Dataset Information


Rapid carbon accumulation following managed realignment on the Bay of Fundy.

ABSTRACT: Salt marshes are highly effective carbon (C) sinks and have higher rates of soil C burial (per square meter) than terrestrial ecosystems. Marsh reclamation and anthropogenic impacts, however, have resulted in extensive losses of salt marshes. Restoration of marshes drained and "reclaimed" for agriculture (referred to in Canada as dykelands) and degraded marshes can generate C credits, but only if C burial is reliably quantified. To date, studies reporting on C burial rates have been limited primarily to restored marshes which are more than 10 years old. Here we report on a study which assessed C burial six years after the return of tidal flooding to a section of dykeland in Aulac, New Brunswick on Canada's Bay of Fundy. The C burial rate in the restored marsh averaged 1 329 g C m-2 yr-1, more than five times the rate reported for a nearby mature marsh. Carbon density in the recovering marsh was relatively consistent with depth and although salt marsh cordgrass (Spartina alterniflora) became established in 2012, the bulk of the C in the new marsh deposit is assumed to be allochthonous. Financial constraints are a barrier to marsh restoration projects and C markets could provide a considerable source of funding for restoration work in the future. For marsh restoration projects to be recognized in C crediting systems, however, it must also be demonstrated that the allochthonous C would not otherwise have been sequestered; the potential for this is discussed.

SUBMITTER: Wollenberg JT 

PROVIDER: S-EPMC5862474 | BioStudies | 2018-01-01

REPOSITORIES: biostudies

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