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Sensors 2018, 18(1), 32; doi:10.3390/s18010032

Assessment of Blue Carbon Storage by Baja California (Mexico) Tidal Wetlands and Evidence for Wetland Stability in the Face of Anthropogenic and Climatic Impacts

Departamento Geología, Centro de Investigación Científica y de Educación Superior de Ensenada, 22860 Ensenada, BC, Mexico
Current address: Department of Biodiversity, Earth & Environmental Sciences and the Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University, 1900 Benjamin Franklin Pkwy, Philadelphia, PA 19103, USA.
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Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 16 November 2017 / Revised: 16 December 2017 / Accepted: 19 December 2017 / Published: 24 December 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Remote Sensing of Mangrove Ecosystems)
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Abstract

Although saline tidal wetlands cover less than a fraction of one percent of the earth’s surface (~0.01%), they efficiently sequester organic carbon due to high rates of primary production coupled with surfaces that aggrade in response to sea level rise. Here, we report on multi-decadal changes (1972–2008) in the extent of tidal marshes and mangroves, and characterize soil carbon density and source, for five regions of tidal wetlands located on Baja California’s Pacific coast. Land-cover change analysis indicates the stability of tidal wetlands relative to anthropogenic and climate change impacts over the past four decades, with most changes resulting from natural coastal processes that are unique to arid environments. The disturbance of wetland soils in this region (to a depth of 50 cm) would liberate 2.55 Tg of organic carbon (C) or 9.36 Tg CO2eq. Based on stoichiometry and carbon stable isotope ratios, the source of organic carbon in these wetland sediments is derived from a combination of wetland macrophyte, algal, and phytoplankton sources. The reconstruction of natural wetland dynamics in Baja California provides a counterpoint to the history of wetland destruction elsewhere in North America, and measurements provide new insights on the control of carbon sequestration in arid wetlands. View Full-Text
Keywords: climate change; salt marsh; mangroves; aeolian; sediment transport; marsh loss; coastal development; remote sensing; carbon stable isotopes climate change; salt marsh; mangroves; aeolian; sediment transport; marsh loss; coastal development; remote sensing; carbon stable isotopes
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Watson, E.B.; Hinojosa Corona, A. Assessment of Blue Carbon Storage by Baja California (Mexico) Tidal Wetlands and Evidence for Wetland Stability in the Face of Anthropogenic and Climatic Impacts. Sensors 2018, 18, 32.

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