Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Title

Global Biogeochemical Cycles








Centre for Marine Ecosystems Research


Australian Research Council Discovery

European Comission Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions. Grant Number: 795315

Ecosystem Services for Poverty Alleviation program (NERC) Coastal Ecosystem Services in East Africa. Grant Number: NE/L001535/1

U.S. National Science Foundation. Grant Number: DEB-2025954

Grants-in-Aid for Scientific Research. Grant Number: 18H04156

European Union H2020. Grant Number: 869300

Spanish Ministry of Science and Innovation Ramon y Cajal Fellowships. Grant Number: RYC2019-027073-I

Spanish National Research Council (CSIC). Grant Number: 20213AT014

Spanish Ministry of Science and Innovation. Grant Numbers: MDM2015-0552, MCIN/AEI/10.13039/501100011033

Spanish Ministry of Science and Innovation Juan de la Cierva Incorporación fellowship. Grant Number: IJC2020-045917-I I

Grant Number

ARC Number : DP200100575


Kennedy, H., Pagès, J. F., Lagomasino, D., Arias‐Ortiz, A., Colarusso, P., Fourqurean, J. W., ... & Duarte, C. M. (2022). Species traits and geomorphic setting as drivers of global soil carbon stocks in seagrass meadows. Global Biogeochemical Cycles, 36(10), Article e2022GB007481.


Our knowledge of the factors that can influence the stock of organic carbon (OC) that is stored in the soil of seagrass meadows is evolving, and several causal effects have been used to explain the variation of stocks observed at local to national scales. To gain a global-scale appreciation of the drivers that cause variation in soil OC stocks, we compiled data on published species-specific traits and OC stocks from monospecific and mixed meadows at multiple geomorphological settings. Species identity was recognized as an influential driver of soil OC stocks, despite their large intraspecific variation. The most important seagrass species traits associated with OC stocks were the number of leaves per seagrass shoot, belowground biomass, leaf lifespan, aboveground biomass, leaf lignin, leaf breaking force and leaf OC plus the coastal geomorphology of the area, particularly for lagoon environments. A revised estimate of the global average soil OC stock to 20 cm depth of 15.4 Mg C ha−1 is lower than previously reported. The largest stocks were still recorded in Mediterranean seagrass meadows. Our results specifically identify Posidonia oceanica from the Mediterranean and, more generally, large and persistent species as key in providing climate regulation services, and as priority species for conservation for this specific ecosystem service.



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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.