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Title Global-change controls on soil-carbon accumulation and loss in coastal vegetated ecosystems
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Abstract

Coastal seagrass, mangrove and salt-marsh ecosystems—also termed blue-carbon ecosystems—play an important role in theglobal carbon cycle. Much of the organic carbon they store rests in soils that have accumulated over thousands of years. Rapidly changing climate and environmental conditions, including sea-level rise, warming, eutrophication and landscape development, will impact decomposition and thus the global reservoir of blue soil organic carbon. Yet, it remains unclear how these disturbances will affect the key biogeochemical mechanisms controlling decomposition—mineral protection, redox zonation, water content and movement, and plant-microbe interactions. We assess the spatial and temporal scales over which decomposition mechanisms operate and how their effectiveness may change following disturbances. We suggest that better integration of decomposition mechanisms into blue-carbon models may improve predictions of soil organic carbon stores and facilitate incorporation of coastal vegetated ecosystems into global budgets and management tools.

Contributors Amanda C. Spivak, Jonathan Sanderman, Jennifer L. Bowen, Elizabeth A. Canuel and Charles S. Hopkinson
Citation

Spivak, A.C., Sanderman, J., Bowen, J.L., Canuel, E.A. and Hopkinson, C.S. 2019. Global-change controls on soil-carbon accumulation and loss in coastal vegetated ecosystems. Nature Geoscience. 12:685-692. (DOI: https://doi.org/10.1038/s41561-019-0435-2)

Key Words blue carbon, climate change, decomposition, mangrove, organic matter, preservation, salt marsh, seagrass, soil
File Date 2019
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NSF

This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under grants OCE-9982133, OCE-0620959, OCE-1237140 and OCE-1832178. Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in the material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.