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Thorhaug, Anitra [1], poulos, Helen Mills [2], Lopez-Portillo, Jorge [3], Ku, Tim C.W. [4], Berlyn, Graeme P. [5].

The Organic Sedimentary Carbon Losses from Seagrass in the Gulf of Mexico.

The present seagrass extent in Gulf of Mexico is 9500 km2 from 25,000 km2 seagrass in North America while the Eastern Atlantic seaboard contains approximately 10000 km2. Carbon in GOM is estimated at 45% of USA carbon and Eastern seaboard about 50%. Anthropogenic activities have decimated carbon world-wide and presently continue. Our objective was to measure how much carbon was lost throughout the Gulf of Mexico during the last century of development. We invented a new method for examining carbon loss, which utilized seagrass restoration done over the last 43 years and their control areas (which had not been restored ) at a series of GOM sites previously impacted, then restored. We sampled two controls (continually-barren plus sites with pollution killing seagrass then remaining barren), the natural seagrass and restored seagrass at 11 sites. Evidence of impacting incident was usually clear in the cores. The 11 sites including 2 in Mexico, 4 replicate cores taken at each of continually barren naturally, after kill-still-barren sites, natural seagrass sites, and restored seagrass sites of various restoration ages, and types of pollution. These were analyzed for organic and inorganic carbon and compared. 20.0 (+ 6.9) Mg Corg ha-1 was found as an average loss. The losses of continually polluted areas were greater than one-time disturbance, then conserved. The estuary by estuary extent and loss had already been estimated by state and federal seagrass spatial extent researchers. This basin wide loss will be presented. Although IPCC “ Blue Carbon” mitigation strategies should include seagrass restoration, IPCC 2014 voiced uncertainties based on few data quantifications about seagrass carbon loss.

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1 - Yale University , School of Forestry and Environmental Studies, 390 Prospect , new Haven , CT , 00561, USA
2 - Wesleyan University, Department of Earth & Environmental Sciences, Middletown , CT, USA
3 - Inecol -Xalapa, Ecological Sciences, Xalapa, Vera Cruz, Mexico
4 - Wesleyan University, Department of Earth & Environmental Sciences, 522 Walker Building, Middletown , CT, Usa
5 - Yale University, School Of Foresty & Evironmental Studies, GREELEY LAB-370 PROSPECT ST, NEW HAVEN, CT, 06511, USA

seagrass carbon loss
Seagrass Gulf of Mexico
seagrass carbon sequestration
Seagrass carbon stocks
seagrass blue carbon
Carbon loss.

Presentation Type: Oral Paper
Session: 9, Physiology
Location: 104/Savannah International Trade and Convention Center
Date: Monday, August 1st, 2016
Time: 1:30 PM
Number: 9001
Abstract ID:596
Candidate for Awards:None

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