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Biology 2018, 7(2), 27; https://doi.org/10.3390/biology7020027

Sediment Carbon Accumulation in Southern Latitude Saltmarsh Communities of Tasmania, Australia

1
Discipline of Geography and Spatial Sciences, School of Technology, Environments and Design, University of Tasmania, Launceston, Tasmania 7250, Australia
2
School of Education, University of Tasmania, Launceston, Tasmania 7250, Australia
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 23 November 2017 / Revised: 26 April 2018 / Accepted: 26 April 2018 / Published: 2 May 2018
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Abstract

Carbon sequestration values of wetlands are greatest in their sediments. Northern hemisphere research dominates the earlier saltmarsh carbon sequestration literature, recently augmented by analyses across mainland Australia where species assemblages, catchment histories and environmental settings differ. No previous assessment has been made for Tasmania. Carbon stores and accumulation rates in saltmarsh sediments of the Rubicon estuary, Tasmania, were investigated. Carbon was determined from sediment cores by Elemental Analyser, combined with analysis of organic content and bulk density. Carbon accumulation was determined using short-term and long-term sediment accretion indicators. Results showed carbon densities to be lower than global averages, with variation found between carbon stores of native and introduced species zones. Cores from introduced Spartina anglica indicated a trend of higher sediment carbon percentages relative to cores from native saltmarsh Juncus kraussii and Sarcocornia quinqueflora, and in finer grain sizes. Sediment carbon stock of 30 cm depths was 49.5 Mg C ha−1 for native saltmarsh and 55.5 Mg C ha−1 for Spartina. Carbon percentages were low owing to high catchment inorganic sediment yields, however carbon accumulation rates were similar to global averages, particularly under Spartina. Covering 85% of saltmarsh area in the estuary, Spartina contributes the majority to carbon stores, potentially indicating a previously unrecognized value for this invasive species in Australia. View Full-Text
Keywords: saltmarsh; sediment carbon; wetland; accumulation rates; Spartina; pollen analysis saltmarsh; sediment carbon; wetland; accumulation rates; Spartina; pollen analysis
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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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Ellison, J.C.; Beasy, K.M. Sediment Carbon Accumulation in Southern Latitude Saltmarsh Communities of Tasmania, Australia. Biology 2018, 7, 27.

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