Opportunities for coastal wetland restoration for blue carbon with co-benefits for biodiversity, coastal fisheries, and water quality

Hagger, Valerie, Waltham, Nathan J., and Lovelock, Catherine E. (2022) Opportunities for coastal wetland restoration for blue carbon with co-benefits for biodiversity, coastal fisheries, and water quality. Ecosystem Services, 55. 101423.

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Coastal wetlands are known to sequester significant amounts of carbon dioxide, while also providing valuable ecosystem services. We assessed the economic feasibility of restoring coastal wetlands for climate change mitigation by reinstating tidal flows on floodplain, agricultural land of the Wet Tropics catchments in Queensland, Australia. We assessed whether potential carbon credits would be sufficient to incentivise conversion of the land, or whether additional ecosystem service payments would be required. We explored the co-benefits for biodiversity, fisheries, and nitrogen removal using a prioritisation approach to identify profitable restoration solutions that maximise these benefits. We identified 5,046 ha of potential restorable area that could abate 221,006 tonnes of carbon dioxide-equivalent (CO2-e) annually from carbon sequestration in vegetation and soils and avoided greenhouse gas emissions. Cost-benefit analysis over 25 years demonstrate that 3,399 ha (67%) would be profitable under conventional farm management practice using the current Australian carbon price ($13.85 per tonne CO2-e), which increased to 4,534 ha (90%) at a higher carbon price ($25 per tonne CO2-e). The profitability of coastal wetland restoration was enhanced by a higher carbon price, which can be achieved by bundling ecosystem services, or through stacking ecosystem service payments. Prioritising restoration sites by costeffectiveness and co-benefits can achieve multiple ecosystem services for a substantial profit.

Item ID: 73188
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 2212-0416
Keywords: Carbon sequestration, Ecosystem services, Cost-effectiveness analysis, Restoration prioritization, Mangroves, Saltmarsh
Copyright Information: © 2022 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Funders: Australian Research Council (ARC)
Projects and Grants: ARC LP170101171
Date Deposited: 28 Mar 2022 04:51
FoR Codes: 41 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES > 4104 Environmental management > 410401 Conservation and biodiversity @ 30%
41 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES > 4104 Environmental management > 410404 Environmental management @ 30%
31 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 3103 Ecology > 310305 Marine and estuarine ecology (incl. marine ichthyology) @ 40%
SEO Codes: 18 ENVIRONMENTAL MANAGEMENT > 1802 Coastal and estuarine systems and management > 180203 Coastal or estuarine biodiversity @ 50%
18 ENVIRONMENTAL MANAGEMENT > 1805 Marine systems and management > 180507 Rehabilitation or conservation of marine environments @ 50%
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