There are great hopes for the potential of coastal plants and seaweeds to store carbon and help counter the effects of climate change and a new study is backing that potential.
Scientists from UTS and Deakin University have carried out the first investigation of how a diverse range of coastal plants and seaweed (macroalgae) can contribute to “blue carbon” stocks, the carbon in leaves, sediments and roots that is naturally captured, or sequestered, by plants in coastal habitats.
The finding, published in the prestigious Ecology journal, that some seaweed species have the capacity to make a significant contribution to coastal carbon capture may better inform projects designed to mitigate against greenhouse gas emissions.
The study forms part of a large coastal carbon accounting project being undertaken by researchers in eight Australian institutions under the CSIRO Marine Geochemistry Coastal Carbon Cluster initiative. The project was co-funded by Deakin University Centre for Integrative Ecology within the School of Life and Environmental Sciences.
Comparison of marine macrophytes for their contributions to blue carbon sequestration.
Stacey M Trevathan-Tackett, Jeffrey Kelleway, Peter Macreadie, John Beardall, Peter Ralph, Alecia Bellgrove Ecology (2015)