The aim of this research was to measure the rate of carbon dioxide (CO2) exchange between the soil and atmosphere in the inter-tidal forest floor of the Indian Sundarbans mangrove ecosystem and to study its response with soil temperature and soil water content. Soil CO2 effluxes were monitored every month at two stations (between April, 2011 and March, 2012); one situated at the land-ocean boundary of the Bay of Bengal (outer part of the mangrove forest) and the other lying 55 km inshore from the coast line (inner part of the mangrove forest). The static closed chamber technique was implemented at three inter-tidal positions (landward, seaward and bare mudflats) in each station. Fluxes were measured in the daytime every half an hour by circulating chamber headspace air through a sampling manifold assembly and a closed-path non-dispersive infrared gas analyser. The fluxes ranged between 0.15 and 2.34 μmol m-2 s-1 during the annual course of sampling. Effluxes of higher magnitude were measured during summer; however, it abruptly decreased during the monsoon. CO2 flux from the forest floor was strongly related to soil temperature, with the highest correlation found with temperature at 2 cm depth. No such significant relationship between soil water content and CO2 efflux could be properly ascertained; however, excessively high soil water content was found to be the only reason which hampered the rate of effluxes during the monsoon. On the whole, landward (LW) sites of the mangrove forest emitted more than the seaward (SW) sites. Q 10 values (obtained from simple exponential model) which denote the multiplicative factor by which the efflux rate increases for a 10 °C rise in temperature ranged between 2.07 and 4.05.
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