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RESEARCH PRESENTATION. Chev Duay of Xavier University - McKeough Marine Center presents the paper “Biomass, Carbon Stock, and Community Structure of Mangroves in Macajalar Bay” at the 51st FIMFS convention. Supplied photo.

Report by Chev Benedict R Duay

Xavier Ateneo - McKeough Marine Center participated at the 51st Annual Convention of Federation of Institutions for Marine and Freshwater Sciences (FIMFS) held at the Southern Leyte State University (SLSU) from October 16 to 18.

The study was presented by Chev Duay (XU Marine Biology alumnus, 2017), MMC research assistant. Also at the conference and co-author of the study was Elaine Villlaluz, XU Marine Biology faculty. The other authors of the study, Rad Edulan (XU Marine Biology alumnus, 2017), MMC research assistant and Fr Mars Tan SJ, project leader, were not able to join the convention.  

The study presented used field data collected in the mangrove mapping in Macajalar Bay Project of the XU-MMC and the Forest Foundation Philippines. The study titled, “Biomass, Carbon Stock, and Community Structure of Mangroves in Macajalar Bay” was conducted to estimate the amount of atmospheric carbon dioxide absorbed and then stored inside the biomass of mangrove trees in the form of leaves, branches, roots, and stems. The carbon sequestered and stored in mangroves is called "blue carbon."

The results showed that the mangroves in Macajalar Bay (20 different species) which cover a total of 170 hectares have stored an estimated 99,161.17 tons of organic carbon. This total amount of organic carbon stored in Macajalar Bay mangroves is equivalent to the annual carbon footprint of 75,696 people (fossil CO2 emissions) or the yearly CO2 emission of 21,500 passenger vehicles.  A typical passenger vehicle emits about 4.6 metric tons of carbon dioxide per year (US Environmental Protection Agency).

The study will provide vital information to mangrove forest managers, planners, planters and the likes to boost and encourage the planting of mangroves as a strategy to mitigate climate change. 

EXPERTS IN THE FIELD. Left to right: Keynote speaker and foremost expert in mangrove forest ecology Dr Jurgenne Primavera, Dr Asuncion B De Guzman (XU Marine Biology alumna, 1980), Elaine Villaluz (XU Biology faculty), and Chev Duay of Xavier University - McKeough Marine Center. Supplied photo.