Document Type

Article

Department/Program

Virginia Institute of Marine Science

Publication Date

2014

Journal

BIOGEOSCIENCES

Volume

11

Issue

17

First Page

4801

Last Page

4808

Abstract

Approximately half of marine carbon sequestration takes place in coastal wetlands, including tidal marshes, where organic matter contributes to soil elevation and ecosystem persistence in the face of sea-level rise. The long-term viability of marshes and their carbon pools depends, in part, on how the balance between productivity and decay responds to climate change. Here, we report the sensitivity of labile soil organic-matter decay in tidal marshes to seasonal and latitudinal variations in temperature measured over a 3-year period. We find a moderate increase in decay rate at warmer temperatures (3-6% per degrees C, Q(10) = 1.3-1.5). Despite the profound differences between microbial metabolism in wetlands and uplands, our results indicate a strong conservation of temperature sensitivity. Moreover, simple comparisons with organic-matter production suggest that elevated atmospheric CO2 and warmer temperatures will accelerate carbon accumulation in marsh soils, and potentially enhance their ability to survive sea-level rise.

DOI

10.5194/bg-11-4801-2014

Keywords

SEA-LEVEL RISE; SALT-MARSH; SOIL RESPIRATION; COASTAL WETLANDS; CLIMATE-CHANGE; CARBON ACCUMULATION; SPARTINA-PATENS; DECOMPOSITION; CO2; PLANT

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

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