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A blueprint for blue carbon: Toward an improved understanding of the role of vegetated coastal habitats in sequestering CO2

Publication ,  Journal Article
McLeod, E; Chmura, GL; Bouillon, S; Salm, R; Björk, M; Duarte, CM; Lovelock, CE; Schlesinger, WH; Silliman, BR
Published in: Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment
December 1, 2011

Recent research has highlighted the valuable role that coastal and marine ecosystems play in sequestering carbon dioxide (CO2). The carbon (C) sequestered in vegetated coastal ecosystems, specifically mangrove forests, seagrass beds, and salt marshes, has been termed "blue carbon". Although their global area is one to two orders of magnitude smaller than that of terrestrial forests, the contribution of vegetated coastal habitats per unit area to long-term C sequestration is much greater, in part because of their efficiency in trapping suspended matter and associated organic C during tidal inundation. Despite the value of mangrove forests, seagrass beds, and salt marshes in sequestering C, and the other goods and services they provide, these systems are being lost at critical rates and action is urgently needed to prevent further degradation and loss. Recognition of the C sequestration value of vegetated coastal ecosystems provides a strong argument for their protection and restoration; however, it is necessary to improve scientific understanding of the underlying mechanisms that control C sequestration in these ecosystems. Here, we identify key areas of uncertainty and specific actions needed to address them. © The Ecological Society of America.

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Published In

Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment

DOI

EISSN

1540-9309

ISSN

1540-9295

Publication Date

December 1, 2011

Volume

9

Issue

10

Start / End Page

552 / 560

Related Subject Headings

  • Ecology
 

Citation

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McLeod, E., Chmura, G. L., Bouillon, S., Salm, R., Björk, M., Duarte, C. M., … Silliman, B. R. (2011). A blueprint for blue carbon: Toward an improved understanding of the role of vegetated coastal habitats in sequestering CO2. Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment, 9(10), 552–560. https://doi.org/10.1890/110004
McLeod, E., G. L. Chmura, S. Bouillon, R. Salm, M. Björk, C. M. Duarte, C. E. Lovelock, W. H. Schlesinger, and B. R. Silliman. “A blueprint for blue carbon: Toward an improved understanding of the role of vegetated coastal habitats in sequestering CO2.” Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment 9, no. 10 (December 1, 2011): 552–60. https://doi.org/10.1890/110004.
McLeod E, Chmura GL, Bouillon S, Salm R, Björk M, Duarte CM, et al. A blueprint for blue carbon: Toward an improved understanding of the role of vegetated coastal habitats in sequestering CO2. Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment. 2011 Dec 1;9(10):552–60.
McLeod, E., et al. “A blueprint for blue carbon: Toward an improved understanding of the role of vegetated coastal habitats in sequestering CO2.” Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment, vol. 9, no. 10, Dec. 2011, pp. 552–60. Scopus, doi:10.1890/110004.
McLeod E, Chmura GL, Bouillon S, Salm R, Björk M, Duarte CM, Lovelock CE, Schlesinger WH, Silliman BR. A blueprint for blue carbon: Toward an improved understanding of the role of vegetated coastal habitats in sequestering CO2. Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment. 2011 Dec 1;9(10):552–560.
Journal cover image

Published In

Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment

DOI

EISSN

1540-9309

ISSN

1540-9295

Publication Date

December 1, 2011

Volume

9

Issue

10

Start / End Page

552 / 560

Related Subject Headings

  • Ecology