Carbon Sequestration by Coastal Floral Community

Coastal ecosystems, deltaic lobes at the river mouth or estuarine ecosystems sustain a unique spectrum of halophytic vegetation. These vegetations, preferably the mangroves, tidal salt marshes, seagrass meadows, and seaweeds store considerable load of carbon in their biomass and soils and act as sink of atmospheric carbon dioxide through primary production. This carbon, associated with marine, coastal and estuarine ecosystems is commonly referred to as blue carbon. The tiny free floating producer community of the aquatic phase (phytoplankton) in marine and estuarine compartment also sequesters and stores carbon and comes under the banner of blue carbon. Recent scientific syntheses have placed the global total estimated emissions from degraded and converted coastal wetlands each year at between 300 and 900 million tonnes of carbon dioxide, approximately equal to the annual carbon dioxide emissions from energy and industry for Poland and Germany, respectively. The rates of carbon sequestration and storage in these coastal ecosystems are comparable to the rates in carbon-rich terrestrial ecosystems such as tropical rainforests or freshwater peatlands. Unlike most terrestrial systems, which reach soil carbon equilibrium within decades, deposition of carbon dioxide in coastal ecosystem sediment can continue over millennia. However, when degraded or destroyed, these systems can become sources of carbon dioxide emissions, due to oxidization of biomass and organic matter stored in the soil, litter, and detritus. Current rates of loss of mangroves, seagrass beds and salt marshes, caused largely by human activities such as conversion, coastal development and over- harvesting, estimated to be between 0.7% and 2% a year, are among

1. The Blue Soup of the Planet Earth

2. Carbon Dioxide Reservoir in the Planet Earth

3. Mangrove Community

4. Seagrass and Saltmarsh Grass Community

5. Seaweeds of the Coastal Zone

6. Phytoplankton Community

7. Molluscan Community: A Unique Carbon Reservoir