Document Type

Article

Department/Program

Virginia Institute of Marine Science

Publication Date

2021

Journal

Geophysical Research Letters

Volume

48

Issue

e2021GL092420

Abstract

Sea level rise alters coastal carbon cycling by driving the rapid migration of coastal ecosystems, salinization of freshwater systems, and replacement of terrestrial forests with tidal wetlands. Wetland soils accumulate carbon (C) at faster rates than terrestrial soils, implying that sea level rise may lead to enhanced carbon accumulation. Here, we show that carbon stored in tree biomass greatly exceeds carbon stored in adjacent marsh soils so that marsh migration reduces total carbon stocks by 50% in less than 100years. Continued marsh soil carbon accumulation may eventually offset forest carbon loss, but we estimate that the time for replacement is similar to estimates of marsh survival (i.e., centuries), which suggests that forest C may never be replaced. These findings reveal a critical C source not included in coastal C budgets driven by migrating ecosystems and rapidly shifting allocations between carbon stored in soils and biomasS.

DOI

DOI: 10.1029/2021GL092420

Smith-Kirwan-GRL-supporting information si-s01.docx (247 kB)
Supporting Information

Available for download on Wednesday, December 01, 2021

Included in

Soil Science Commons

Share

COinS