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Carbon stocks of tropical coastal wetlands within the karstic landscape of the Mexican Caribbean

Coastal wetlands can have exceptionally large carbon stocks, and therefore this article argues that their protection and restoration would constitute an effective mitigation strategy to climate change. Inclusion of coastal ecosystems in mitigation strategies requires quantification of carbon stocks in order to calculate emissions or sequestration through time. This study quantifies the ecosystem carbon stocks of coastal wetlands of the Sian Ka’an Biosphere Reserve (SKBR) in the Yucatan Peninsula, Mexico. The study estimates that 43.2 to 58.0 million tons of carbon are stored across approximately 172,176 hectares of coastal wetlands in the area. It highlights that mangrove forests are disappearing faster than other forest ecosystems and underlines that more accurate estimates of the carbon stored in coastal wetlands are needed to mitigate terrestrial carbon emissions through wetland protection and restoration.