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A global assessment of the chemical recalcitrance of seagrass tissues: Implications for long-term carbon sequestration

Trevathan-Tackett, Stacey M., Macreadie, Peter I., Sanderman, Jonathan, Baldock, Jeff, Howes, Johanna M. and Ralph, Peter J. 2017, A global assessment of the chemical recalcitrance of seagrass tissues: Implications for long-term carbon sequestration, Frontiers in plant science, vol. 8, pp. 1-18, doi: 10.3389/fpls.2017.00925.

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Title A global assessment of the chemical recalcitrance of seagrass tissues: Implications for long-term carbon sequestration
Author(s) Trevathan-Tackett, Stacey M.
Macreadie, Peter I.ORCID iD for Macreadie, Peter I. orcid.org/0000-0001-7362-0882
Sanderman, Jonathan
Baldock, Jeff
Howes, Johanna M.
Ralph, Peter J.
Journal name Frontiers in plant science
Volume number 8
Article ID 925
Start page 1
End page 18
Total pages 18
Publisher Frontiers Research Foundation
Place of publication Lausanne, Switzerland
Publication date 2017-06-13
ISSN 1664-462X
Keyword(s) biogeochemistry
carbon sequestration
global survey
lignocellulose
morphotype
seagrass
recalcitrance
lability
Summary Seagrass ecosystems have recently been identified for their role in climate change mitigation due to their globally-significant carbon sinks; yet, the capacity of seagrasses to sequester carbon has been shown to vary greatly among seagrass ecosystems. The recalcitrant nature of seagrass tissues, or the resistance to degradation back into carbon dioxide, is one aspect thought to influence sediment carbon stocks. In this study, a global survey investigated how the macromolecular chemistry of seagrass leaves, sheaths/stems, rhizomes and roots varied across 23 species from 16 countries. The goal was to understand how this seagrass chemistry might influence the capacity of seagrasses to contribute to sediment carbon stocks. Three non-destructive analytical chemical analyses were used to investigate seagrass chemistry: thermogravimetric analysis (TGA) and solid state 13 C-NMR and infrared spectroscopy. A strong latitudinal influence on carbon quality was found, whereby temperate seagrasses contained 5% relatively more labile carbon, and tropical seagrasses contained 3% relatively more refractory carbon. Sheath/stem tissues significantly varied across taxa, with larger morphologies typically containing more refractory carbon than smaller morphologies. Rhizomes were characterized by a higher proportion of labile carbon (16%of total organic matter compared to 8–10%in other tissues); however, high rhizome biomass production and slower remineralization in anoxic sediments will likely enhance these below-ground tissues’ contributions to long-termcarbon stocks. Our study provides a standardized and global dataset on seagrass carbon quality across tissue types, taxa and geography that can be incorporated in carbon sequestration and storage models as well as ecosystem valuation and management strategies.
Language eng
DOI 10.3389/fpls.2017.00925
Field of Research 060299 Ecology not elsewhere classified
050205 Environmental Management
HERDC Research category C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
ERA Research output type C Journal article
Copyright notice ©2017, The Authors
Free to Read? Yes
Use Rights Creative Commons Attribution licence
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30098473

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Every reasonable effort has been made to ensure that permission has been obtained for items included in DRO. If you believe that your rights have been infringed by this repository, please contact drosupport@deakin.edu.au.