University Of Tasmania
137941 - Blue carbon sequestration dynamics within tropical seagrass sediments_OA.pdf (322.54 kB)
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Blue carbon sequestration dynamics within tropical seagrass sediments: long-term incubations for changes over climatic scales

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journal contribution
posted on 2023-05-24, 04:16 authored by Chuan, CH, John Barry GallagherJohn Barry Gallagher, Chew, ST, Binti, MZN
Determination of blue carbon sequestration in seagrass sediments over climatic time scales (>100 years) relies on several assumptions: no loss of particulate organic carbon (POC) after 1-2 years; tight coupling between POC loss and CO2 emissions; no dissolution of carbonates; and removal of the recalcitrant black carbon (BC) contribution. We tested these assumptions via 500-day anoxic decomposition/mineralisation experiments to capture centennial parameter decay dynamics from two sediment horizons robustly dated as 2 and 18 years old. No loss of BC was detected, and decay of POC was best described for both horizons by near-identical reactivity continuum models. The models predicted average losses of 49% and 51% after 100 years of burial for the surface and 20–22 cm horizons respectively. However, the loss rate of POC was far greater than the release rate of CO2, even after accounting for CO2 from particulate inorganic carbon (PIC) production, possibly as siderite. The deficit could not be attributed to dissolved organic carbon or dark CO2 fixation. Instead, evidence based on δ13CO2, acidity and lack of sulphate reduction suggested methanogenesis. The results indicate the importance of centennial losses of POC and PIC precipitation and possibly methanogenesis in estimating carbon sequestration rates.


Publication title

Marine and Freshwater Research










Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies


C S I R O Publishing

Place of publication

150 Oxford St, Po Box 1139, Collingwood, Australia, Victoria, 3066

Rights statement

Copyright 2020 CSIRO

Repository Status

  • Open

Socio-economic Objectives

Assessment and management of Antarctic and Southern Ocean ecosystems