Variability of sedimentary organic carbon in patchy seagrass landscapes

Ricart, Aurora M., York, Paul H., Rasheed, Michael A., Pérez, Marta, Romero, Javier, Bryant, Catherine V., and Macreadie, Peter I. (2015) Variability of sedimentary organic carbon in patchy seagrass landscapes. Marine Pollution Bulletin, 100 (1). pp. 476-482.

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Seagrass ecosystems, considered among the most efficient carbon sinks worldwide, encompass a wide variety of spatial configurations in the coastal landscape. Here we evaluated the influence of the spatial configuration of seagrass meadows at small scales (metres) on carbon storage in seagrass sediments. We intensively sampled carbon stocks and other geochemical properties (δ13C, particle size, depositional fluxes) across seagrass–sand edges in a Zostera muelleri patchy seagrass landscape. Carbon stocks were significantly higher (ca. 20%) inside seagrass patches than at seagrass–sand edges and bare sediments. Deposition was similar among all positions and most of the carbon was from allochthonous sources. Patch level attributes (e.g. edge distance) represent important determinants of the spatial heterogeneity of carbon stocks within seagrass ecosystems. Our findings indicate that carbon stocks of seagrass areas have likely been overestimated by not considering the influence of meadow landscapes, and have important relevance for the design of seagrass carbon stock assessments.

Item ID: 40798
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1879-3363
Keywords: blue carbon, carbon stock, patchiness, marine sediment, Zostera muelleri, climate change
Funders: Australian Research Council (ARC), CSIRO Coastal Climate Cluster, Spanish Government (SG)
Projects and Grants: ARC DE130101084, SG BES-2011-046849 , SG EBB-I-13-06916, SG project CTM2013-48027-C3-1-R
Date Deposited: 13 Oct 2015 02:59
FoR Codes: 05 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES > 0503 Soil Sciences > 050301 Carbon Sequestration Science @ 50%
05 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES > 0501 Ecological Applications > 050104 Landscape Ecology @ 30%
06 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 0602 Ecology > 060205 Marine and Estuarine Ecology (incl Marine Ichthyology) @ 20%
SEO Codes: 96 ENVIRONMENT > 9603 Climate and Climate Change > 960302 Climate Change Mitigation Strategies @ 40%
96 ENVIRONMENT > 9605 Ecosystem Assessment and Management > 960503 Ecosystem Assessment and Management of Coastal and Estuarine Environments @ 60%
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