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Dissolved organic carbon release by marine macrophytes

Author(s): C. Barrón | E. T. Apostolaki | C. M. Duarte

Journal: Biogeosciences Discussions
ISSN 1810-6277

Volume: 9;
Issue: 2;
Start page: 1529;
Date: 2012;
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Estimates of dissolved organic carbon (DOC) release by marine macrophyte communities (seagrass meadows and macroalgal beds) were obtained experimentally using in situ benthic chambers. The effect of light availability on DOC release by macrophyte communities was examined in two communities both by comparing net DOC release under light and dark, and by examining the response of net DOC release to longer-term (days) experimental shading of the communities. All most 85% of the seagrass communities and almost all of macroalgal communities examined acted as net sources of DOC. There was a weak tendency for higher DOC fluxes under light than under dark conditions in seagrass meadow. There is no relationship between net DOC fluxes and gross primary production (GPP) and net community production (NCP), however, this relationship is positive between net DOC fluxes and community respiration. Net DOC fluxes were not affected by shading of a T. testudinum community in Florida for 5 days, however, shading of a mixed seagrass meadow in the Philippines led to a significant reduction on the net DOC release when shading was maintained for 6 days compared to only 2 days of shading. Based on published and unpublished results we also estimate the global net DOC production by marine macrophytes. The estimated global net DOC flux, and hence export, from marine macrophyte is about 0.197 ± 0.015 Pg C yr−1 or 0.212 ± 0.016 Pg C yr−1 depending if net DOC flux by seagrass meadows was estimated by taking into account the low or high global seagrass area, respectively.

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