Article written by Venetia Galanaki.
What is the first thought that springs to mind when thinking about ecosystems that contribute in reducing CO2? Most probably forests and grasslands right? But what about all the plants that reside on the coasts? Like mangroves, saltmarshes and seagrass meadows.
These ecosystems are present in coastal and shallow waters all over the globe but their significance in CO2 absorption has only recently started being recognised. The increased research attention gave rise to the term ‘’Blue Carbon’’ referring to carbon stored in their tissues and sediment. Blue carbon ecosystems, similarly to other vegetated ecosystems, remove CO2 from the water column through photosynthesis leading to a decrease in its total concentration. This decrease creates a disequilibrium in its concentration between the air and the water, thus driving additional CO2 in the water and removing it from the atmosphere.