Item Details

Print View

Seagrass Restoration Enhances “Blue Carbon” Sequestration in Coastal Waters

Greiner, Jill; McGlathery, Karen; Gunnell, John; McKee, Brent
Format
Article
Author
Greiner, Jill
McGlathery, Karen
Gunnell, John
McKee, Brent
Abstract
Seagrass meadows are highly productive habitats that provide important ecosystem services in the coastal zone, including carbon and nutrient sequestration. Organic carbon in seagrass sediment, known as “blue carbon,” accumulates from both in situ production and sedimentation of particulate carbon from the water column. Using a large-scale restoration (>1700 ha) in the Virginia coastal bays as a model system, we evaluated the role of seagrass, Zostera marina, restoration in carbon storage in sediments of shallow coastal ecosystems. Sediments of replicate seagrass meadows representing different age treatments (as time since seeding: 0, 4, and 10 years), were analyzed for % carbon, % nitrogen, bulk density, organic matter content, and 210Pb for dating at 1-cm increments to a depth of 10 cm. Sediment nutrient and organic content, and carbon accumulation rates were higher in 10-year seagrass meadows relative to 4-year and bare sediment. These differences were consistent with higher shoot density in the older meadow. Carbon accumulation rates determined for the 10-year restored seagrass meadows were 36.68 g C m-2 yr-1. Within 12 years of seeding, the restored seagrass meadows are expected to accumulate carbon at a rate that is comparable to measured ranges in natural seagrass meadows. This the first study to provide evidence of the potential of seagrass habitat restoration to enhance carbon sequestration in the coastal zone.
Language
English
Date Received
2013-09-04
Published
University of Virginia, 2013
Published Date
2013
Rights
All rights reserved (no additional license for public reuse)
Notes
This work has passed a peer-review process.
Collection
Libra Open Repository
Related Resources
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0072469

Availability

Read Online