Title: Dynamics of sedimentary carbon pools and fluxes in seagrass meadows
Supervisors: Prof. Peter Ralph, Dr. Peter Macreadie
PhD conferred: 2016
Seagrass meadows are vital components of coastal regions, ecologically, globally and socioeconomically. Along with salt marshes and mangroves, seagrasses potentially function as significant carbon sinks by fixing carbon dioxide into organic biomass which may be stored in marine sediments for centuries. Yet, it is still unclear which factors are involved in this long-term sequestration of organic carbon.
Over the past several decades seagrass meadows have be declining in health and area at an alarming rate from causes that are associated with humans. This, in turn, could cause a reduction in the seagrasses abilities to sequester new carbon and maintain their existing carbon pools, thus leading to reintroduction of carbon into the atmosphere.
- Examine the changes in leaf and root/rhizome biomass to understand the factors that affect long-term seagrass decomposition.
- Asses how sedimentary carbon stocks in seagrass meadows change in response to habitat degradation and loss.
Comparison of marine macrophytes for their contributions to blue carbon sequestration.
Stacey M Trevathan-Tackett, Jeffrey Kelleway, Peter Macreadie, John Beardall, Peter Ralph, Alecia Bellgrove Ecology (2015)