EPA Science Inventory

Carbon Sequestration in Wetland Soils of the Northern Gulf of Mexico Coastal Region

Citation:

HANSEN, V. AND J. NESTLERODE. Carbon Sequestration in Wetland Soils of the Northern Gulf of Mexico Coastal Region. Wetlands Ecology and Management. Springer Science and Business Media B.V;Formerly Kluwer Academic Publishers B.V., , Germany, 22(3):289-303, (2014).

Description:

Coastal wetlands play an important but complex role in the global carbon cycle, contributing to the ecosystem service of greenhouse gas regulation through carbon sequestration. Although coastal wetlands occupy a small percent of the total US land area, their potential for carbon storage, especially in soils, often exceeds that of other terrestrial ecosystems. More than half of the coastal wetlands in the US are located in coastal watersheds in the Gulf of Mexico, yet these wetlands continue to be degraded at an alarming rate, resulting in a significant loss of stored carbon and reduction in capacity for carbon sequestration. We provide estimates of the soil carbon sequestration potential of Gulf of Mexico coastal wetlands, calculated from field measurements of bulk density and soil carbon content and soil accretion rates derived from the literature. Gulf of Mexico coastal wetlands store 34 – 47 Mg C ha-1 and could potentially accumulate 11,517 Gg C yr-1. These estimates provide a critical first step to incorporate the value of Gulf of Mexico coastal wetlands in future wetland management decisions related to global climate change. Estimates of carbon sequestration potential should be considered along with estimates of other ecosystem services provided by Gulf of Mexico coastal wetlands to strengthen and enhance the conservation, sustainable management, and restoration of these important natural resources.

Purpose/Objective:

Estimate the carbon sequestration potential in Gulf of Mexico coastal wetland soils from field-based measurements of bulk density and soil carbon content and literature-derived estimates of vertical accretion rates.

Record Details:

Record Type: DOCUMENT (JOURNAL/PEER REVIEWED JOURNAL)
Start Date: 06/01/2014
Completion Date: 06/01/2014
Record Last Revised: 07/28/2014
Record Created: 12/15/2011
Record Released: 12/15/2011
OMB Category: Other
Record ID: 240070

Organization:

U.S. ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY

OFFICE OF RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT

NATIONAL HEALTH AND ENVIRONMENTAL EFFECTS RESEARCH LAB

GULF ECOLOGY DIVISION

ECOSYSTEM ASSESSMENT BRANCH