Frontiers Research Foundation
Place of Publication
School of Science / Centre for Marine Ecosystems Research
Australian Research Council DECRA Fellowship (PM)
CSIRO Flagship Marine and Coastal Carbon Biogeochemical Cluster and an ARC DECRA Fellowship (OS)
ARC DECRA Fellowship (DM)
ARC Numbers : DE130101084, LP160100242, DE170101524, DE150100581
A commentary on Evaluating the Role of Seagrass in Cenozoic CO2 Variations
by Brandano, M., Cuffaro, M., Gaglianone, G., Pettricca, P., Stagno, V., and Mateu-Vicens, G. (2016). Front. Environ. Sci. 4:72. doi:10.3389/fenvs.2016.00072
Brandano et al. (2016) sought to quantify the role of seagrasses in removing atmospheric CO2 during the past 65 million years. To date, this estimate has been missing from the literature. Moreover, as the authors point out, there has so far been little attention paid to the role of calcium carbonate formation (CaCO3; inorganic carbon precipitated by calcifying organisms) in seagrass carbon budgets; much of the literature has focused on organic carbon only. The authors conclude that seagrasses have had globally-significant impacts on atmospheric CO2 fluxes throughout the Cenozoic era. While we appreciate the ambitious nature and difficulty of the study, we argue that the authors have made fundamental misconceptions about the contribution of carbonate production (calcification) and sequestration to ocean carbon budgets.
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