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Sustainability 2018, 10(8), 2818;

Assessment of Blue Carbon Storage Loss in Coastal Wetlands under Rapid Reclamation

Key Laboratory of Coastal and Wetland Ecosystems (Ministry of Education), College of the Environment and Ecology, Xiamen University, Xiamen 361102, China
Fujian Provincial Key Laboratory for Coastal Ecology and Environmental Studies, Xiamen University, Xiamen 361102, China
Coastal and Ocean Management Institute, College of Environment and Ecology, Xiamen University, Xiamen 361102, China
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 13 June 2018 / Revised: 4 August 2018 / Accepted: 8 August 2018 / Published: 9 August 2018
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Highly productive coastal wetlands play an essential role in storing blue carbon as one of their ecosystem services, but they are increasingly jeopardized by intensive reclamation activities to facilitate rapid population growth and urbanization. Coastal reclamation causes the destruction and severe degradation of wetland ecosystems, which may affect their abilities to store blue carbon. To assist with international accords on blue carbon, we evaluated the dynamics of blue carbon storage in coastal wetlands under coastal reclamation in China. By integrating carbon density data collected from field measurement experiments and from the literature, an InVEST model, Carbon Storage and Sequestration was used to estimate carbon storage across the reclamation area between 1990 and 2015. The result is the first map capable of informing about blue carbon storage in coastal reclamation areas on a national scale. We found that more than 380,000 hectares of coastal wetlands were affected by reclamation, which resulted in the release of ca. 20.7 Tg of blue carbon. The carbon loss from natural wetlands to artificial wetlands accounted for 72.5% of total carbon loss, which highlights the major task in managing coastal sustainability. In addition, the top 20% of coastal wetlands in carbon storage loss covered 4.2% of the total reclamation area, which can be applied as critical information for coastal redline planning. We conclude that the release of blue carbon due to the conversion of natural wetlands exceeded the total carbon emission from energy consumption within the reclamation area. Implementing the Redline policy could guide the management of coastal areas resulting in greater resiliency regarding carbon emission and sustained ecosystem services. View Full-Text
Keywords: blue carbon storage; coastal reclamation; coastal wetlands; InVEST model blue carbon storage; coastal reclamation; coastal wetlands; InVEST model

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Li, Y.; Qiu, J.; Li, Z.; Li, Y. Assessment of Blue Carbon Storage Loss in Coastal Wetlands under Rapid Reclamation. Sustainability 2018, 10, 2818.

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