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Carbon in kelp

Published: 27 July 2016

As part of module 2, Dr Ana M Queiros and colleagues at PML have run a 30 pulse-chase experiment in the mesocosm to quantify potential trophic and physical routes mediated by sediment dwelling organisms. These organisms are involved in the exchange of kelp-derived carbon between the water column and the sediment and the potential trapping of carbon within the sediment. Through a collaboration with the University of Pisa and visiting PhD student Chiara Ravaglioli, we have been able to include in this experiment an assessment of the potential impacts of climate change driven stressors (ocean acidification) and seasonal stressors (hypoxia) on the sediment-dwelling communities and the kelp itself, and of how these changes may affect the cycling of the this carbon through these routes and sinks. Dr Helen Findlay at PML and Dr Sophie McCoy at Florida State University have provided valuable expertise on both ocean acidification and kelp ecology during the experiment.

We hope in this way to be able to provide a quantification of the role of coastal sedimentary habitats in the short and long term storage of kelp-derived carbon, and increase the understanding of climate change and seasonal effects on ocean carbon sequestration. The outputs of this project will feed into both ecosystem services research (Dr Stefanie Broszeit) and model development (Dr Jorn Bruggeman and Dr Genadi Lessin) in MERP.


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