Assessing the risk of carbon dioxide emissions from blue carbon ecosystems

Catherine E. Lovelock, Trisha B. Atwood, Jeff Baldock, Carlos M. Duarte, Sharyn Hickey, Paul S. Lavery, Pere Masque, Peter I. Macreadie, Aurora M. Ricart, Oscar Serrano, Andy Steven

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

136 Scopus citations


"Blue carbon" ecosystems, which include tidal marshes, mangrove forests, and seagrass meadows, have large stocks of organic carbon (C) in their soils. These carbon stocks are vulnerable to decomposition and - if degraded - can be released to the atmosphere in the form of CO. We present a framework to help assess the relative risk of CO emissions from degraded soils, thereby supporting inclusion of soil C into blue carbon projects and establishing a means to prioritize management for their carbon values. Assessing the risk of CO emissions after various kinds of disturbances can be accomplished through knowledge of both the size of the soil C stock at a site and the likelihood that the soil C will decompose to CO.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)257-265
Number of pages9
JournalFrontiers in Ecology and the Environment
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 15 2017


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