Carbon sequestration potential of transplanted mangroves and exotic saltmarsh plants in the sediments of subtropical wetlands

Runqiu Huang, Junyu He, Nan Wang, George Christakos, Jiali Gu, Li Song, Ji Luo, Susana Agusti, Carlos M. Duarte, Jiaping Wu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Coastal blue carbon ecosystems offer promising benefits for both climate change mitigation and adaptation. While there have been widespread efforts to transplant mangroves from the tropics to the subtropics and to introduce exotic saltmarsh plants like Spartina alterniflora in China, few studies have thoroughly quantified the chronological records of carbon sequestration with different organic carbon (OC) sources. To understand how variations in OC sources can affect the carbon sequestration potential of coastal wetland environment over time, we conducted a study on typical islands with two scenarios: S. alterniflora invasion and mangrove transplantation. Our study determined chronological records of carbon sequestration and storage from five sediment profiles and traced changes in the OC sources using carbon stable isotope (δ13C) and C:N ratios in response to these scenarios. The S. alterniflora invasion resulted in an 84 ± 19 % increase in the OC burial rate compared to unvegetated mudflats, while mangrove transplantation resulted in a 167 ± 74 % increase in the OC burial rate compared to unvegetated mudflats. S. alterniflora and mangroves showed greater carbon sequestration potential in areas with high supplies of suspended particulate matter, while mangroves needed to grow to a certain scale to display obvious carbon sequestration benefits. In the mangrove saltmarsh ecotone, mature mangrove habitats exhibited resistance to the S. alterniflora invasion, while mangrove transplantation in the environment invaded by S. alterniflora had a significant effect on OC contribution. Besides, plant-derived OC can be exported to the surrounding environment due to the rapid turnover of sediments. The blue carbon chronosequence-based estimation of OC sources and burial rates provides a useful reference for establishing carbon accounting policies.

Original languageEnglish
Article number166185
Number of pages12
JournalScience of the Total Environment
Volume904
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 15 Dec 2023
Externally publishedYes

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