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Driving forces of organic carbon spatial distribution in the tropical seascape
Gillis, L.G.; Belshe, F.E.; Ziegler, A.D.; Bouma, T.J. (2017). Driving forces of organic carbon spatial distribution in the tropical seascape. J. Sea Res. 120: 35-40.
In: Journal of Sea Research. Elsevier/Netherlands Institute for Sea Research: Amsterdam; Den Burg. ISSN 1385-1101; e-ISSN 1873-1414, meer
Peer reviewed article  

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Author keywords
    Seagrass beds; Mangrove forests; Blue carbon; Spatial mapping; Carbon sequestration

Auteurs  Top 
  • Gillis, L.G., meer
  • Belshe, F.E.
  • Ziegler, A.D.
  • Bouma, T.J., meer

    An important ecosystem service of tropical coastal vegetation including seagrass beds and mangrove forests istheir ability to accumulate carbon.Herewe attempt to establish the driving forces for the accumulation of surfaceorganic carbon in southern Thailand coastal systems. Across 12 sites we found that in line with expectations,seagrass beds (0.6 ± 0.09%) and mangrove forests (0.9 ± 0.3%) had higher organic carbon in the surface (top5 cm) sediment than un-vegetated mudflats (0.4±0.04%). Unexpectedly, however, mangrove forests in this regionretained organic carbon, rather than outwell it, under normal tidal conditions. No relationshipwas found betweenorganic carbon and substrate grain size. The most interesting finding of our study was that climax andpioneer seagrass species retained more carbon than mixed-speciesmeadows, suggesting that plant morphologyand meadow characteristics can be important factors in organic carbon accumulation. Insights such as these areimportant in developing carbonmanagement strategies involving coastal ecosystems such as offsetting of carbonemissions. The ability of tropical coastal vegetation to sequester carbon is an important aspect for valuing the ecosystems.Our results provide some initial insight into the factors affecting carbon sequestration in these ecosystems,but also highlight the need for further research on a global scale.

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