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High variability of Blue Carbon storage in seagrass meadows at the estuary scale

Ricart, Aurora M., York, Paul H., Bryant, Catherine V., Rasheed, Michael A., Ierodiaconou, Daniel and Macreadie, Peter I. 2020, High variability of Blue Carbon storage in seagrass meadows at the estuary scale, Scientific Reports, vol. 10, pp. 1-12, doi: 10.1038/s41598-020-62639-y.

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Title High variability of Blue Carbon storage in seagrass meadows at the estuary scale
Author(s) Ricart, Aurora M.
York, Paul H.
Bryant, Catherine V.
Rasheed, Michael A.
Ierodiaconou, DanielORCID iD for Ierodiaconou, Daniel orcid.org/0000-0002-7832-4801
Macreadie, Peter I.ORCID iD for Macreadie, Peter I. orcid.org/0000-0001-7362-0882
Journal name Scientific Reports
Volume number 10
Article ID 5865
Start page 1
End page 12
Total pages 12
Publisher Springer Science and Business Media LLC
Place of publication Berlin, Germany
Publication date 2020-12
ISSN 2045-2322
Keyword(s) Carbon cycle
Climate-change mitigation
Ecosystem services
Marine biology
Summary Seagrass meadows are considered important natural carbon sinks due to their capacity to store organic carbon (Corg) in sediments. However, the spatial heterogeneity of carbon storage in seagrass sediments needs to be better understood to improve accuracy of Blue Carbon assessments, particularly when strong gradients are present. We performed an intensive coring study within a sub-tropical estuary to assess the spatial variability in sedimentary Corg associated with seagrasses, and to identify the key factors promoting this variability. We found a strong spatial pattern within the estuary, from 52.16 mg Corg cm−3 in seagrass meadows in the upper parts, declining to 1.06 mg Corg cm−3 in seagrass meadows at the estuary mouth, despite a general gradient of increasing seagrass cover and seagrass habitat extent in the opposite direction. The sedimentary Corg underneath seagrass meadows came principally from allochthonous (non-seagrass) sources (~70–90 %), while the contribution of seagrasses was low (~10–30 %) throughout the entire estuary. Our results showed that Corg stored in sediments of seagrass meadows can be highly variable within an estuary, attributed largely to accumulation of fine sediments and inputs of allochthonous sources. Local features and the existence of spatial gradients must be considered in Blue Carbon estimates in coastal ecosystems.
Language eng
DOI 10.1038/s41598-020-62639-y
Indigenous content off
HERDC Research category C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
ERA Research output type C Journal article
Copyright notice ©2020, The Authors
Free to Read? Yes
Use Rights Creative Commons Attribution licence
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30136354

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