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Carbon stocks of coastal seagrass in Southeast Asia may be far lower than anticipated when accounting for black carbon


Gallagher, JB and Chuan, CH and Yap, T-K and Dona, WFF, Carbon stocks of coastal seagrass in Southeast Asia may be far lower than anticipated when accounting for black carbon, Biology Letters, 15, (5) Article 20180745. ISSN 1744-9561 (2019) [Refereed Article]

Copyright Statement

Copyright 2019 The Author(s) Published by the Royal Society. All rights reserved.

DOI: doi:10.1098/rsbl.2018.0745


Valuing sedimentary ‘blue carbon’ stocks of seagrass meadows requires exclusion of allochthonous recalcitrant forms of carbon, such as black carbon (BC). Regression models constructed across a Southeast Asian tropical estuary predicted that carbon stocks within the sandy meadows of coastal embayments would support a modest but not insignificant amount of BC. We tested the prediction across three coastal meadows of the same region: one patchy meadow located close to a major urban centre and two continuous meadows contained in separate open embayments of a rural marine park; all differed in fetch and species. The BC/total organic carbon (TOC) fractions in the urban and rural meadows with small canopies were more than double the predicted amounts, 28 ± 1.6% and 36 ± 1.5% (±95% confidence intervals), respectively. The fraction in the rural large-canopy meadow remained comparable to the other two meadows, 26 ± 4.9% (±95% confidence intervals) but was half the amount predicted, likely owing to confounding of the model. The relatively high BC/TOC fractions were explained by variability across sites of BC atmospheric supply, an increase in loss of seagrass litter close to the exposed edges of meadows and sediment resuspension across the dispersed patchy meadow.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:Southeast Asia, blue carbon, pyrogenic carbon, seagrass, sediments
Research Division:Environmental Sciences
Research Group:Climate change impacts and adaptation
Research Field:Carbon sequestration science
Objective Division:Environmental Policy, Climate Change and Natural Hazards
Objective Group:Adaptation to climate change
Objective Field:Climate change adaptation measures (excl. ecosystem)
UTAS Author:Gallagher, JB (Dr John Barry Gallagher)
ID Code:136892
Year Published:2019
Web of Science® Times Cited:9
Deposited By:Oceans and Cryosphere
Deposited On:2020-01-22
Last Modified:2020-05-26

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