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Reply to Stafford’s (2022) comment on “Seaweed ecosystems may not mitigate CO2 emissions” by Gallagher et al. (2022)


Gallagher, JB and Shelamoff, V, Reply to Stafford's (2022) comment on 'Seaweed ecosystems may not mitigate CO2 emissions' by Gallagher et al. (2022), ICES Journal of Marine Science pp. 1-2. ISSN 1054-3139 (2022) [Letter or Note in Journal]

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DOI: doi:10.1093/icesjms/fsac088


The comment qualitatively suggests that seaweed ecosystems are global carbon sinks. This was in contradiction to the article that showed that seaweed ecosystems are on average measurably carbon sources within the canopy. Furthermore, this was amplified by the remineralization of a large fraction of exported seaweed production, as estimated from published parameters. It appeared that the comments’ conclusion was mistaken from two standpoints. First, a view that the article did not consider the impact of the phytoplanktonic assemblage on the seaweed ecosystems’ global sequestration rate. This had been previously calculated as likely, not significant. Second, a view that the consumption and subsequent respiration of exported material cannot be included in ecosystems that are generally open to allochthonous organic carbon subsidies. Nevertheless, the comment does raise the importance of a more holistic view in assessing sequestration services. The response expands the article’s arguments from different standpoints and consequences to illustrate where the comment has been mistaken, and points out where the article was misread.We also expand on the comments’ call for a more holistic approach by being more explicit on what drives both sequestration and mitigation through the extreme circumstances where this could be maximized, including phytoplankton contributions.

Item Details

Item Type:Letter or Note in Journal
Keywords:seaweed, carbon sequestration
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:Mitigation of climate change
Objective Field:Climate change mitigation strategies
UTAS Author:Gallagher, JB (Dr John Barry Gallagher)
UTAS Author:Shelamoff, V (Dr Victor Shelamoff)
ID Code:150100
Year Published:2022
Deposited By:Oceans and Cryosphere
Deposited On:2022-05-22
Last Modified:2022-05-23

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