Natural and Regenerated Saltmarshes Exhibit Similar Soil and Belowground Organic Carbon Stocks, Root Production and Soil Respiration

Nadia S. Santini, Catherine E. Lovelock, Quan Hua, Atun Zawadzki, Debashish Mazumder, Tim R. Mercer, Miriam Muñoz-Rojas, Simon A. Hardwick, Bindu Swapna Madala, William Cornwell, Torsten Thomas, Ezequiel M. Marzinelli, Paul Adam, Swapan Paul, Adriana Vergés

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Saltmarshes provide many valuable ecosystem services including storage of a large amount of ‘blue carbon’ within their soils. To date, up to 50% of the world’s saltmarshes have been lost or severely degraded primarily due to a variety of anthropogenic pressures. Previous efforts have aimed to restore saltmarshes and their ecosystem functions, but the success of these efforts is rarely evaluated. To fill this gap, we used a range of metrics, including organic carbon stocks, root production, soil respiration and microbial communities to compare natural and a 20-year restoration effort in saltmarsh habitats within the Sydney Olympic Park in New South Wales, Australia. We addressed four main questions: (1) Have above- and belowground plant biomass recovered to natural levels? (2) Have organic carbon stocks of soils recovered? (3) Are microbial communities similar between natural and regenerated saltmarshes? and (4) Are microbial communities at both habitats associated to ecosystem characteristics? For both soil organic carbon stocks and belowground biomass, we found no significant differences between natural and regenerated habitats (F(1,14) = 0.47, p = 0.5; F(1,42) = 0.08, p = 0.76). Aboveground biomass was higher in the natural habitat compared to the regenerated habitat (F(1,20) = 27.3, p < 0.0001), which may result from a site-specific effect: protection from erosion offered by a fringing mangrove forest in the natural habitat but not the regenerated habitat. Our microbial community assessment indicated that restored and natural saltmarsh habitats were similar at a phylum level, with the exception of a higher proportion of Proteobacteria in the rhizosphere of saltmarshes from the regenerated habitat (p < 0.01). Abundance of both Desulfuromonas and Geobacter was associated with high carbon and nitrogen densities in soils indicating that these genera may be key for the recovery of ecosystem characteristics in saltmarshes. Our restored and natural saltmarsh soils store at 30 cm depth similar levels of organic carbon: 47.9 Mg OC ha−1 to 64.6 Mg OC ha−1. Conservation of urban saltmarshes could be important for ‘blue carbon’ programmes aimed at mitigating atmospheric carbon dioxide.

Original languageEnglish
JournalEcosystems
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2019

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soil respiration
Organic carbon
salt marshes
carbon sinks
saltmarsh
organic carbon
Soils
Ecosystems
habitat
habitats
soil
Biomass
Carbon
microbial communities
microbial community
carbon
belowground biomass
Desulfuromonas
ecosystems
Carbon Dioxide

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Santini, Nadia S. ; Lovelock, Catherine E. ; Hua, Quan ; Zawadzki, Atun ; Mazumder, Debashish ; Mercer, Tim R. ; Muñoz-Rojas, Miriam ; Hardwick, Simon A. ; Madala, Bindu Swapna ; Cornwell, William ; Thomas, Torsten ; Marzinelli, Ezequiel M. ; Adam, Paul ; Paul, Swapan ; Vergés, Adriana. / Natural and Regenerated Saltmarshes Exhibit Similar Soil and Belowground Organic Carbon Stocks, Root Production and Soil Respiration. In: Ecosystems. 2019.
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abstract = "Saltmarshes provide many valuable ecosystem services including storage of a large amount of ‘blue carbon’ within their soils. To date, up to 50{\%} of the world’s saltmarshes have been lost or severely degraded primarily due to a variety of anthropogenic pressures. Previous efforts have aimed to restore saltmarshes and their ecosystem functions, but the success of these efforts is rarely evaluated. To fill this gap, we used a range of metrics, including organic carbon stocks, root production, soil respiration and microbial communities to compare natural and a 20-year restoration effort in saltmarsh habitats within the Sydney Olympic Park in New South Wales, Australia. We addressed four main questions: (1) Have above- and belowground plant biomass recovered to natural levels? (2) Have organic carbon stocks of soils recovered? (3) Are microbial communities similar between natural and regenerated saltmarshes? and (4) Are microbial communities at both habitats associated to ecosystem characteristics? For both soil organic carbon stocks and belowground biomass, we found no significant differences between natural and regenerated habitats (F(1,14) = 0.47, p = 0.5; F(1,42) = 0.08, p = 0.76). Aboveground biomass was higher in the natural habitat compared to the regenerated habitat (F(1,20) = 27.3, p < 0.0001), which may result from a site-specific effect: protection from erosion offered by a fringing mangrove forest in the natural habitat but not the regenerated habitat. Our microbial community assessment indicated that restored and natural saltmarsh habitats were similar at a phylum level, with the exception of a higher proportion of Proteobacteria in the rhizosphere of saltmarshes from the regenerated habitat (p < 0.01). Abundance of both Desulfuromonas and Geobacter was associated with high carbon and nitrogen densities in soils indicating that these genera may be key for the recovery of ecosystem characteristics in saltmarshes. Our restored and natural saltmarsh soils store at 30 cm depth similar levels of organic carbon: 47.9 Mg OC ha−1 to 64.6 Mg OC ha−1. Conservation of urban saltmarshes could be important for ‘blue carbon’ programmes aimed at mitigating atmospheric carbon dioxide.",
keywords = "Pb dating, blue carbon, carbon sequestration, microbial communities, rehabilitation, Sarcocornia quinqueflora, Sydney Olympic Park",
author = "Santini, {Nadia S.} and Lovelock, {Catherine E.} and Quan Hua and Atun Zawadzki and Debashish Mazumder and Mercer, {Tim R.} and Miriam Mu{\~n}oz-Rojas and Hardwick, {Simon A.} and Madala, {Bindu Swapna} and William Cornwell and Torsten Thomas and Marzinelli, {Ezequiel M.} and Paul Adam and Swapan Paul and Adriana Verg{\'e}s",
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Santini, NS, Lovelock, CE, Hua, Q, Zawadzki, A, Mazumder, D, Mercer, TR, Muñoz-Rojas, M, Hardwick, SA, Madala, BS, Cornwell, W, Thomas, T, Marzinelli, EM, Adam, P, Paul, S & Vergés, A 2019, 'Natural and Regenerated Saltmarshes Exhibit Similar Soil and Belowground Organic Carbon Stocks, Root Production and Soil Respiration' Ecosystems. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10021-019-00373-x

Natural and Regenerated Saltmarshes Exhibit Similar Soil and Belowground Organic Carbon Stocks, Root Production and Soil Respiration. / Santini, Nadia S.; Lovelock, Catherine E.; Hua, Quan; Zawadzki, Atun; Mazumder, Debashish; Mercer, Tim R.; Muñoz-Rojas, Miriam; Hardwick, Simon A.; Madala, Bindu Swapna; Cornwell, William; Thomas, Torsten; Marzinelli, Ezequiel M.; Adam, Paul; Paul, Swapan; Vergés, Adriana.

In: Ecosystems, 01.01.2019.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

TY - JOUR

T1 - Natural and Regenerated Saltmarshes Exhibit Similar Soil and Belowground Organic Carbon Stocks, Root Production and Soil Respiration

AU - Santini, Nadia S.

AU - Lovelock, Catherine E.

AU - Hua, Quan

AU - Zawadzki, Atun

AU - Mazumder, Debashish

AU - Mercer, Tim R.

AU - Muñoz-Rojas, Miriam

AU - Hardwick, Simon A.

AU - Madala, Bindu Swapna

AU - Cornwell, William

AU - Thomas, Torsten

AU - Marzinelli, Ezequiel M.

AU - Adam, Paul

AU - Paul, Swapan

AU - Vergés, Adriana

PY - 2019/1/1

Y1 - 2019/1/1

N2 - Saltmarshes provide many valuable ecosystem services including storage of a large amount of ‘blue carbon’ within their soils. To date, up to 50% of the world’s saltmarshes have been lost or severely degraded primarily due to a variety of anthropogenic pressures. Previous efforts have aimed to restore saltmarshes and their ecosystem functions, but the success of these efforts is rarely evaluated. To fill this gap, we used a range of metrics, including organic carbon stocks, root production, soil respiration and microbial communities to compare natural and a 20-year restoration effort in saltmarsh habitats within the Sydney Olympic Park in New South Wales, Australia. We addressed four main questions: (1) Have above- and belowground plant biomass recovered to natural levels? (2) Have organic carbon stocks of soils recovered? (3) Are microbial communities similar between natural and regenerated saltmarshes? and (4) Are microbial communities at both habitats associated to ecosystem characteristics? For both soil organic carbon stocks and belowground biomass, we found no significant differences between natural and regenerated habitats (F(1,14) = 0.47, p = 0.5; F(1,42) = 0.08, p = 0.76). Aboveground biomass was higher in the natural habitat compared to the regenerated habitat (F(1,20) = 27.3, p < 0.0001), which may result from a site-specific effect: protection from erosion offered by a fringing mangrove forest in the natural habitat but not the regenerated habitat. Our microbial community assessment indicated that restored and natural saltmarsh habitats were similar at a phylum level, with the exception of a higher proportion of Proteobacteria in the rhizosphere of saltmarshes from the regenerated habitat (p < 0.01). Abundance of both Desulfuromonas and Geobacter was associated with high carbon and nitrogen densities in soils indicating that these genera may be key for the recovery of ecosystem characteristics in saltmarshes. Our restored and natural saltmarsh soils store at 30 cm depth similar levels of organic carbon: 47.9 Mg OC ha−1 to 64.6 Mg OC ha−1. Conservation of urban saltmarshes could be important for ‘blue carbon’ programmes aimed at mitigating atmospheric carbon dioxide.

AB - Saltmarshes provide many valuable ecosystem services including storage of a large amount of ‘blue carbon’ within their soils. To date, up to 50% of the world’s saltmarshes have been lost or severely degraded primarily due to a variety of anthropogenic pressures. Previous efforts have aimed to restore saltmarshes and their ecosystem functions, but the success of these efforts is rarely evaluated. To fill this gap, we used a range of metrics, including organic carbon stocks, root production, soil respiration and microbial communities to compare natural and a 20-year restoration effort in saltmarsh habitats within the Sydney Olympic Park in New South Wales, Australia. We addressed four main questions: (1) Have above- and belowground plant biomass recovered to natural levels? (2) Have organic carbon stocks of soils recovered? (3) Are microbial communities similar between natural and regenerated saltmarshes? and (4) Are microbial communities at both habitats associated to ecosystem characteristics? For both soil organic carbon stocks and belowground biomass, we found no significant differences between natural and regenerated habitats (F(1,14) = 0.47, p = 0.5; F(1,42) = 0.08, p = 0.76). Aboveground biomass was higher in the natural habitat compared to the regenerated habitat (F(1,20) = 27.3, p < 0.0001), which may result from a site-specific effect: protection from erosion offered by a fringing mangrove forest in the natural habitat but not the regenerated habitat. Our microbial community assessment indicated that restored and natural saltmarsh habitats were similar at a phylum level, with the exception of a higher proportion of Proteobacteria in the rhizosphere of saltmarshes from the regenerated habitat (p < 0.01). Abundance of both Desulfuromonas and Geobacter was associated with high carbon and nitrogen densities in soils indicating that these genera may be key for the recovery of ecosystem characteristics in saltmarshes. Our restored and natural saltmarsh soils store at 30 cm depth similar levels of organic carbon: 47.9 Mg OC ha−1 to 64.6 Mg OC ha−1. Conservation of urban saltmarshes could be important for ‘blue carbon’ programmes aimed at mitigating atmospheric carbon dioxide.

KW - Pb dating

KW - blue carbon

KW - carbon sequestration

KW - microbial communities

KW - rehabilitation

KW - Sarcocornia quinqueflora

KW - Sydney Olympic Park

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