CO2 reduction at the coast: what can salt marshes and seagrass meadows contribute?
Salt marshes and seagrass meadows are important habitats at many coasts of the world, fulfilling numerous ecologically important functions. They are also very efficient carbon storages, more than ten times more efficient than forests, for example.
Salt marshes and seagrasses absorb CO2 and other forms of carbon and can store it underneath them in the sediment for many centuries. However, the potential to store carbon depends on many internal and external factors, so that the storage capacity varies greatly from region to region. Nevertheless, these habitats are overall very efficient carbon sinks that counteract climate change.
However, only as long as they are intact. If salt marshes and seagrass meadows are degraded or destroyed, they can no longer keep the carbon deposit stored in the sediment and the greenhouse gases are released back into the atmosphere.