Existing estimates suggest that seagrasses, salt marshes, and mangroves account for >50% of the carbon sequestered in the ocean, even though they occupy <0.5% of the ocean area.
These estimates do not include kelp forests, however, but new evidence suggests that these ecosystems may store and sequester more carbon globally than other types of marine vegetation due to their high productivity, wide distribution, and capacity to export carbon to deep sediments.
These initial estimates have high uncertainty, however. Seagrasses have received more attention as blue carbon habitats, but carbon export to deep sediments from seagrass ecosystems has largely been overlooked in accounting for carbon sequestered by seagrass.
This project will fill critical knowledge gaps in our ability to value kelp forests and seagrass beds as blue carbon habitats globally by developing the first carbon budget for these ecosystems in eastern Canada.