Blue carbon stocks of great barrier reef deep-water seagrasses

York, Paul H., Macreadie, Peter I. and Rasheed, Michael A. 2018, Blue carbon stocks of great barrier reef deep-water seagrasses, Biology letters, vol. 14, no. 12, doi: 10.1098/rsbl.2018.0529.

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Title Blue carbon stocks of great barrier reef deep-water seagrasses
Author(s) York, Paul H.
Macreadie, Peter I.ORCID iD for Macreadie, Peter I.
Rasheed, Michael A.
Journal name Biology letters
Volume number 14
Issue number 12
Total pages 5
Publisher Royal Society Publishing
Place of publication London, Eng.
Publication date 2018-12-12
ISSN 1744-9561
Keyword(s) Science & Technology
Life Sciences & Biomedicine
Evolutionary Biology
Life Sciences & Biomedicine - Other Topics
Environmental Sciences & Ecology
organic carbon
Blue Carbon
stable isotopes
calcium carbonate
climate change
Summary © 2018 The Author(s) Published by the Royal Society. All rights reserved. Shallow-water seagrasses capture and store globally significant quantities of organic carbon (OC), often referred to as 'Blue Carbon'; however, data are lacking on the importance of deep-water (greater than 15 m) seagrasses as Blue Carbon sinks. We compared OC stocks from deep-, mid- A nd shallow-water seagrasses at Lizard Island within the Great Barrier Reef (GBR) lagoon. We found deep-water seagrass (Halophila species) contained similar levels of OC to shallow-water species (e.g. Halodule uninervis) (0.64 ± 0.08% and 0.9 ± 0.1 mg C cm-3, 0.87 ± 0.19% and 1.3 ± 0.3 mg C cm-3, respectively), despite being much sparser and smaller in stature. Deep-water seagrass sediments contained significantly higher levels (approx. ninefold) of OC than surrounding bare areas. Inorganic carbon (CaCO3) levels were relatively high in deep-water seagrass sediments (8.2 ± 0.4%) and, if precipitated from epiphytes within the meadow, could offset the potential CO2-sink capacity of these meadows. The δ13C signatures of sediment samples varied among depths and habitats (-10.9 and-17.0), reflecting contributions from autochthonous and allochthonous sources. If the OC stocks reported in this study are similar to deep-water Halophila meadows elsewhere within the GBR lagoon (total area 31 000 km2), then OC bound within this system is roughly estimated at 27.4 million tonnes.
Language eng
DOI 10.1098/rsbl.2018.0529
Field of Research 06 Biological Sciences
HERDC Research category C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
ERA Research output type C Journal article
Grant ID LP160100492
Copyright notice ©2018, The Authors
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