Role of carbonate burial in Blue Carbon budgets

Vincent Saderne, Nathan Geraldi, P I Macreadie, D T Maher, J J Middelburg, O Serrano, H Almahasheer, A Arias-Ortiz, Michael Cusack, B D Eyre, J W Fourqurean, H Kennedy, D Krause-Jensen, T Kuwae, P S Lavery, C E Lovelock, N Marba, P Masqué, M A Mateo, I MazarrasaK J McGlathery, M P J Oreska, C J Sanders, I R Santos, J M Smoak, T Tanaya, K Watanabe, Carlos M. Duarte

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99 Scopus citations


Calcium carbonates (CaCO3) often accumulate in mangrove and seagrass sediments. As CaCO3 production emits CO2, there is concern that this may partially offset the role of Blue Carbon ecosystems as CO2 sinks through the burial of organic carbon (Corg). A global collection of data on inorganic carbon burial rates (Cinorg, 12% of CaCO3 mass) revealed global rates of 0.8 TgCinorg yr-1 and 15-62 TgCinorg yr-1 in mangrove and seagrass ecosystems, respectively. In seagrass, CaCO3 burial may correspond to an offset of 30% of the net CO2 sequestration. However, a mass balance assessment highlights that the Cinorg burial is mainly supported by inputs from adjacent ecosystems rather than by local calcification, and that Blue Carbon ecosystems are sites of net CaCO3 dissolution. Hence, CaCO3 burial in Blue Carbon ecosystems contribute to seabed elevation and therefore buffers sea-level rise, without undermining their role as CO2 sinks.
Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalNature Communications
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 7 2019

Bibliographical note

KAUST Repository Item: Exported on 2020-10-01
Acknowledgements: This research was supported by King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) through baseline funding and workshop funding to C.M.D. Support from the Australian Research Council through grants LIEF Project LE170100219, DE160100443, DE170101524, DP150103286, DP150102092, DP160100248, DE130101084, LP160100242 and LE140100083 is acknowledged. J.J.M. was supported by the Netherlands Earth System Science Center. J.W.F. was supported by the US National Science Foundation through the Florida Coastal Everglades Long-Term Ecological Research programme under Grant Number DEB-1237517. D.K.-J. received financial support from the Independent Research Fund Denmark (8021-00222B, CARMA) and the COCOA project under the BONUS programme, funded by the EU 7th Framework Programme and the Danish Research Council. A.A.-O. was supported by an “Obra Social la Caixa” fellowship (LCF/BQ/ES14/10320004). A.A.-O. and P.M. acknowledge the support by the Generalitat de Catalunya (grant 2017 SGR-1588). This work is contributing to the ICTA ‘Unit of Excellence’ (MinECo, MDM2015-0552). H.K.’s input is a contribution to the CESEA project (NE/L001535/1) funded by NERC. T.K., K.W. and T.T. were supported by JSPS KAKENHI (18H04156) and the Environment Research and Technology Development Fund (S-14) of the Ministry of the Environment, Japan. J.M.S. was supported by the National Science Foundation under South Florida Water, Sustainability and Climate grant EAR-1204079. I.M. was supported by a Juan de la Cierva Formación post-doctoral fellowship from the Spanish Ministry of Science, Innovation and Universities.


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