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  • 1.
    Dahl, Martin
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Ecology, Environment and Plant Sciences.
    Natural and human-induced carbon storage variability in seagrass meadows2017Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    Seagrasses are considered highly important CO2 sinks, with the capacity to store substantial quantities of organic carbon in the living biomass and sediments, and thereby acting as a buffer against climate change. In this thesis, I have studied carbon storage variability in temperate and tropical seagrass habitats and identified factors influencing this variation. In addition, as seagrass areas are decreasing worldwide, I have assessed effects of different anthropogenic disturbances on carbon sequestration processes. The result from this thesis showed that there was a large variation in carbon storage within and among temperate, tropical and subtropical regions. The highest organic carbon stocks were found in temperate Zostera marina meadows, which also showed a larger carbon storage variability than the subtropical and tropical seagrass habitats. The tropical and subtropical seagrass meadows had inorganic carbon pools exceeding the organic carbon accumulation, which could potentially weakens the carbon sink function. The variability in organic carbon stocks was generally strongly related to the sediment characteristics of the seagrass habitats. In Z. marina meadows, the strength of the carbon sink function was mainly driven by the settings of the local environment, which in turn indicates that depositional areas will likely have higher organic carbon stocks than more exposed meadows, while in the tropics seagrass biomass was also influencing sedimentary carbon levels. Furthermore, locations with large areas of seagrass were associated with higher carbon storage in tropical and subtropical regions, which could be related to increased accumulation of both autochthonous and allochthonous carbon. In an in situ experiment, impacts on carbon sequestration processes from two types of disturbances (with two levels of intensity) were tested by simulating reduced water quality (by shading) and high grazing pressure (through removal of shoot biomass). At high disturbance intensity, reductions in the net community production and seagrass biomass carbon were observed, which negatively affected carbon sequestration and could impact the sedimentary organic carbon stocks over time. In the treatments with simulated grazing, erosion was also seen, likely due to an increase in near-bed hydrodynamics. When experimentally testing effects of increased current flow on organic carbon suspension in Z. marina sediment, a ten-fold release of organic carbon with higher current flow velocities was measured, which resulted in an increase in the proportion of suspended organic carbon by three times in relation to other sediment particles. Therefore, periods with enhanced hydrodynamic activity could result in a removal of organic carbon and thereby likely reduce the seagrass meadows’ capacity to store carbon. The findings of this thesis add to the emerging picture that there is a large natural variability in seagrasses’ capacity to store carbon, and highlight how human-induced disturbances could negatively affect the carbon sink function in seagrass meadows.

  • 2.
    Dahl, Martin
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Ecology, Environment and Plant Sciences.
    Deyanova, Diana
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Ecology, Environment and Plant Sciences.
    Gütschow, Silvia
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Ecology, Environment and Plant Sciences.
    Asplund, Maria E.
    Lyimo, Liberatus D.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Ecology, Environment and Plant Sciences.
    Karamfilov, Ventzislav
    Santos, Rui
    Björk, Mats
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Ecology, Environment and Plant Sciences.
    Gullström, Martin
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Ecology, Environment and Plant Sciences.
    Sediment Properties as Important Predictors of Carbon Storage in Zostera marina Meadows: A Comparison of Four European Areas2016In: PLoS ONE, ISSN 1932-6203, E-ISSN 1932-6203, Vol. 11, no 12Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Seagrass ecosystems are important natural carbon sinks but their efficiency varies greatly depending on species composition and environmental conditions. What causes this variation is not fully known and could have important implications for management and protection of the seagrass habitat to continue to act as a natural carbon sink. Here, we assessed sedimentary organic carbon in Zostera marina meadows (and adjacent unvegetated sediment) in four distinct areas of Europe (Gullmar Fjord on the Swedish Skagerrak coast, Asko in the Baltic Sea, Sozopol in the Black Sea and Ria Formosa in southern Portugal) down to similar to 35 cm depth. We also tested how sedimentary organic carbon in Z. marina meadows relates to different sediment characteristics, a range of seagrass-associated variables and water depth. The seagrass carbon storage varied greatly among areas, with an average organic carbon content ranging from 2.79 +/- 0.50% in the Gullmar Fjord to 0.17 +/- 0.02% in the area of Sozopol. We found that a high proportion of fine grain size, high porosity and low density of the sediment is strongly related to high carbon content in Z. marina sediment. We suggest that sediment properties should be included as an important factor when evaluating high priority areas in management of Z. marina generated carbon sinks.

  • 3.
    Dahl, Martin
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Ecology, Environment and Plant Sciences.
    Deyanova, Diana
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Ecology, Environment and Plant Sciences.
    Lyimo, Liberatus D.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Ecology, Environment and Plant Sciences. University of Dodoma, Tanzania.
    Näslund, Johan
    Samuelsson, Göran S.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Ecology, Environment and Plant Sciences.
    Mtolera, Marten S. P.
    Björk, Mats
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Ecology, Environment and Plant Sciences.
    Gullström, Martin
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Ecology, Environment and Plant Sciences.
    Effects of shading and simulated grazing on carbon sequestration in a tropical seagrass meadow2016In: Journal of Ecology, ISSN 0022-0477, E-ISSN 1365-2745, Vol. 104, no 3, p. 654-664Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    1. There is an ongoing world-wide decline of seagrass ecosystems, one of the world's most efficient carbon sink habitats. In spite of this, there is a clear lack of studies experimentally testing the effects of anthropogenic disturbances on carbon sequestration of seagrass systems. 2. We assessed the effects of two disturbances of global concern on the carbon sink function in a five-month in situ experiment within a tropical seagrass (Thalassia hemprichii) meadow by testing the impacts of shading and simulated grazing at two levels of intensity using shading cloths and clipping of shoot tissue. We measured the effects of these disturbances on the carbon sequestration process by assessing the net community production (NCP), carbon and nitrogen content in tissue biomass, and organic matter and THAA (total hydrolysable amino acids) in the sediment down to 40 cm depth. 3. Treatments of high-intensity shading and high-intensity clipping were similarly impacted and showed a significantly lower NCP and carbon content in the below-ground biomass compared to the seagrass control. No significant effects were seen in organic carbon, total nitrogen, C:N ratio and THAA in the sediment for the seagrass treatments. However, both clipping treatments showed different depth profiles of carbon and THAA compared to the seagrass control, with lower organic carbon and THAA content in the surface sediment. This can be explained by the clipping of shoot tissue causing a less efficient trapping of allochthonous carbon and reduced input of shredded seagrass leaves to the detritus sediment layer. In the clipping plots, erosion of the surface sediment occurred, which was also most likely caused by the removal of above-ground plant biomass. 4. Synthesis. Our findings show that during the course of this experiment, there were no impacts on the sedimentary carbon while the high-intensity disturbances caused a clear depletion of carbon biomass and reduced the seagrass meadow's capacity to sequester carbon. From a long-term perspective, the observed effect on the carbon biomass pool in the high-intensity treatments and the sediment erosion in the clipping plots may lead to loss in sedimentary carbon.

  • 4.
    Dahl, Martin
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Ecology, Environment and Plant Sciences.
    Infantes, Eduardo
    Clevesjö, Rosanna
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Ecology, Environment and Plant Sciences.
    Linderholm, Hans W.
    Björk, Mats
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Ecology, Environment and Plant Sciences.
    Gullström, Martin
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Ecology, Environment and Plant Sciences.
    Increased current flow enhances the risk of organic carbon loss from Zostera marina sediments: Insights from a flume experimentManuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
  • 5.
    Dahl, Martin
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Ecology, Environment and Plant Sciences.
    Infantes, Eduardo
    Clevesjö, Rosanna
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Ecology, Environment and Plant Sciences.
    Linderholm, Hans W.
    Björk, Mats
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Ecology, Environment and Plant Sciences.
    Gullström, Martin
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Ecology, Environment and Plant Sciences.
    Increased current flow enhances the risk of organic carbon loss from Zostera marina sediments: Insights from a flume experiment2018In: Limnology and Oceanography, ISSN 0024-3590, E-ISSN 1939-5590, Vol. 63, no 6, p. 2793-2805Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Hydrodynamic processes are important for carbon storage dynamics in seagrass meadows, where periods of increased hydrodynamic activity could result in erosion and the loss of buried carbon. To estimate hydrodynamic impacts on the resuspension of organic carbon (C-org) in seagrass-vegetated sediments, we exposed patches (0.35 x 0.35 cm) of Zostera marina (with different biomass, shoot densities, and sediment properties) to gradually increased unidirectional (current) flow velocities ranging from low (5 cm s(-1)) to high (26 cm s(-1)) in a hydraulic flume with a standardized water column height of 0.12 m. We found that higher flow velocities substantially increased (by more than threefold) the proportion of C-org in the suspended sediment resulting in a loss of up to 5.5% +/- 1.7% (mean +/- SE) C-org from the surface sediment. This was presumably due to increased surface erosion of larger, carbon-rich detritus particles. Resuspension of C-org in the seagrass plots correlated with sediment properties (i.e., bulk density, porosity, and sedimentary C-org) and seagrass plant structure (i.e., belowground biomass). However, shoot density had no influence on C-org resuspension (comparing unvegetated sediments with sparse, moderate, and dense seagrass bed types), which could be due to the relatively low shoot density in the experimental setup (with a maximum of 253 shoots m(-2)) reflecting natural conditions of the Swedish west coast. The projected increase in the frequency and intensity of hydrodynamic forces due to climate change could thus negatively affect the function of seagrass meadows as natural carbon sinks.

  • 6.
    Deyanova, Diana
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Ecology, Environment and Plant Sciences.
    Asplund, Maria E.
    Gullström, Martin
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Ecology, Environment and Plant Sciences.
    Franco, Joao N.
    Rasmusson, Lina M.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Ecology, Environment and Plant Sciences.
    Dahl, Martin
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Ecology, Environment and Plant Sciences.
    Infantes, Eduardo
    Lundberg, Petter
    Engström, Pia
    Björk, Mats
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Ecology, Environment and Plant Sciences.
    Plant- and habitat productivity in a temperate seagrass systemManuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    Seagrass meadows are highly productive coastal habitats. Yet, little is known about the contribution of seagrass plants to the total seagrass habitat. To clarify the particular role of the seagrass plants for carbon capture in temperate environments, a one-year study was performed in seagrass meadows on the Swedish west coast. We aimed to assess the link between the net primary productivity of seagrass plants per se, the net production of the seagrass community and the net production of the entire system. To be able to predict effects of environmental changes on seagrass productivity, results were related to changes in water temperature, oxygen levels, light conditions and ice cover. Results showed large variations in net plant productivity across seasons, generally following light- and temperature variability, and ranging from very high (20.03 g C m-2 24h-1 ) in the summer to negative rates (-1.60 g C m-2 24h-1 ) in the least productive winter month. The patterns of variability in seagrass productivity were also influenced by depth- and site-specific dynamics in biomass. The high respiration of the benthic community did largely outbalance the productivity of the seagrass plants, probably as an effect of fast turnover rates. This resulted in an overall yearly low positive carbon balance of the entire seagrass system. Overall, the findings show that seagrass plants contribute substantially to the carbon capture in temperate seagrass habitats, but also that the rate of community respiration appears to be highly dependent on the degree of how much detritus material that is retained within the system. Thus, even though these seagrass systems are highly productive and may contain a large carbon stock, seagrass productivity per se seems not to be the most important determining factor for their carbon sink function.

  • 7.
    Deyanova, Diana
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Ecology, Environment and Plant Sciences.
    Gullström, Martin
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Ecology, Environment and Plant Sciences.
    Lyimo, Liberatus D.
    Dahl, Martin
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Ecology, Environment and Plant Sciences.
    Hamisi, Mariam I.
    Mtolera, Matern S. P.
    Björk, Mats
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Ecology, Environment and Plant Sciences.
    Contribution of seagrass plants to CO2 capture in a tropical seagrass meadow under experimental disturbance2017In: PLoS ONE, ISSN 1932-6203, E-ISSN 1932-6203, Vol. 12, no 7, article id e0181386Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Coastal vegetative habitats are known to be highly productive environments with a high ability to capture and store carbon. During disturbance this important function could be compromised as plant photosynthetic capacity, biomass, and/or growth are reduced. To evaluate effects of disturbance on CO2 capture in plants we performed a five-month manipulative experiment in a tropical seagrass (Thalassia hemprichii) meadow exposed to two intensity levels of shading and simulated grazing. We assessed CO2 capture potential (as net CO2 fixation) using areal productivity calculated from continuous measurements of diel photosynthetic rates, and estimates of plant morphology, biomass and productivity/respiration (P/R) ratios (from the literature). To better understand the plant capacity to coping with level of disturbance we also measured plant growth and resource allocation. We observed substantial reductions in seagrass areal productivity, biomass, and leaf area that together resulted in a negative daily carbon balance in the two shading treatments as well as in the high-intensity simulated grazing treatment. Additionally, based on the concentrations of soluble carbohydrates and starch in the rhizomes, we found that the main reserve sources for plant growth were reduced in all treatments except for the low-intensity simulated grazing treatment. If permanent, these combined adverse effects will reduce the plants' resilience and capacity to recover after disturbance. This might in turn have long-lasting and devastating effects on important ecosystem functions, including the carbon sequestration capacity of the seagrass system.

  • 8.
    Deyanova, Diana
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Ecology, Environment and Plant Sciences.
    Gullström, Martin
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Ecology, Environment and Plant Sciences.
    Lyimo, Liberatus Dominick
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Ecology, Environment and Plant Sciences. University of Dodoma, Tanzania.
    Dahl, Martin
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Ecology, Environment and Plant Sciences.
    Hamis, Mariam
    Mtolera, Marten SP
    Björk, Mats
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Ecology, Environment and Plant Sciences.
    Productivity of a tropical seagrass meadow under stress: effects of prolonged shading and simulated grazingManuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
  • 9.
    Gullström, Martin
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Ecology, Environment and Plant Sciences.
    Lyimo, Liberatus D.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Ecology, Environment and Plant Sciences. University of Dodoma, Tanzania.
    Dahl, Martin
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Ecology, Environment and Plant Sciences.
    Samuelsson, Göran S.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Ecology, Environment and Plant Sciences.
    Eggertsen, Maria
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Ecology, Environment and Plant Sciences.
    Anderberg, Elisabeth
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Ecology, Environment and Plant Sciences.
    Rasmusson, Lina M.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Ecology, Environment and Plant Sciences.
    Linderholm, Hans W.
    Knudby, Anders
    Bandeira, Salomao
    Mtwana Nordlund, Lina
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Ecology, Environment and Plant Sciences.
    Björk, Mats
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Ecology, Environment and Plant Sciences.
    Blue Carbon Storage in Tropical Seagrass Meadows Relates to Carbonate Stock Dynamics, Plant–Sediment Processes, and Landscape Context: Insights from the Western Indian Ocean2018In: Ecosystems (New York. Print), ISSN 1432-9840, E-ISSN 1435-0629, Vol. 21, no 3, p. 551-566Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Globally, seagrass ecosystems are considered major blue carbon sinks and thus indirect contributors to climate change mitigation. Quantitative estimates and multi-scale appraisals of sources that underlie long-term storage of sedimentary carbon are vital for understanding coastal carbon dynamics. Across a tropical–subtropical coastal continuum in the Western Indian Ocean, we estimated organic (Corg) and inorganic (Ccarb) carbon stocks in seagrass sediment. Quantified levels and variability of the two carbon stocks were evaluated with regard to the relative importance of environmental attributes in terms of plant–sediment properties and landscape configuration. The explored seagrass habitats encompassed low to moderate levels of sedimentary Corg (ranging from 0.20 to 1.44% on average depending on species- and site-specific variability) but higher than unvegetated areas (ranging from 0.09 to 0.33% depending on site-specific variability), suggesting that some of the seagrass areas (at tropical Zanzibar in particular) are potentially important as carbon sinks. The amount of sedimentary inorganic carbon as carbonate (Ccarb) clearly corresponded to Corg levels, and as carbonates may represent a carbon source, this could diminish the strength of seagrass sediments as carbon sinks in the region. Partial least squares modelling indicated that variations in sedimentary Corg and Ccarb stocks in seagrass habitats were primarily predicted by sediment density (indicating a negative relationship with the content of carbon stocks) and landscape configuration (indicating a positive effect of seagrass meadow area, relative to the area of other major coastal habitats, on carbon stocks), while seagrass structural complexity also contributed, though to a lesser extent, to model performance. The findings suggest that accurate carbon sink assessments require an understanding of plant–sediment processes as well as better knowledge of how sedimentary carbon dynamics are driven by cross-habitat links and sink–source relationships in a scale-dependent landscape context, which should be a priority for carbon sink conservation.

  • 10.
    Gullström, Martin
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Ecology, Environment and Plant Sciences.
    Lyimo, Liberatus Dominick
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Ecology, Environment and Plant Sciences. University of Dodoma, Tanzania.
    Samuelsson, Göran
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Ecology, Environment and Plant Sciences.
    Dahl, Martin
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Ecology, Environment and Plant Sciences.
    Eggertsen, Maria
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Ecology, Environment and Plant Sciences.
    Anderberg, Elisabeth
    Rasmusson, Lina
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Ecology, Environment and Plant Sciences.
    Linderholm, Hans
    Bendeira, Salmão
    Nordlund, Lina
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Ecology, Environment and Plant Sciences.
    Knudby, Anders
    Björk, Mats
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Ecology, Environment and Plant Sciences.
    Carbon sequestration capacity in tropical and subtropical seagrass meadows of the Western Indian oceanManuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
  • 11.
    Lyimo, Liberatus D.
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Ecology, Environment and Plant Sciences. University of Dodoma, Tanzania.
    Gullström, Martin
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Ecology, Environment and Plant Sciences.
    Lyimo, Thomas J.
    Deyanova, Diana
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Ecology, Environment and Plant Sciences.
    Dahl, Martin
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Ecology, Environment and Plant Sciences.
    Hamisi, Mariam
    Björk, Mats
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Ecology, Environment and Plant Sciences.
    Shading and simulated grazing increase the sulphide pool and methane emission in a tropical seagrass meadow2018In: Marine Pollution Bulletin, ISSN 0025-326X, E-ISSN 1879-3363, Vol. 134, p. 89-93Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Though seagrass meadows are among the most productive habitats in the world, contributing substantially to long-term carbon storage, studies of the effects of critical disturbances on the fate of carbon sequestered in the sediment and biomass of these meadows are scarce. In a manipulative in situ experiment, we studied the effects of successive loss of seagrass biomass as a result of shading and simulated grazing at two intensity levels on sulphide (H2S) content and methane (CH4) emission in a tropical seagrass meadow in Zanzibar (Tanzania). In all disturbed treatments, we found a several-fold increase in both the sulphide concentration of the sediment pore-water and the methane emissions from the sediment surface (except for CH4 emissions in the low-shading treatment). This could be due to the ongoing degradation of belowground biomass shed by the seagrass plants, supporting the production of both sulphate-reducing bacteria and methanogens, possibly exacerbated by the loss of downwards oxygen transport via seagrass plants. The worldwide rapid loss of seagrass areas due to anthropogenic activities may therefore have significant effects on carbon sink-source relationships within coastal seas.

  • 12.
    Lyimo, Liberatus Dominick
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Ecology, Environment and Plant Sciences. University of Dodoma, Tanzania.
    Gullström, Martin
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Ecology, Environment and Plant Sciences.
    Lyimo, Thomas J.
    Deyanova, Diana
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Ecology, Environment and Plant Sciences.
    Dahl, Martin
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Ecology, Environment and Plant Sciences.
    Hamis, Mariam
    Björk, Mats
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Ecology, Environment and Plant Sciences.
    Shading and simulated grazing of seagrass leaves increases sulphide production and methane emission in a tropical seagrass meadowManuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
  • 13.
    Nascimento, Francisco J. A.
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Ecology, Environment and Plant Sciences.
    Dahl, Martin
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Ecology, Environment and Plant Sciences.
    Deyanoya, Diana
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Ecology, Environment and Plant Sciences.
    Lyimo, Liberatus D.
    Bik, Holly M.
    Schuelke, Taruna
    Pereira, Tiago José
    Björk, Mats
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Ecology, Environment and Plant Sciences.
    Creer, Simon
    Gullström, Martin
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Ecology, Environment and Plant Sciences.
    Above-below surface interactions mediate effects of seagrass disturbance on meiobenthic diversity, nematode and polychaete trophic structure2019In: Communications biology, ISSN 2399-3642, Vol. 2, article id 362Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Ecological interactions between aquatic plants and sediment communities can shape the structure and function of natural systems. Currently, we do not fully understand how sea- grass habitat degradation impacts the biodiversity of belowground sediment communities. Here, we evaluated indirect effects of disturbance of seagrass meadows on meiobenthic community composition, with a five-month in situ experiment in a tropical seagrass meadow. Disturbance was created by reducing light availability (two levels of shading), and by mimicking grazing events (two levels) to assess impacts on meiobenthic diversity using high- throughput sequencing of 18S rRNA amplicons. Both shading and simulated grazing had an effect on meiobenthic community structure, mediated by seagrass-associated biotic drivers and sediment abiotic variables. Additionally, shading substantially altered the trophic structure of the nematode community. Our findings show that degradation of seagrass meadows can alter benthic community structure in coastal areas with potential impacts to ecosystem functions mediated by meiobenthos in marine sediments.

  • 14. Röhr, Maria Emilia
    et al.
    Holmer, Marianne
    Baum, Julia K.
    Björk, Mats
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Ecology, Environment and Plant Sciences.
    Chin, Diana
    Chalifour, Lia
    Cimon, Stephanie
    Cusson, Mathieu
    Dahl, Martin
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Ecology, Environment and Plant Sciences.
    Deyanova, Diana
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Ecology, Environment and Plant Sciences. Bulgarian Academy of Sciences, Bulgaria.
    Duffy, J. Emmet
    Eklöf, Johan S.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Ecology, Environment and Plant Sciences.
    Geyer, Julie K.
    Griffin, John N.
    Gullström, Martin
    Hereu, Clara M.
    Hori, Masakazu
    Hovel, Kevin A.
    Hughes, A. Randall
    Jorgensen, Pablo
    Kiriakopolos, Stephanie
    Moksnes, Per-Olav
    Nakaoka, Masahiro
    O'Connor, Mary I.
    Peterson, Bradley
    Reiss, Katrin
    Reynolds, Pamela L.
    Rossi, Francesca
    Ruesink, Jennifer
    Santos, Rui
    Stachowicz, John J.
    Tomas, Fiona
    Lee, Kun-Seop
    Unsworth, Richard K. F.
    Boström, Christoffer
    Blue Carbon Storage Capacity of Temperate Eelgrass (Zostera marina) Meadows2018In: Global Biogeochemical Cycles, ISSN 0886-6236, E-ISSN 1944-9224, Vol. 32, no 10, p. 1457-1475Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Despite the importance of coastal ecosystems for the global carbon budgets, knowledge of their carbon storage capacity and the factors driving variability in storage capacity is still limited. Here we provide an estimate on the magnitude and variability of carbon stocks within a widely distributed marine foundation species throughout its distribution area in temperate Northern Hemisphere. We sampled 54 eelgrass (Zostera marina) meadows, spread across eight ocean margins and 36 degrees of latitude, to determine abiotic and biotic factors influencing organic carbon (C-org) stocks in Zostera marina sediments. The C-org stocks (integrated over 25-cm depth) showed a large variability and ranged from 318 to 26,523gC/m(2) with an average of 2,721gC/m(2). The projected C-org stocks obtained by extrapolating over the top 1m of sediment ranged between 23.1 and 351.7MgC/ha, which is in line with estimates for other seagrasses and other blue carbon ecosystems. Most of the variation in C-org stocks was explained by five environmental variables (sediment mud content, dry density and degree of sorting, and salinity and water depth), while plant attributes such as biomass and shoot density were less important to C-org stocks. Carbon isotopic signatures indicated that at most sites <50% of the sediment carbon is derived from seagrass, which is lower than reported previously for seagrass meadows. The high spatial carbon storage variability urges caution in extrapolating carbon storage capacity between geographical areas as well as within and between seagrass species.

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