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Estimating the potential blue carbon gains from tidal marsh rehabilitation: a case study from South Eastern Australia

Gulliver, Anne, Carnell, Paul E., Trevathan-Tackett, Stacey M., Duarte De Paula Costa, Micheli, Masqué, Pere and Macreadie, Peter I 2020, Estimating the potential blue carbon gains from tidal marsh rehabilitation: a case study from South Eastern Australia, Frontiers in marine science, vol. 7, pp. 1-13, doi: 10.3389/fmars.2020.00403.

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Title Estimating the potential blue carbon gains from tidal marsh rehabilitation: a case study from South Eastern Australia
Author(s) Gulliver, Anne
Carnell, Paul E.ORCID iD for Carnell, Paul E. orcid.org/0000-0001-6747-1366
Trevathan-Tackett, Stacey M.ORCID iD for Trevathan-Tackett, Stacey M. orcid.org/0000-0002-4977-0757
Duarte De Paula Costa, Micheli
Masqué, Pere
Macreadie, Peter IORCID iD for Macreadie, Peter I orcid.org/0000-0001-7362-0882
Journal name Frontiers in marine science
Volume number 7
Article ID 403
Start page 1
End page 13
Total pages 13
Publisher Frontiers in Marine Science
Place of publication Lausanne, Switzerland
Publication date 2020-05
ISSN 2296-7745
Keyword(s) additionality
carbon accumulation
Coastal
restoration
salt ponds
saltmarsh
wetland ecosystems
Summary Historically, coastal “blue carbon” ecosystems (tidal marshes, mangrove forests, seagrass meadows) have been impacted and degraded by human intervention, mainly in the form of land acquisition. With increasing recognition of the role of blue carbon ecosystems in climate mitigation, protecting and rehabilitating these ecosystems becomes increasingly more important. This study evaluated the potential carbon gains from rehabilitating a degraded coastal tidal marsh site in south-eastern Australia. Tidal exchange at the study site had been restricted by the construction of earthen barriers for the purpose of reclaiming land for commercial salt production. Analysis of sediment cores (elemental carbon and 210Pb dating) revealed that the site had stopped accumulating carbon since it had been converted to salt ponds 65 years earlier. In contrast, nearby recovered (“control”) tidal marsh areas are still accumulating carbon at relatively high rates (0.54 tons C ha–1year–1). Using elevation and sea level rise (SLR) data, we estimated the potential future distribution of tidal marsh vegetation if the earthen barrier were removed and tidal exchange was restored to the degraded site. We estimated that the sediment-based carbon gains over the next 50 years after restoring this small site (360 ha) would be 9,000 tons C, which could offset the annual emissions of ∼7,000 passenger cars at present time (at 4.6 metric tons pa.) or ∼1,400 Australians. Overall, we recommend that this site is a promising prospect for rehabilitation based on the opportunity for blue carbon additionality, and that the business case for rehabilitation could be bolstered through valuation of other co-benefits, such as nitrogen removal, support to fisheries, sediment stabilization, and enhanced biodiversity.
Language eng
DOI 10.3389/fmars.2020.00403
Indigenous content off
HERDC Research category C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
ERA Research output type C Journal article
Free to Read? Yes
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30139347

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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.