Coastal Ecosystems and Carbon
The coastal sediments beneath mangrove forests and seagrass meadows contain organic carbon leftover from partially decayed plants. When there's more organic carbon trapped in coastal sediments, there's less floating in the atmosphere as CO2. After millennia of sediment accumulation, the ammount of this buried carbon can be so large that it can be factored into global carbon budgets and greenhouse gas mitigation plans. In this way, these coastal ecosystems can be considered long term CO2 sinks. At the same time, calcification by corals, algae, and many other organisms produces CO2. I'm interested in the balance of these processes and how environmental and ecological factors control the net production of CO2.