What is wetland carbon sequestration?

All wetlands sequester carbon from the atmosphere through plant photosynthesis and by acting as sediment traps for runoff. Carbon is held in the living vegetation as well as in litter, peats, organic soils, and sediments that have built up, in some instances, over thousands of years.

How is carbon sequestration related to climate change?

Carbon dioxide is the most commonly produced greenhouse gas. Carbon sequestration is the process of capturing and storing atmospheric carbon dioxide. It is one method of reducing the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere with the goal of reducing global climate change.

How much carbon does a wetland sequester?

Wetlands contain a disproportionate amount of the earth’s total soil carbon; holding between 20 and 30% of the estimated 1,500 Pg of global soil carbon2 despite occupying 5–8% of its land surface3. The anoxic conditions characteristic of wetland soils slow decomposition and lead to the accumulation of organic matter.

Do wetlands sequester more carbon than forests?

Current studies suggest that mangroves and coastal wetlands annually sequester carbon at a rate ten times greater than mature tropical forests. They also store three to five times more carbon per equivalent area than tropical forests.

What are the benefits of carbon sequestration?

Carbon sequestered, or stored, is carbon not emitted into the atmosphere. Less carbon in the atmosphere will reduce the greenhouse gas effect and lessen the impacts of climate change.

What does wetland mitigation mean?

Mitigation refers to the restoration, creation, or enhancement of wetlands to compensate for permitted wetlands losses elsewhere. Thus, mitigation work is often synonymous with restoration.

Why carbon sequestration is needed?

Carbon sequestration secures carbon dioxide to prevent it from entering the Earth’s atmosphere. The idea is to stabilize carbon in solid and dissolved forms so that it doesn’t cause the atmosphere to warm.

How do you sequester carbon?

Such activities could include afforestation (conversion of nonforested land to forest), reforestation (conversion of previously forested land to forest), improved forestry or agricultural practices, and revegetation.

Do wetlands absorb carbon?

Wetlands have the potential to absorb large amounts of carbon dioxide via photosynthesis, and flooded soils have low oxygen levels which decrease rates of decomposition to promote the retention of soil carbon.

Why do wetlands hold so much carbon?

Wetlands have a remarkable capacity to sequester carbon despite covering less land area than other ecosystems, like forests. One reason why these ecosystems accumulate carbon so effectively is that they are water-logged, dark, and very productive, which creates conditions for highly stable carbon content.

What causes carbon sequestration?

Carbon is sequestered in soil by plants through photosynthesis and can be stored as soil organic carbon (SOC). Agroecosystems can degrade and deplete the SOC levels but this carbon deficit opens up the opportunity to store carbon through new land management practices. Soil can also store carbon as carbonates.