Loss of 'Blue Carbon' from Coastal Salt Marshes Following Habitat Disturbance

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dc.contributor.author Macreadie, Peter en_US
dc.contributor.author Hughes, A. en_US
dc.contributor.author Kimbro, David en_US
dc.contributor.editor en_US
dc.date.accessioned 2014-04-03T02:41:26Z
dc.date.available 2014-04-03T02:41:26Z
dc.date.issued 2013 en_US
dc.identifier 2012006531 en_US
dc.identifier.citation Hughes, A., Kimbro, David, and Macreadie, Peter 2013, 'Loss of 'Blue Carbon' from Coastal Salt Marshes Following Habitat Disturbance', PLoS One, vol. 8, no. 7, pp. e69244-e69244. en_US
dc.identifier.issn 1932-6203 en_US
dc.identifier.other C1 en_US
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/10453/23915
dc.description.abstract Increased recognition of the global importance of salt marshes as `blue carbon? (C) sinks has led to concern that salt marshes could release large amounts of stored C into the atmosphere (as CO2) if they continue undergoing disturbance, thereby accelerating climate change. Empirical evidence of C release following salt marsh habitat loss due to disturbance is rare, yet such information is essential for inclusion of salt marshes in greenhouse gas emission reduction and offset schemes. Here we investigated the stability of salt marsh (Spartina alterniflora) sediment C levels following seagrass (Thallasia testudinum) wrack accumulation; a form of disturbance common throughout the world that removes large areas of plant biomass in salt marshes. At our study site (St Joseph Bay, Florida, USA), we recorded 296 patches (7.5 ? 2.3 m2 mean area ? SE) of vegetation loss (aged 3-12 months) in a salt marsh meadow the size of a soccer field (7 275 m2). Within these disturbed patches, levels of organic C in the subsurface zone (1-5 cm depth) were ~30% lower than the surrounding undisturbed meadow. Subsequent analyses showed that the decline in subsurface C levels in disturbed patches was due to loss of below-ground plant (salt marsh) biomass, which otherwise forms the main component of the long-term `refractory? C stock. We conclude that disturbance to salt marsh habitat due to wrack accumulation can cause significant release of below-ground C; which could shift salt marshes from C sinks to C sources, depending on the intensity and scale of disturbance. This mechanism of C release is likely to increase in the future due to sea level rise; which could increase wrack production due to increasing storminess, and will facilitate delivery of wrack into salt marsh zones due to higher and more frequent inundation. en_US
dc.language en_US
dc.publisher Public library of Science en_US
dc.relation.isbasedon http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0069244 en_US
dc.title Loss of 'Blue Carbon' from Coastal Salt Marshes Following Habitat Disturbance en_US
dc.parent PLoS One en_US
dc.journal.volume 8 en_US
dc.journal.number 7 en_US
dc.publocation USA en_US
dc.identifier.startpage e69244 en_US
dc.identifier.endpage e69244 en_US
dc.cauo.name SCI.Plant Functional Biology & Climate Change en_US
dc.conference Verified OK en_US
dc.for 060200 en_US
dc.personcode 108249 en_US
dc.personcode 0000095361 en_US
dc.personcode 0000095362 en_US
dc.percentage 100 en_US
dc.classification.name Ecology en_US
dc.classification.type FOR-08 en_US
dc.edition en_US
dc.custom en_US
dc.date.activity en_US
dc.location.activity en_US
dc.description.keywords en_US


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