Modelling blue carbon farming opportunities at different spatial scales

Duarte de Paula Costa, Micheli, Lovelock, Catherine E., Waltham, Nathan C., Moritsch, Monica, Butler, Don, Power, Trent, Thomas, Evan, and Macreadie, Peter I. (2021) Modelling blue carbon farming opportunities at different spatial scales. Journal of Environmental Management, 301. 113813.

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There is a growing interest in including blue carbon ecosystems (i.e., mangroves, tidal marshes and seagrasses) in climate mitigation programs in national and sub-national policies, with restoration and conservation of these ecosystems identified as potential activities to increase carbon accumulation through time. However, there is still a gap on the spatial scales needed to produce carbon offsets comparable with terrestrial or agricultural ecosystems. Here, we used the Coastal Blue Carbon InVEST 3.7.0 model to estimate future net carbon sequestration in blue carbon ecosystems along Australia's Great Barrier Reef (hereafter GBR) catchments, considering different management scenarios (i.e., reintroduction of tidal exchange through the removal of barriers, sea level rise, restoring low lying land) at three different spatial scales: whole GBR coastline, regional (14,000–16,300 ha), and local (335–370 ha) scales. The focus of the restoration (i.e., tidal marshes and/or mangroves) was dependent on data availability for each scenario. Furthermore, we also estimated the monetary value of carbon sequestration under each management scenario and spatial scale assessed in the study. We found that large scale restoration of tidal marshes could potentially sequester an additional ∼800,000 tonnes of CO2e by 2045 (potentially generating AU$12 million based on the average Australia carbon price), with greater opportunities when sea level rise is accounted for in the modelling. Also, we found that regional and local projects would generate up to 23 tonnes CO2e ha−1 by the end of the crediting period. Our results can guide future decisions in the blue carbon market and financing schemes, however, the return on investment is dependent on the carbon price and funding scheme available for project implementation.

Item ID: 75963
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 0301-4797
Keywords: Coastal wetlands; Blue carbon; Restoration projects; Additionality; Carbon markets; Tidal marshes and mangroves; Coastal blue carbon InVEST; Australia;
Copyright Information: © 2021 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Funders: Australian Research Council (ARC)
Projects and Grants: ARC Linkage grant LP160100492, ARC Linkage grant LP160100242
Date Deposited: 08 Sep 2022 01:30
FoR Codes: 41 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES > 4104 Environmental management > 410401 Conservation and biodiversity @ 50%
41 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES > 4104 Environmental management > 410404 Environmental management @ 50%
SEO Codes: 18 ENVIRONMENTAL MANAGEMENT > 1802 Coastal and estuarine systems and management > 180203 Coastal or estuarine biodiversity @ 100%
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