Author Identifier

Oscar Serrano Orcid: Pierre Horwitz Orcid: Christopher Kavazos Orcid: Anna Lafratta Orcid: Paul Lavery Orcid: Pere Masque Orcid:

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Title

Nature Communications


Nature Research


School of Science




This project was supported by the CSIRO Marine and Coastal Carbon Biogeochemical Cluster, CSIRO Oceans and Atmosphere, the ECU Faculty Research Grant Scheme and Early Career Research Grant Schemes, UTS Plant Functional Biology and Climate Change Cluster, NSW Southeast Local Land Services, Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP), Parks Victoria, Victorian Coastal Catchment Management Authorities (GHCMA, CCMA, PPWCMA, WGCMA, EGCMA), University of Queensland Centennial Scholarship, Hodgkin Trust Scholarship, Australian Institute of Nuclear Science and Engineering, Northern Territory Government Innovation Grant, Australian Research Council (DE130101084, DE140101733, DE150100581, DE160100443, DE170101524, DP150103286, DP150102092, DP160100248, DP180101285, LE140100083, LE170100219, LP150100519, LP160100242 and LP110200975), the Generalitat de Catalunya (MERS 2014 SGR-1356), the ICTA ‘Unit of Excellence’ (MinECo, MDM2015-0552), Obra Social “LaCaixa”, SUMILEN, CTM 2013-47728-R, Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness and UKM-DIP-2017-005.

Grant Number

ARC Number : DE130101084 , ARC Number : DE140101733, ARC Number : DE150100581, ARC Number : DE160100443, ARC Number : DE170101524, ARC Number : DP150103286, ARC Number : DP150102092, ARC Number : DP160100248, ARC Number : DP180101285, ARC Number : LE140100083, ARC Number : LE170100219, ARC Number : LP150100519, ARC Number : LP160100242, ARC Number : LP110200975


Serrano, O., Lovelock, C. E., Atwood, T. B., Macreadie, P. I., Canto, R., Phinn, S., ... & Duarte, C. M. (2019). Australian vegetated coastal ecosystems as global hotspots for climate change mitigation. Nature Communications, 10(1), 4313.

Available here.


Policies aiming to preserve vegetated coastal ecosystems (VCE; tidal marshes, mangroves and seagrasses) to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions require national assessments of blue carbon resources. Here, we present organic carbon (C) storage in VCE across Australian climate regions and estimate potential annual CO2 emission benefits of VCE conservation and restoration. Australia contributes 5–11% of the C stored in VCE globally (70–185 Tg C in aboveground biomass, and 1,055–1,540 Tg C in the upper 1 m of soils). Potential CO2 emissions from current VCE losses are estimated at 2.1–3.1 Tg CO2-e yr-1, increasing annual CO2 emissions from land use change in Australia by 12–21%. This assessment, the most comprehensive for any nation to-date, demonstrates the potential of conservation and restoration of VCE to underpin national policy development for reducing greenhouse gas emissions.



Creative Commons License

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


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