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A marine heatwave drives massive losses from the world’s largest seagrass carbon stocks

AuthorsArias Ortiz, Ariane; Serrano, Oscar CSIC ORCID; Masqué, Pere; Lavery, Paul S. CSIC ORCID ; Mueller, U.; Kendrick, Gary A.; Rozaimi, M.; Esteban, A.; Fourqurean, James W.; Marbà, Núria CSIC ORCID ; Mateo, Miguel Ángel CSIC ORCID ; Murray, K.; Rule, M. J.; Duarte, Carlos M. CSIC ORCID
Issue Date2018
PublisherNature Publishing Group
CitationNature Climate Change 8 :388-344 (2018)
AbstractSeagrass ecosystems contain globally significant organic carbon (C) stocks. However, climate change and increasing frequency of extreme events threaten their preservation. Shark Bay, Western Australia, has the largest C stock reported for a seagrass ecosystem, containing up to 1.3% of the total C stored within the top metre of seagrass sediments worldwide. On the basis of field studies and satellite imagery, we estimate that 36% of Shark Bay’s seagrass meadows were damaged following a marine heatwave in 2010/2011. Assuming that 10 to 50% of the seagrass sediment C stock was exposed to oxic conditions after disturbance, between 2 and 9 Tg CO2 could have been released to the atmosphere during the following three years, increasing emissions from land-use change in Australia by 4–21% per annum. With heatwaves predicted to increase with further climate warming, conservation of seagrass ecosystems is essential to avoid adverse feedbacks on the climate system.
DescriptionEste artículo contiene 9 páginas, 2 tablas, 4 figuras.
Publisher version (URL)https://doi.org/10.1038/s41558-018-0096-y
Appears in Collections:(CEAB) Artículos
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