NASA/GSFC, Biospheric Sciences Lab.

Mangroves forests are the most common wetland ecosystem along tropical and subtropical coasts. Despite their economic and ecological importance, they are being destroyed at rates greater than those of tropical rainforests and coral reefs. Recent studies have shown that despite the limited distribution of mangrove forests, the total amount of carbon emissions from mangrove destruction is equivalent to 10% of total Land use emissions. Continued mangrove forest destruction will therefore result in very high emissions of CO2 to the atmosphere, whereas increased mangrove conservation and restoration could be used in C emission mitigation initiatives. In this presentation we will show recent efforts to estimate mangrove forest biomass, carbon storage and land cover change from remotely sensed data. In particular, we will present 1) results from using the SRTM DEM and ICESat/GLAS data to derive forest 3-D structure and biomass in Africa and South America and 2) Land cover and land cover change mapping in coastal areas of South America using ALOS PALSAR data.