Ocean temperature controls kelp decomposition and carbon sink potential

Filbee-Dexter, K; Feehan, C; Smale, DA; Krumhansl, K; Augustine, S; de Bettignies, F; Burrows, MT; Byrnes, J; Campbell, J; Davoult et al, D. 2020 Ocean temperature controls kelp decomposition and carbon sink potential. Research Square. https://doi.org/10.21203/rs.3.rs-38503/v1 (Submitted)

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Abstract/Summary

Compelling new evidence shows that kelp production contributes an important and underappreciated flux of carbon in the ocean. Major questions remain, however, about the controls on the cycling of this organic carbon in the coastal zone, and their implications for future carbon sequestration. Here we used field experiments distributed across 28° latitude, and the entire range of two dominant kelps in the northern hemisphere, to measure decomposition rates of kelp detritus on the seafloor in relation to environmental factors. Ocean temperature was the strongest control on detritus decomposition in both species, and it was positively related to decomposition. This suggests that decomposition could accelerate with ocean warming under climate change, increasing remineralization and reducing overall kelp carbon sequestration. However, we also demonstrate the potential for high kelp-carbon storage in cooler (northern) regions, which could be targeted by climate mitigation strategies to expand blue carbon sinks.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Subjects: Marine Sciences
Divisions: Marine Biological Association of the UK > Ecosystems and Environmental Change > Global environmental change and marine ecosystems
Depositing User: Emily Smart
Date made live: 28 Sep 2021 14:30
Last Modified: 28 Sep 2021 14:30
URI: http://plymsea.ac.uk/id/eprint/9373

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