Protecting mangroves to lock carbon away in trees may be an economic way to curb climate change, research suggests.
Carbon credit schemes already exist for rainforests; the new work suggests mangroves could be included too.
But other researchers say the economics depend on the global carbon price.
Presenting their results in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), the US-based team emphasises that protecting mangroves has important benefits for wildlife as well.
"We can preserve important habitats critical to coastal fisheries, rich in biodiversity, and home to hundreds of species of plants and animals”
Mangrove habitats comprise less than 1% of all forest areas across the world.
But for the biodiversity they support, and the benefits they bring to communities in the form of fishing habitats and storm protection barriers, they are extremely important...
...Their ability to capture carbon may be on average five times that of tropical rainforests, so they have become of interest to carbon-focused conservation strategists.