Publication details.

Paper

Year:2018
Author(s):A. Arias-Ortiz, O. Serrano, P. Masqué, P. Lavery, U. Mueller, G. Kendrick, M. Rozaimi, A. Esteban, J. Fourqurean, N. Marbà, M. Mateo, K. Murray, M. Rule, C. Duarte
Title:A marine heatwave drives massive losses from the world's largest seagrass carbon stocks
Journal:Nature Climate Change
ISSN:1758-678X
JCR Impact Factor:21.722
Volume:8
Issue No.:4
Pages:338-344
D.O.I.:10.1038/s41558-018-0096-y
Web:https://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41558-018-0096-y
Abstract:© 2018 The Author(s). Seagrass ecosystems contain globally significant organic carbon (C) stocks. However, climate change and increasing frequency of extreme events threaten their preservation. Shark Bay, Western Australia, has the largest C stock reported for a seagrass ecosystem, containing up to 1.3% of the total C stored within the top metre of seagrass sediments worldwide. On the basis of field studies and satellite imagery, we estimate that 36% of Shark Bay's seagrass meadows were damaged following a marine heatwave in 2010/2011. Assuming that 10 to 50% of the seagrass sediment C stock was exposed to oxic conditions after disturbance, between 2 and 9 Tg CO2 could have been released to the atmosphere during the following three years, increasing emissions from land-use change in Australia by 4-21% per annum. With heatwaves predicted to increase with further climate warming, conservation of seagrass ecosystems is essential to avoid adverse feedbacks on the climate system.

Related staff

  • Nuria Marbà Bordalba
  • Related departments

  • Oceanography and Global Change
  • Related projects

  • MEDSHIFT CTA 107
  • Related research groups

  • Global Change Research