Influence of water depth on the carbon sequestration capacity of seagrasses

Oscar Serrano, Paul S. Lavery, Mohammad Rozaimi Jamaludin, Miguel Ángel Mateo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

46 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The actual estimates of carbon stocks beneath seagrass meadows worldwide are derived from few data, resulting in a tendency to generalize global carbon stocks from a very limited number of seagrass habitats. We surveyed Posidonia oceanica and Posidonia sinuosa meadows along depth-induced gradients of light availability to assess the variability in their sedimentary organic carbon (Corg) stocks and accretion rates. This study showed a fourfold decrease in Corg stocks from 2-4 m to 6-8 m depth P. sinuosa meadows (averaging 7.0 and 1.8 kg m-2, respectively; top meter of sediment) and a fourteenfold to sixteenfold decrease from shallow (2 m) to deep (32 m) P. oceanica meadows (200 and 19 kg m-2 average, respectively; top 2.7 m of sediment). The average Corg accretion rates in shallow P. sinuosa meadows were higher (10.5 g m-2 yr-1) than in deeper meadows (2.1 g m-2 yr-1). The reduction of sedimentary Corg stocks and accretion rates along depth-related gradients of light reduction suggests that irradiance, controlling plant productivity, meadow density, and sediment accretion rates, is a key environmental factor affecting Corg storage potential of seagrasses. The results obtained highlighted the exceptional carbon storage capacity of P. oceanica meadows at Balearic Islands (Spain), containing the highest areal Corg stocks of all seagrasses (estimated in up to 691-770 kg m-2 in 8-13 m thick deposits). Seagrass communities are experiencing worldwide decline, and reduced irradiance (following e.g., eutrophication or sediment regime alterations) will lead to photoacclimation responses (i.e., reduced plant productivity and shoot density), which may impact the carbon sequestration capacity of seagrasses.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)950-961
Number of pages12
JournalGlobal Biogeochemical Cycles
Volume28
Issue number9
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sep 2014

Fingerprint

carbon sequestration
meadow
water depth
Sediments
Carbon
Water
accretion
Productivity
Eutrophication
seagrass
sediment
Organic carbon
irradiance
Deposits
Availability
productivity
seagrass meadow
light availability
carbon
eutrophication

Keywords

  • blue carbon
  • carbon sinks
  • climate Change
  • coastal ecosystems
  • Posidonia

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Global and Planetary Change
  • Atmospheric Science
  • Environmental Science(all)
  • Environmental Chemistry

Cite this

Influence of water depth on the carbon sequestration capacity of seagrasses. / Serrano, Oscar; Lavery, Paul S.; Jamaludin, Mohammad Rozaimi; Mateo, Miguel Ángel.

In: Global Biogeochemical Cycles, Vol. 28, No. 9, 01.09.2014, p. 950-961.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Serrano, Oscar ; Lavery, Paul S. ; Jamaludin, Mohammad Rozaimi ; Mateo, Miguel Ángel. / Influence of water depth on the carbon sequestration capacity of seagrasses. In: Global Biogeochemical Cycles. 2014 ; Vol. 28, No. 9. pp. 950-961.
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