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Productivity of a tropical seagrass meadow under stress: effects of prolonged shading and simulated grazing
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Ecology, Environment and Plant Sciences.
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Ecology, Environment and Plant Sciences.
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Ecology, Environment and Plant Sciences. University of Dodoma, Tanzania.
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Ecology, Environment and Plant Sciences.
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(English)Manuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
National Category
Biological Sciences
Research subject
Plant Physiology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-128151OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-128151DiVA: diva2:913403
Available from: 2016-03-21 Created: 2016-03-21 Last updated: 2016-03-21Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Carbon sequestration processes in tropical seagrass beds
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Carbon sequestration processes in tropical seagrass beds
2016 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Seagrass meadows may play a substantial role in climate change mitigation as they are capable to sequester and store substantial amounts of anthropogenic carbon in plant biomass and, more importantly, in their underlying sediments. In this PhD thesis, the carbon-burial potential was assessed by quantifying the amount of organic carbon stored in different seagrass meadows, each dominated by one of the four major seagrass species in the Western Indian Ocean region. Impacts of anthropogenic disturbances on biomass carbon allocation, greenhouse gas emission (methane and nitrous oxide) and production of sulphide were investigated in Chwaka Bay, Zanzibar. The findings showed that east African seagrass meadows generally have high carbon sink capacity. The storage of sedimentary organic carbon, however, varied among seagrass habitats and across sites, and was up to five-fold higher in seagrass sediment to those of nearby unvegetated sediments. Seagrass meadows in eutrophicated sites had higher sedimentary organic carbon content, and substantially higher emission rates of nitrous oxides and methane, compared to more pristine meadows. Disturbances in terms of shading and simulated grazing of seagrass affected several processes, with major decreases in seagrass primary productivity, net community production and biomass carbon, in turn influencing seagrass carbon sequestration as well as stimulating anaerobic microbial processes. In addition, production of sulphide in the sediment and methane emissions from the sediment surface increased significantly when disturbed. At present, seagrass meadows in the Western Indian Ocean have high carbon sink capacity. This important ecosystem service is, however, highly threatened due to regional anthropogenic pressure, which may change the role of blue carbon rich habitats, such as seagrass meadows, from being a sink to a source of greenhouse gases.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: Department of Ecology, Environment and Plant Sciences, Stockholm University, 2016. 49 p.
Keyword
Seagrass, Carbon sequestration, Carbon sink, Eutrophication, Productivity, Nitrous oxide, Methane, Greenhouse gases, Tropical, Eastern Africa
National Category
Biological Sciences
Research subject
Plant Physiology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-128201 (URN)978-91-7649-369-4 (ISBN)
Public defence
2016-05-04, Vivi Täckholm-salen, NPQ-huset, Svante Arrhenius väg 20, Stockholm, 10:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Note

At the time of the doctoral defense, the following papers were unpublished and had a status as follows: Paper 1: Manuscript. Paper 2: Manuscript. Paper 4: Manuscript. Paper 5: Manuscript.

Available from: 2016-04-11 Created: 2016-03-21 Last updated: 2016-04-13Bibliographically approved

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