Blue carbon ecosystems are coastal vegetated environments that are among the most carbon-dense ecosystems on Earth. They include salt marshes, mangroves, seagrasses and, more recently, macro-algae. These ecosystems provide nature-based solutions essential to mitigate residual anthropogenic carbon emissions, while also delivering co-benefits such as biodiversity support or coastal protection. Yet, coastal vegetated ecosystems are increasingly under pressure from climate change and local anthropogenic activities that are already affecting their carbon dynamics. There is a pressing need to better address those global changes impacts by better understanding the carbon cycle in these ecosystems. In particular, this requires to better understand the feedback loops between soil carbon and plants, the intricate exchanges of carbon between the atmosphere, soil, and water, and the interplay between human activities and carbon dynamics in vegetated coastal ecosystems.
The purpose of this session is to foster a convergence of scientists from multiple disciplines, including biogeochemists, ecologists, geographers, geologists, social scientists, biologists, and also environmental managers. The session aims to highlight pioneering studies that i) advance our comprehension of all processes related to carbon in salt marshes, mangroves, seagrasses and macro-algae under current and future environmental conditions; and ii) spotlight successful management, conservation, and restoration practices to keep or enhance the carbon sequestration service with delivery of co-benefits. This session will contribute to the United Nations Decade for Ocean Sciences, with co-convenorship by the Decade Programme for Blue Carbon in the Global Ocean.