of CH4 was associated with mangrove regrowth, roughly following forest productivity. Pore-water CH4 tends to be highest in the intermediate stand ages. CH4 productions were generated through methyl compound users of methanogen microorganisms gaining carbon supplies from mangrove vegetation.

About the Speaker

Yaya Ulumuddin is a young Indonesian researcher, working for Research Center for Oceanography (RCO), Indonesian Institute of Sciences.  He completed his undergraduate degree in Biology at Bandung Institute of Technology in 2004, with a final project on carbon stock measurements in mountain forests of Mt. Papandayan, West java, Indonesia. Before finishing his Master in Natural Resources and Tropical Environmental Management at the same university in 2008, he was employed by RCO to research mangrove ecosystems.

Yaya is currently in the last year of his PhD at the Fenner School, looking at the potential contribution of mangrove forests to methane emissions. In particular, his project aims to develop pore-water methane measurement; to collect empirical data of pore-water methane in relation to evolving mangrove forests in a mangrove rehabilitation site; and to understand the microbial process of methane production pathways.