Carbon storage in UK intertidal environments

Austin, William E.N.; Smeaton, Craig; Ruranska, Paulina; Paterson, David M.; Skov, Martin W; Ladd, Cai J.T.; McMahon, Lucy; Havelock, Glenn M.; Gehrels, Roland; Mills, Rob; Barlow, Natasha L.M.; Burden, Annette; Jones, Laurence; Garbutt, Angus. 2022 Carbon storage in UK intertidal environments. In: Humphreys, John; Little, Sally, (eds.) Challenges in Estuarine and Coastal Science. Estuarine and Coastal Sciences Association 50th Anniversary Volume. London, Pelagic Publishing, 132-145.

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We report on progress to assess carbon stocks in UK saltmarsh habitats, highlighting best practice in achieving national-scale assessments, including advances in field, laboratory and data methods. New understanding of coring disturbance highlights sediment compaction and its influence on carbon stock assessment; improvements in remote sensing methods are outlined and approaches to upscaling for carbon stock assessment are described. Here, we introduce the first UK-specific saltmarsh conversion for loss-on-ignition estimates of soil organic matter to soil organic carbon. The underlying drivers that determine the spatial distribution, magnitude and future vulnerability of these important natural capital assets are assessed, highlighting the significance of long-term sea-level drivers in shaping UK coastal environments and carbon stocks. The potential for management interventions that safeguard these long-term carbon stores through the protection, restoration and creation of saltmarsh habitats are also assessed. We highlight the emergent national policy opportunities for the inclusion of saltmarsh habitats in the UK greenhouse gas inventory, providing an important first step necessary to account for, protect and restore these long-term carbon stores, realising their potential for climate change mitigation.

Item Type: Publication - Book Section
Digital Object Identifier (DOI):
UKCEH and CEH Sections/Science Areas: Soils and Land Use (Science Area 2017-)
ISBN: 9781784272852
Date made live: 10 Jan 2024 14:57 +0 (UTC)

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