Seagrass meadows’ ability to sequester blue carbon – Are all seagrass habitats equal? New scientific publication at the Frontiers in Marine Science.
Our recent scientific publication entitled ‘Is all seagrass habitat equal? Seasonal, spatial, and interspecific variation in productivity dynamics within the Mediterranean seagrass habitat’ quantifies the ability of Posidonia seagrass meadows in the Aegean to sequester (i.e. capture) carbon. It examines how the seagrass meadows of different depths, densities, and other factors play a role in the sequestration of blue carbon.
According to scientific literature, seagrass meadows and other equivalent coastal habitats capture 35 times more carbon than the rainforests. In addition, every square meter of a healthy seagrass meadow produces 20 liters of oxygen daily for the seas and the atmosphere. But what are the specific figures for Posidonia seagrass in the Aegean Sea?
This research took place in eastern Aegean, in collaboration with expert scientists from the Biology Departments of the University of Essex and University of Portsmouth in the UK. With the usage of specialized loggers, it was demonstrated that not all seagrass habitat is equal. If seagrass meadows are to play a role in mitigating CO2 emissions, variability in primary productivity within seagrass meadows needs to be accounted for to produce comprehensive autochthonous carbon sequestration estimates.
As the forests of our seas, Posidonia seagrass meadows have a fundamental role in our ecosystems’ productivity and health. However, they are facing increasing threats mainly due to human impact. Their conservation has been an important target of Archipelagos’ actions for over 20 years while our research aims to contribute to covering the lack of knowledge about these important habitats.