Carbon Sequestration of Eelgrass Meadows in Clayoquot Sound, BC: An Identification of the Environmental Drivers of Sediment Carbon Variability

dc.contributor.authorPrior, Jordan
dc.contributor.supervisorKwoll, Eva of Geographyen_US of Science M.Sc.en_US
dc.description.abstractCarbon storage mechanisms have seen increased attention to remove atmospheric carbon with the capability of seagrass meadows to sequester and store carbon becoming a key research objective within the Pacific Northwest (PNW). This study attempts to identify the environmental drivers of sediment carbon variability with a differentiation between allochthonous and autochthonous carbon. Seven seagrass meadows within Clayoquot Sound, BC were selected as determined by seagrass and morphological characteristics (tidal velocity, grainsize, slope, depth etc.). Carbon stocks varied among sites with five sites ranging between 21.1 ± 1.4 gC m-2 and 28.9 ± 1.6 gC m-2. Two outliers were observed with 56.6 ± 2.8 gC m-2 and 15 ± 1.8 gC m-2 – resulting from a low D50 reflecting the propensity to sequester allochthonous carbon at the first site and a high velocity limiting deposition of allochthonous carbon at the other site. Average carbon stock (to 25 cm depth) throughout Clayoquot Sound for this study is 653.6 gC m-2with a range of 366.3 to 1421 gC m-2. Carbon accumulations aligns with previous studies with this study showing a range of 0.5 to 47 gC m-2 y-1. Analysis of isotopic signatures, conducted via a Bayesian mixing model, show a strong allochthonous signal primarily from marine sources with terrestrial sources seen nearer to river mouths. Through the use of multivariate linear regression analysis, high tidal velocity is seen to be related to high autochthonous carbon due to suspension of sediment. In contrast, velocity and grainsize are seen to be related to marine carbon and terrestrial carbon is related to grainsize. This understanding shows that seagrass characteristics and spatial extent are not the only important variable to estimate carbon stocks and that there are definitive linkages between tidal velocity, grainsize, morphology (depth and slope) and carbon stocks. The extrapolation of carbon stocks beyond Clayoquot Sound could be better accounted for by using meadows, tidal measures, local bathymetry and local sediment characteristics. However, these variables are currently under-used in the modelling of carbon stocks for the PNW and around the world.en_US
dc.rightsAvailable to the World Wide Weben_US
dc.subjectCoastal Geomorphologyen_US
dc.subjectBlue Carbonen_US
dc.subjectSeagrass Meadowsen_US
dc.subjectCarbon Sequestrationen_US
dc.subjectSediment Transporten_US
dc.subjectPacific Northwesten_US
dc.titleCarbon Sequestration of Eelgrass Meadows in Clayoquot Sound, BC: An Identification of the Environmental Drivers of Sediment Carbon Variabilityen_US


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