Carbon Sequestration – Working Copy
The Carbon sequestration power of coastal wetlands
- Intact coastal habitats have soils that range in depth from less than one meter to over ten meters, storing hundreds to thousands of metric tons of carbon per hectare.
- Coastal wetlands store and sequester more carbon than any other coastal ecosystem
- Mangrove ecosystems sequester up to 4 million milligrams of carbon annually
- The average hectare of seagrass stores 7 metric tons of carbon in its soil.
In the face of global warming, coastal wetlands—including submerged seagrasses, mangrove forests, and salt marshes, and pelagic ecosystems—provide a vital service to the global community by storing large amounts of carbon.
Global Mangrove Biomass
Working with partners in the University of Cambridge, we conducted a review of all the available science and developed a model describing the relationship between mangrove biomass and climate (temperature, rainfall and seasonality).
The results of the study confirmed that mangroves are a biomass powerhouse, but it also called out the most valuable areas of all. This knowledge can be translated into action. For the countries with high biomass value such as Indonesia, Brazil and Nigeria, including mangroves in national policies could yield beneficial results in offsetting a certain amount of their greenhouse gas emissions. For smaller island countries, like Cuba and Solomon Islands, mangroves may represent a significant portion of their total forest. When thinking about ways to finance conservation, market-based mechanisms may provide a significant opportunity as they represent one of the islands’ large assets.
Blue Carbon in Australia
Our Australian project focuses on modelling and mapping the social and economic values of saltmarsh, seagrass and mangrove habitats through fisheries, recreation, tourism, blue carbon and coastal protection. We use a geographically nested, case study approach with a focus on marine habitats that occur in central Victoria and northern New South Wales, specifically Port Phillip Bay and Western Port Bay (Victoria) and the Richmond River/Tuckean Swamp estuary (NSW). Read more here.
Top image: ©Ami Vitale. Photo Credits: © Tim Calver, Ethan Daniels, Simon Reeves, Jeff Yonover