Wetland ecosystems can serve as powerful carbon sinks and play a key role in mitigating climate change. But wetlands can also be a source of carbon. Hydrological carbon export, which occurs when the carbon passes from wetlands into connected oceanic ecosystems, remains understudied, limiting the understanding of wetland carbon cycling.
This project will refine current models of carbon sequestration rates in tidal wetlands by incorporating new data on the export of dissolved inorganic carbon. For one year, onsite sensors will track atmospheric and hydrologic carbon fluxes in restored tidal wetlands. Additionally, direct measurements of carbon content will be collected via two bottle sampling campaigns: one in winter, the other in summer.
By combining this data to produce a more accurate picture of wetland carbon cycling, the project will help clarify the tradeoffs involved in restoring wetlands.