Create your own conference schedule! Click here for full instructions

Abstract Detail

Physiology & Ecophysiology

Thorhaug, Anitra [1], Poulos, Helen Mills [2], Lopez-portillo, Jorge [3], Najjar, RAymond [4], Ku, T. [5], Herrmann, Maria [6], Berlyn, Graeme [7].

Carbon Flow and Stabilization from Rivers through the Gulf of Mexico Blue Carbon Habitats with Potential Solution to Restore Blue Carbon.

As organic carbon flows from rivers into the Gulf of Mexico, estuarine habitat species capture and stabilize riverine carbon as well as create carbon sequestration from atmospheric/oceanic carbon. The mangroves’ organic carbon dominate blue carbon in the Gulf of Mexico with their extent of 538,246ha especially in Mexico, which contains about equal GOM mangrove extent to the USA. High sequestration from 386Mg/ha-1 average in southwestern Florida mangroves to 1332Mg/ ha-1 in eastern Mexico. The subdominant blue habitat GOM species is seagrasses, over a million hectares in extent and sequestering 179 Tg org C total in GOM in the first meter (with 37.4 in the upper 20cm. Additionally, their standing stock if far less than the much larger mangrove trees standing stock. The marshes in the GOM are chiefly within the northern estuaries and are 401,900ha extent while sequestering roughly 97.8Tg . Total Blue carbon of GOM equals 538Tg. The comparison to North American Atlantic seacoast blue carbon (from Florida to Newfoundland) shows less total blue carbon sequestered 270.6Tg on the chiefly temperate Atlantic seaboard than in the subtropical/tropical Gulf of Mexico (538Tg). This comparison will include the marshes dominating the Atlantic Coast blue carbon 224.8Tg (mangroves being very small amount 2.2Tg, and the seagrasses far less carbon sequestered than marshes) while mangrove carbon dominates in the Gulf of Mexico and seagrass is subdominant. Recently several of us (Poulos, Lopez-Portillo, Ku, Thorhaug) found restored mangroves in Florida sequester more carbon than naturally-occurring mangroves. The restored seagrass results of Corg (organic carbon) ranging from Florida to south Texas shows consistently greater Corg than found in naturally-occurring proximate seagrasses in each area for sampling (45 to 3-year-old seagrass restorations). There are approximately 900,000ha of degraded seagrass areas in the area with potentially at minimum, a 500,000ha of degraded mangroves. Restoring seagrass and mangrove carbon could bolster sequestered organic carbon in the geologically sedimentary carbon-intensive area, especially in the previously degraded areas of industrialized Texas and Eastern Mexico plus degraded areas in Florida. One solution for climate change suggested by James Hansen (2011) is to restore forests, and other vegetation to return carbon to soil or sediment form. The Gulf of Mexico offers an excellent opportunity for this in terms of restoring degraded blue carbon.

Log in to add this item to your schedule

1 - Yale University, School Forestry , New Haven , Ct , 06511
2 - Weselyan University, Plantetary and Envronmental Sciences, Middletown, CT
3 - INECOL, Xalapa, Vera Cruz, Mexico
4 - Penn State Univ., Oceanography, Collegtown, PA
5 - WEsleyan University , Planetary and Environmental Sciences, Middletown, Ct.
6 - Penn State UNiv, Oceangraphy , Collegetown, PA
7 - Yale University, School Of Foresty & Evironmental Studies, GREELEY LAB-370 PROSPECT ST, NEW HAVEN, CT, 06511, USA

Mangrove organic carbon GOM
Seagrass organic carbon GOM
Restoration seagrasses
Restoration of carbon Gulf of Mexico.

Presentation Type: Oral Paper
Session: 23, Physiology & Ecophysiology
Location: Fort Worth Ballroom 6/Omni Hotel
Date: Tuesday, June 27th, 2017
Time: 8:45 AM
Number: 23001
Abstract ID:439
Candidate for Awards:None

Copyright © 2000-2017, Botanical Society of America. All rights reserved