Estuaries and Coasts

, Volume 35, Issue 5, pp 1163–1181

Carbon Sequestration and Sediment Accretion in San Francisco Bay Tidal Wetlands

  • John C. Callaway
  • Evyan L. Borgnis
  • R. Eugene Turner
  • Charles S. Milan
Article

DOI: 10.1007/s12237-012-9508-9

Cite this article as:
Callaway, J.C., Borgnis, E.L., Turner, R.E. et al. Estuaries and Coasts (2012) 35: 1163. doi:10.1007/s12237-012-9508-9

Abstract

Tidal wetlands play an important role with respect to climate change because of both their sensitivity to sea-level rise and their ability to sequester carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. Policy-based interest in carbon sequestration has increased recently, and wetland restoration projects have potential for carbon credits through soil carbon sequestration. We measured sediment accretion, mineral and organic matter accumulation, and carbon sequestration rates using 137Cs and 210Pb downcore distributions at six natural tidal wetlands in the San Francisco Bay Estuary. The accretion rates were, in general, 0.2–0.5 cm year−1, indicating that local wetlands are keeping pace with recent rates of sea-level rise. Mineral accumulation rates were higher in salt marshes and at low-marsh stations within individual sites. The average carbon sequestration rate based on 210Pb dating was 79 g C m−2 year−1, with slightly higher rates based on 137Cs dating. There was little difference in the sequestration rates among sites or across stations within sites, indicating that a single carbon sequestration rate could be used for crediting tidal wetland restoration projects within the Estuary.

Keywords

Brackish marshCarbon offsetsClimate changeMineral matter accumulationOrganic matter accumulationSalt marshSan Francisco Bay EstuarySea-level riseSedimentation

Copyright information

© Coastal and Estuarine Research Federation 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • John C. Callaway
    • 1
  • Evyan L. Borgnis
    • 1
  • R. Eugene Turner
    • 2
  • Charles S. Milan
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Environmental ScienceUniversity of San FranciscoSan FranciscoUSA
  2. 2.Department of Oceanography and Coastal SciencesLouisiana State UniversityBaton RougeUSA