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Oregon Salt Marshes: How Blue are They?
Brown, C., T. MochonCollura, Ted DeWitt, AND C. Janousek. Oregon Salt Marshes: How Blue are They? Presented at Joint Aquatic Sciences Meeting, Portland, OR, May 18 - 23, 2014.
Two important ecosystem services of wetlands are carbon sequestration and filtration of nutrients and particulates. We quantified the carbon and nitrogen accumulation rates in salt marshes at 135 plots distributed across eight estuaries located in Oregon, USA. Net carbon and nitrogen accumulation rates were quantified by measuring the carbon and nitrogen content of sediment that accumulated in marsh habitat over a 2 to 3 year time period using the feldspar marker horizon method. For a subset of the sites, short-term sedimentation rates will be compared to long-term rates (determined using Cs137). Short-term accretion rates were related to plot elevation, with low marsh habitats accreting at faster rates than high marsh habitats. On the average, the accretion rate appears to be balancing local sea level rise rate. High marsh habitat had higher carbon and nitrogen content and lower bulk densities than low marsh habitat. Low marsh habitat appeared to accumulate carbon and nitrogen at a higher rate than high marsh habitat. Data from this study will be used to generate a blue carbon estimate for Oregon estuaries, which will be compared to values estimated in other areas.
"Blue Carbon" is the carbon captured and stored by living coastal and marine organisms in coastal ecosystems, such as marsh and seagrass habitat. There is increasing interest at the State, National, and International level to develop estimates of the carbon sequestered by these habitats and to develop market based incentives to conserve and restore these important habitats. In this presentation, we will be presenting carbon sequestration estimates for salt marsh habitat in Oregon, which can be used to explore the feasibility of developing such carbon markets in Oregon.
Record Details:Record Type: DOCUMENT (PRESENTATION/ABSTRACT)
Organization:U.S. ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY
OFFICE OF RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT
NATIONAL HEALTH AND ENVIRONMENTAL EFFECTS RESEARCH LAB
WESTERN ECOLOGY DIVISION
PACIFIC COASTAL ECOLOGY BRANCH