Mangroves provide valuable ecosystem services – from serving as habitats as well as spawning and nursery grounds for marine species, to regulating floods, storms and erosions, to offering recreational and other cultural experiences for society. They can also help to mitigate climate change impact and help countries meet their targets for emissions reductions by absorbing blue carbon, i.e., carbon that is removed from the atmosphere by ocean systems. To enhance Kingfisher Wetlands and leverage this sustainability-themed attraction to foster community engagement, Gardens by the Bay implemented several initiatives. DHI’s scientists contributed to these efforts:
Planting of native mangroves and mangrove associates
The potential for blue carbon storage in mangroves is higher than in forests because mangrove root systems encourage sedimentation resulting in continued burial over time. In addition, marine sediments are frequently covered by water. Together, the continued sedimentation and oxygen-poor sediment environment cause a slow breakdown of the biotic materials, resulting in significant carbon storage.
Over 200 native mangroves and mangrove associates were planted in the Kingfisher Wetlands. DHI provided guidance on the selection of mangrove species and monitored their health and growth. These include native and critically endangered mangrove species such as the Firefly Mangrove (Sonneratia caseolaris) and Upriver Orange Mangrove (Bruguiera sexangula). Over the first monitoring period of nine months (from January to September 2022), the mangroves have remained healthy with good survival.
Test-bedding climate solutions with research into blue carbon
Kingfisher Wetlands serves as a living laboratory for test-bedding climate solutions. A pilot study on the potential of urban mangroves capturing blue carbon has proved promising. The carbon content in the pond’s sediments was found to be comparable to natural, intertidal habitats in Singapore and has remained stable post-development.